(UNDATED) – Wendy’s will start serving breakfast across the United States next year.
It’s a big undertaking for the fast-food company. Wendy’s plans to hire about 20,000 US employees for the initiative, the company said Monday.
Breakfast is an important meal for fast-food chains. More people prepare breakfast at home than any other meal, and the morning remains the only growth market for the fast-food industry, according to research group NPD.
Currently, Wendy’s offers breakfast, including a bacon sandwich and a honey butter chicken biscuit, at about 300 locations. The nationwide launch “provides incredible growth opportunities,” said Todd Penegor, the company’s president and CEO, in a statement.
Menu innovations have helped boost Wendy’s sales. A number of new menu items — including a new $5 Giant Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, a new line of chicken sandwiches and a $5 meal deal called the Biggie Bag — helped boost first-quarter sales at North American stores open at least a year.
Breakfast may help drive growth, but it’s a costly endeavor. The company expects to spend about $20 million to serve breakfast throughout the country and is lowering its 2019 financial outlook. Shares dipped about 3% after the market closed Monday on the news.