Miami-based Burger King may soon lose its spot as America's second-largest fast food burger chain to the red-headed stepchild, Wendy's, market analysts say.
Both burger joints have competitive dollar menus, but Wendy's went further by adding additional amenities to about 20 percent of its restaurants. Janney Capital Market analyst Mark Kalinowski says in a recent report that he expects Wendy's to soon surpass Burger King sales if it continues to overhaul its restaurants with flat-screen TVs, modern fixtures and fireplaces.
Wendy's is also testing out Panera-like restaurants that will be offering specialty coffee beverages and baked goods.
"We expect Wendy's to overtake privately-held Burger King for the number-two market share position...perhaps as soon as this year," writes Kalinowski in his report.
In 2010, Wendy's held 12.8 percent of market share in the limited-service burger segment, just behind Burger King at 13.3 percent. McDonald's, of course, dominates the market at nearly 50 percent.
The burger monarch isn't blind to its latest rival. BK early this month launched a
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new thicker, crispier
and more golden version of its old French fries. The new ones will be available to most Burger King
restaurants by December 5.
To honor the new fry, Burger King declared December 16 as "Free Fries Friday." Guests nationwide will be able to enjoy a free order of value-sized fries, no purchase necessary.