Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ: WEN) has been a holdout in the breakfast area among major national chains but is now ready to tackle its competitors head-on. The burger chain has announced that it will be launching its breakfast menu nationwide in 2020. That will be a considerable expansion from the 300-plus locations where the company is currently serving breakfast.
Wendy’s is making a one-time investment of $20 million and will hire 20,000 new employees in the U.S. to prepare for the launch. The company appears to be sticking with the items on its current breakfast menu, which includes the Breakfast Baconator, Frosty-ccino, and Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. If Wendy’s plans to add new menu items, they have not yet been disclosed.
Wendy’s has tried to roll out a national breakfast menu before. Back in the mid-1980s, the chain launched a breakfast menu that included omelets, French toast, and toasted sandwiches. Wendy’s discontinued the menu a short time later because the items took too long to prepare.
Wendy’s is hoping that breakfast will help boost its bottom line. In August, the company reported second quarter net income of $32.4 million, or 14 cents per share, up from $29.9 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. In North America, restaurants open at least 15 months saw sales grow by 1.4 percent during the quarter.
The company is now lowering its 2019 financial outlook. In August, the company said it expected adjusted earnings per share growth of 3.5 percent to 7 percent, but it now expects adjusted earnings per share to decline by 3.5 percent to 6.5 percent in 2019. Wendy’s will provide an update to its 2020 goals at its investor day scheduled for October 11.
Wendy’s stock, which has a market value of $5.1 billion, is up 40 percent this year. At the end of 2018, the Dublin, Ohio-based company had 5,810 stores in the United States, according to regulatory filings.