Tuesday, December 27, 2011

For The First Time Ever, Wendy's Wollops The Whopper

In the battle of the fast-food chains, Wendy’s has surpassed rival Burger King in market share for the first time in history, becoming the No. 2 burger joint in the U.S., next to perpetual leader McDonald's.

Wendy's is expected to tally more than $8.4 billion in sales in 2011, for a 13.3% share, $50 million more than Burger King, with a 12.8% share.

This is in spite of Wendy's operation of 5,800 locations, far fewer than BK's 7,200. McD's maintains four times the sales of either of its meat-mates, with a 49.5% share and 12,804 franchises in the U.S. (Around the world, it operates 25,663 restaurants.)

According to Janney Capital Markets, Wendy's trumped Burger King with a focus on premium menu items, fresh foods and remodeled restaurants, propelling it as "a cut above rivals rather than a McDonald's clone." It also switched to Russet potatoes, leaving the skins on, sprinkled with sea salt. Being that french fries are God's perfect food, I'd say that's genius.

Based on the number of restaurants worldwide, the top 10 fast-food chains in 2011 are: Subway, McDonald's, Starbucks, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, Domino's Pizza, Wendy's and Taco Bell.

In other convenience food news, Heinz has redesigned its tiny, tough-to-tear ketchup packets, with "Dip & Squeeze" satchels shaped like mini ketchup bottles, which allow customers like me who love to add a gallon of ketchup to their fries to more easily dip into ecstasy. While perhaps not as as the iPhone 4S, that's still pretty damn keen. *