New York (CNN Business)Wendy’s has entered the free breakfast wars.
To celebrate the launch of its new breakfast menu, the fast-food chain is giving away a free Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit for customers who place an order on Wendy’s app. Wendy’s (WEN) is taking on McDonald’s (MCD), which beat Wendy’s to the punch with its free breakfast offer: The Chicken Biscuit promotion comes on the same day McDonald’s flexed its own breakfast muscle by dubbing Monday “National Egg McMuffin Day” and giving away the sandwich for free.
In a a press release Monday, Wendy’s took a shot at its fast-food rivals (without naming any), saying that “some others in the category have let breakfast consumers down by offering breakfast sandwiches with frozen, folded eggs and pre-cooked bacon.” Wendy’s is putting a stronger emphasis on digital. CEO Todd Penegor said that the number of digital orders doubled last year to 2.5%. The company hopes to have 10% of its sales from digital within the next four years. Read MoreWendy’s wants people to sample its new offerings. To get a free Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, customers will have to use the app. The offer is only valid once but lasts until April 6.
The full Wendy’s breakfast menu.Wendy’s has previously offered free or discounted food through its app. Last year, it sold a small Frosty milkshake for half off its normal price of 99¢. It also gave app users free spicy chicken nuggets. Penegor said in Wendy’s most recent earnings call that customers can expect to see more app promotions this year in a bid to turn them into repeat customers. He also said that customers who order through the app have a “higher average check” compared to in-person orders.
Wendy’s hopes breakfast will also be a big growth opportunity in additional to its increased digital efforts. The chain, which is spending upward of $80 million to promote it breakfast products, predicts that breakfast sales will encompass 10% of its daily sales, although it doesn’t expect breakfast to become profitable until next year.The new breakfast menu consists of nine sandwiches, including a morning version of its famed Baconator. There’s also a new blend of coffee, an iced Frosty-ccino and new sides such as potato wedges.