Wendy (wen) It made its way into the fast food hamburger battle, where it earned the right to speak about it alongside its legendary leading competitors. This is impressive because it is rare in the global market (or even in the US) where monopoly turns into a three-way fight.
Coke (Coke) It has Pepsi, but no other brand of soft drink has sniffed it being a worthy competitor to these two. The same can be said for Lowe’s and Home Depot (HD) as well as the goal (TGT) Walmart (WMT) (At least from a brick-and-mortar perspective). You may see a winner in a duet battle (Rest in Peace, Frontier Books) but rarely do you see a true third contender appear,
Wendy’s started in 1969 after McDonald’s (MCD) in 1955 and Burger King, now owned by Brands International (QSR) in 1954. That’s a pretty big advance and even during the height of “Where’s the Beef” mania, (RIP Clara Peller) Wendy’s was still at number three.
That has changed. Wendy’s Burger King in the United States has passed for second place behind McDonald’s. And while neither company is likely to catch Mickey D when it comes to US or global sales, there are always ways to bridge the gap.
Burger King and Wendy’s take different menu directions
Burger King has been a global innovator over the past few years. This involved trying some outrageous ideas around the world that might never reach the local market.
Wendy’s was most appreciated in her innovations. The chain offers small tweaks to its favorites as limited-time offers (LTOs), but it rarely does anything as shocking as some Burger King’s take on the signature Whopper sandwich.
What Wendy’s has done really well is creating new platforms that can be expanded into product lines. The most successful of these was the Baconator, a sandwich where customers can choose how many patties they have on a sandwich that, as its name suggests, comes loaded with bacon.
This has led to the production of the Breakfast Baconator, which replaces sausages in place of a hamburger and Baconator fries. This is where Burger King comes in.
Burger King borrows Wendy’s idea
The idea of putting cheese and bacon on French fries wasn’t something Wendy came up with, but it was a type of food that the chain gained popularity. Biconator Fries are a classic sports bar/pub experience and Wendy’s has made it a staple.
Now, in the UK, Burger King has added Cheesy Bacon Loaded Fries to its menu. This is not unusual behavior in the fast food business where success always leads to imitation. McDonald’s, for example, brought the idea of chicken nuggets to fast food burger chains, and this is now a menu item every gamer should have.
In this case, it’s really surprising that Baconator Fries haven’t been phased out by McDonald’s or Burger King in the US with bacon already on the menu, doing so just requires adding cheese sauce, and both chains have cheese sauces they used on them LTO burger before.
And while adding a menu item in the UK doesn’t always lead to it being introduced in the US, it does appear that it can (and should) cross the pond. McDonald’s rarely serves versions of their popular French fries, but it also makes sense that the chain would try bacon cheese fries.