This post is part of the On the Margin blog.
Wendy’s is doubling down on its value offering.
On Monday, the Dublin, Ohio-based burger chain added a Crispy Chicken BLT to its 4-for-$4 meal option. Customers can now choose either that sandwich or the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger to go along with a four-piece chicken nugget, small fries and a drink.
Wendy’s introduction of the value deal last October kicked off a period in which the major burger companies, including McDonald’s Corp., Burger King and CKE Restaurants Inc., operator of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., all offered value bundles.
Wendy’s also proved that customers like such deals. Its same-store sales increased 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter, and the company said the 4-for-$4 offer brought in new customers.
Some of the burger deals that emerged in January have faded into the background as other marketing efforts took over, or are gone altogether. McDonald’s, for instance, ran its initial McPick 2-for-$2 offer for five weeks, and then replaced it more recently with a 2-for-$5 promotion. That, too, has ended, replaced by the company’s Monopoly promotion — though some markets have kept the 2-for-$5 going, while others have changed the deal. Minnesota McDonald’s restaurants offer a 2-for-$4 promotion off its all-day breakfast menu, for example.
To be sure, promotional calendars drive much of the activity. Business is often light in the early part of the year, and companies use discounts to bring customers in the door, so such deals as McDonald’s 2-for-$2 were deliberately set for a limited period of time.
Lower beef costs this year are also enabling many of these discounts, making it more profitable for the brands and their franchisees.
Still, Wendy’s previous success with its 4-for-$4 meal and its expansion of that offering suggest that the chain is perhaps getting more traction with its deal than its competitors are with theirs.