Wendy's bets on its Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger
One analyst says the new sandwich was one of the chain's top-selling test items in decades. The company sure is hungry for a hit.
In tests earlier this year, the sandwich was one of the company's best-selling limited-time offerings in 20 years, according to a note that NRN quotes from Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski. He raised his rating on Wendy's stock to "buy" from "neutral" as a result, arguing that the product could provide "meaningful acceleration" in same-store sales. That's a key retail and restaurant metric that tracks sales in locations open a year or more.
The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger may be launched nationally sometime this year, NRN quotes Kalinowski as saying. Officials from Wendy's declined to comment to MSN Money, saying only that the company doesn't discuss test products.
Wendy's has been trying to market itself as a higher-quality alternative to its fast-food rivals and has invested heavily in remodeling its restaurants. The results have been mixed so far.
Earlier this month, Wendy's reported first-quarter profits that met Wall Street's low expectations. Same-store sales rose 1% at company-owned stores and gained 0.6% at franchised locations.
Technomic executive vice president Darren Tristano is skeptical that one sandwich can make such a big difference to Wendy's bottom line. He told NRN, "My immediate reaction would be don't bet on the bun."
Jonathan Berr owns a small position in McDonald's. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
I tried it here in N.E. Ohio twice about 2 months ago. I'll be honest and admit I don't like fast food burgers as a rule (though Wendy's are pretty good). THIS on the other hand changed everything. That Pretzel Roll to me was Fantastic and the other day I was just wishing that they still had it. First time was a Bacon Double and the second was a Baconator. Now they taste more like a great tavern burger (to me anyway) than fast food and I won't hesitate to buy one......or 5 :) I still prefer mine at home cooked over Hickory Charcoal but Wendy's Pretzel Burger is nothing to cry about and it is good with their homestyle fries in sea salt or a bowl of chili and side salad
For a slightly higher-end version, Red Robin had a pretzel burger for Octoberfest... and RR's topped their burger with black forest ham, swiss cheese, bacon, and beer mustard onions.
I don't like onions or mustard so I can't say if that part was any good, but the rest was a yummy try-it-once, or even once-a-year (during Octoberfest), treat.
i've had this burger a few times. it really depends on which store and who was making it if its going to be a thumbs up or not. out of all the ones i had, probably 5-6, only one was fantastic, all the others were only average.
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