Hospitality

Earnings Call: Gen Z Has No Beef With Wendy’s

Image Credit: Benzinga

Wendy’s will be announcing its earnings this week, and the company will be looking to once again beat the street like it did in Q1. The burger chain which has the sixth-most sales in the fast-food space, according to QSR magazine is looking to continue to climb the ladder in its never-ending battle with McDonald’s and Burger King.

So how are things looking for the company? Not too shabby, according to a recent CivicScience study, and that’s despite a recent slight downtick in favorability. Despite a year-over-year boost across nearly all categories more on that in a moment Wendy’s favorability among American consumers has dipped to 55% as of Q2 2019, the lowest it’s been since the third quarter of 2017. But all is not bad news on this front: Its unfavorable score 11% is almost at its all-time low. So while the chain has lost a bit of favor, it ended up gaining a bunch of people who are neutral on the brand. There’s room for growth there.

And growth may be coming to Wendy’s quicker than the recent downturn in favorability would make it appear. Consider: Generation Z has a 5% higher favorability of Wendy’s year-over-year, and Millennials have a 7% bump. In fact, the only segment that has a dimmer view of Wendy’s year-over-year are those aged 55 and over, and that’s just a 2% dip.

Additionally, Wendy’s has ticked up in favorability across the board with people who eat fast food regularly or semi-regularly. And they even ticked up – by 8% – among people who eat fast food less than once a month. 

Wendy’s is also continuously adding new items to its menu; the most recent additions are the bacon jalapeno burger and fries. Overall, it appears most Wendy’s fans prefer its standard menu items. However, interest in new menu items has inched up from people who don’t usually frequent the chain.

The meatless trend may be something Wendy’s fans might want to dabble in. About 11% of those who are favorable to Wendy’s have an interest in trying the Beyond Meat Burger, as well as the Impossible Burger. For the record, the numbers look very comparable when we looked at this compared to McDonald’s favorability.

But note that those unfavorable to Wendy’s are more likely to have already adopted it. That doesn’t mean they couldn’t get in the game, maybe similar to Dunkin’s recent plans to launch plant-based sausages to its menu. 

Wendy’s has a strong foothold in the fast-food space, and while growth won’t come in spurts, the company seems well-situated among both Generation Z and anyone willing to give the new menu items at Wendy’s a whirl. 

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