In 1985 Wendy’s introduced breakfast, then retreated and plug one breakfast after franchisee discord. In 2007, Wendy’s again launched breakfast then retreated pulling the plug but allowing a few to continue on with breakfast. Well, here they go again with a national roll-out of breakfast. Why? Is it different from their competitors or simply a ‘look-alike’ day-part meal someone with was tasked to do rather than a true strategy point of differentiation?
Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® thinks Wendy’s is making a mistake entering the breakfast niche half-heartedly. Johnson believes that differentiation does not mean different but familiar with a twist. In the case of Wendy’s new breakfast offerings that does not seem to be the case. Given that lack of differentiation it is questionable if Wendy’s franchisees will be willing to stick with the new format. After all this is exactly what they have done twice before.
Garnering franchisee ‘buy-in’ is critical to the long-term success of any franchise restaurant group. One question that has to be asked is how long can a franchisor allow discontent within its franchisee group before the entire organization’s leadership is in jeopardy?
Do chain marketer’s get three months, six months, or a year to drive incremental sales or is one promotion and done? It takes in many cases two years to roll out a new product from R&D, Supply Chain, and Operational training. Is six months enough?\
For the third time Wendy’s will be trying to roll out a breakfast platform nationwide in the first quarter of 2020. Now we hear from Ron Ruggles at NRN that Wendy’s “will consider offering franchise operators the option of opting out later on”. Let’s not forget that is what they did before and look where that got them back to square one starting from scratch.
NRN reported that the “new breakfast platform, which has been tested in 300 stores from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., is expected to contribute 6% to 8% of sales in the partial 2020 fiscal year and has been tailored, with help from franchisees, to simplify operations.”
Wendy’s CFO Gunter Plosch, recently stated “franchisees will “have an opportunity to potentially raise concerns if the breakfast business is not creating enough financial returns for them.” … Wendy’s would be willing to discuss with those operators the potential of opting out.”
That sounds a lot like leadership by default. Marketing capitulation even before the roll-out. That’s not leadership, that is a sign of discontent. Success does leave clues and lacking the support from your franchise partners is not a good way to start a new marketing campaign. With $20 million in the breakfast launch already invested we ask will it work? Will McDonald’s and Burger King under cut this copycat lack luster offering and sink the program? Odds are they won’t sit back and cheer for Wendy’s long-range breakfast after hearing franchisee can opt-out.
Looking for success clues of your own? Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities, technology, or a new menu product segment. Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, www.Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or www.twitter.com/grocerant