McDonald’s trolls Wendy’s with free food amid breakfast launch

Wendy's breakfast menu launched nationwide Monday as Chick-fil-A, McDonald's promoted free food

Chains across America are competing for a bite of the breakfast meal category.

Wendy’s officially rolled out its anticipated breakfast menu on Monday and competitors like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A have tried to steal its morning thunder with their own shameless a.m. promotions.

McDonald's and Chick-fil-A announced free breakfast foods as Wendy's rolled out its new breakfast menu nationwide on Monday. 

McDonald’s declared Monday as National Egg McMuffin Day, saying customers can get a free Egg McMuffin sandwich between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. through its app. The free food announcement came after Wendy’s tweeted a photo of a tombstone Friday with “RIP Egg McMuffin” across it with the dates 1972–2020 and the caption “Here lies mediocrity” ahead of its breakfast launch. And Chick-fil-A said it would offer a free breakfast item every Tuesday in March, Crain’s Chicago Business reported.

WENDY'S USING DOORDASH TO BOOST BREAKFAST DELIVERY

Wendy’s is going to great length to invest in its breakfast program. The Ohio-based chain said it plans to spend between $40 million and $50 million on breakfast advertising and up to $80 million on advertising for breakfast alone. The chain also hired former McDonald’s chef Mike Haracz to promote its breakfast menu on social media and in a TV ad. And on Tuesday, customers can get a free egg-filled Breakfast Baconator delivered when they spend $5 via its partnership with DoorDash. Its main strategy is targeting its competitors with social media-heavy advertising using memes that poke fun at its culinary rivals.

Wendy's breakfast menu includes items like its honey butter chicken biscuit, potato wedges and cold brew coffee.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WEN THE WENDY'S CO. 21.32 -0.58 -2.65%
MCD MCDONALD'S CORP. 250.01 -7.10 -2.76%

Americans continue to spend more money on the morning meal category. Eaters consumed nearly 102 billion breakfasts last year and another 50 billion morning snack meals from quick-service restaurants, according to market research firm NPD Group’s “Future of Morning” study. What’s more, consumer spending at quick-service restaurants increased by 5 percent per year for the last five years and 6 percent per year for major restaurant chains, with eggs, pancakes and sausage among the top growing foods, according to NPD.

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While Wendy's continues to focus on meat-based menu items, many other fast-food chains have leaned into the plant-based meat category for breakfast. Starbucks on Wednesday announced it would add a plant-based Beyond Meat sandwich to its menu in Canada beginning March 3.

Impossible Foods, meanwhile, teamed up with Burger King for a breakfast sandwich featuring its plant-based pork last month following Dunkin’s partnership with rival Beyond Meat for its breakfast sandwich.

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