Why Wendy's won't serve breakfast

Wendy's CEOBloomberg TVWendy’s CEO Emil Brolick.

Wendy’s is one of the only major national fast food chains without a breakfast menu.

But that’s not likely to change any time soon because the morning market is too crowded and costly, according to Wendy’s CEO Emil Brolick.

“We have tested breakfast many times over the years and we feel, as virtually the only large national chain that hasn’t gotten into breakfast, it’s very difficult to enter that space today and commit the kind of marketing resources that we feel would be necessary to really entrench ourselves successfully,” Brolick said in an interview last year with Bloomberg TV.

Brolick said breakfast is the fastest-growing daypart in fast food and that it also attracts some of the most loyal customers.

McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Doughnuts, have all expanded their breakfast menus and Taco Bell entered the breakfast market last year for the first time in the company’s history.

But Wendy’s breakfast menu tests have all failed. The most recent test, which included items like steel-cut oatmeal, artisan breakfast sandwiches, and sausage biscuits, lasted a year and ended in 2013.  

During tests, the company had difficulty adding breakfast items to the menu without detracting from other parts of the day, Brolick said. 

If Wendy’s is “going to ask our teams to work hard and spend extra time in our restaurants, we want to make sure that we can do that in a highly profitable basis,” he said. “And we felt based upon our last earnings that we weren’t quite there.”

But Brolick said that he wouldn’t totally rule out breakfast down the line.

“We’re not saying never, just saying not right now,” he said.

Watch the full interview.


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