- Wendy’s observed National Frozen Food Day on March 6 by trolling rival burger chain McDonald’s on Twitter. As part of the campaign, Wendy’s offered customers a free Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with any purchase through its mobile app, according to materials shared with Mobile Marketer.
- In a series of tweets, Wendy’s prepared a frozen cake for “you know who” to remind its followers that McDonald’s still uses frozen beef in many restaurants. The day before, McDonald’s announced that it would serve fresh beef on all Quarter Pounders by May.
- Wendy’s Twitter account posted several tweets that resembled popular cooking videos seen on social media. The final video shows a frozen cake in the shape of a hamburger along with the caption, “Seems weird to freeze a perfectly good cake. But this is YOUR day! Enjoy it :)”
Trolling competitors on social media has become a popular tactic among fast-food restaurants over the past few years, and Wendy’s is one of the biggest perpetrators of lighthearted efforts that poke fun at the flaws of competitors. McDonald’s two years ago pledged to roll out fresh beef in most of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants by the middle of last year, a promise that culminated in its announcement this week about made-to-order Quarter Pounders. The switch to fresh beef was part of a broader effort to improve the quality of its menu as health-conscious millennials began to avoid its restaurants. Now through social media, Wendy’s is using this opportunity to remind consumers that its chains use fresh beef while McDonald’s is still somewhat dependent on frozen food.
Wendy’s isn’t alone in trolling competitors, particularly McDonald’s. Dunkin’ this week fired back at McDonald’s recent limited-time offer of donut sticks and posted a glimpse at its new packaging, which bares a strong resemblance to the Golden Arches’ classic boxing. Previously, Burger King trolled McDonald’s with its Whopper Detour that offered customers one-cent Whoppers for ordering online if they were close to a McDonald’s. Burger King’s efforts against McDonald’s led to 1.5 million downloads of the updated BK App.
Meanwhile, Wendy’s is aiming to compete with McDonald’s in ways beyond food, such as its mobile app and home delivery offerings. Wendy’s plans to expand delivery coverage from its restaurants to about 80% of locations this year from 60% at the end of 2018. The burger chain partnered with food-delivery services DoorDash and SkipTheDishes to expand its delivery footprint, Todd Penegor, president and CEO of Wendy’s, said last month in a quarterly earnings call. The company highlighted the importance of expanding its delivery footprint to drive sales to higher-value customers.