America loves bacon and McDonald’s and Wendy’s are engaged in a full-on bacon war this week.
First, McDonald’s announced a first-of-its-kind “bacon bash” – one hour of free bacon with anything on the menu on Jan. 29 between 4 pm and 5 pm local time.
“When we said there’s no such thing as too much bacon, we weren’t kidding. January 29, we’ll be upping the bacon ante – the bac-ante, if you will – and celebrating this glorious food favorite like never before,” Chef Michael Haracz, McDonald’s Manager of Culinary Innovation, said in a statement.
As part of the offer, consumers can get two half pieces of bacon on the side with a Filet-O-Fish sandwich, burger, or even hot fudge sundae.
The burger at Tyler Florence 's Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco is called Le Grand with good reason: It's a custom blend of ground prime rib, brisket, skirt steak and tenderloin, topped with Nueske's bacon and Cowgirl Creamery's triple-cream Mt. Tam cheese. The recipe is also delicious with a mix of chuck and sirloin.
Chutney is a favorite British condiment for everything from cheese to roasts. This sweet-and-smoky version is perfect with crackers as a starter, spread on a grilled cheddar sandwich or served with roasted pork.
Native to the Andes Mountains, the nutty, protein-rich grain is now also grown in the U.S. Toss it with smoky bacon and toasted almonds to make a substantial side dish that's delicious with poached eggs or roasted chicken.
Cobb salad is a delicious and efficient way to bring together ingredients you probably already have in your fridge. The flavors work flawlessly: the mild chicken and creamy avocado offer a welcome counterpoint to the sharp cheese and salty bacon.
In this version, the eggs are cooked into a custardlike sauce. An extra step, yes, but the technique ensures food safety. To vary the vegetables, try green beans, asparagus or frozen peas (cook peas separately from pasta).
There is nothing more festive than serving oysters on the half shell for a party, but shucking them can be difficult. When they’re roasted in the oven on a bed of rock salt, their shells open on their own and you can then add an herbed cream sauce and finish baking them.
With the promotion, McDonald’s is trying to draw attention another big promotion: on Jan. 30 the food chain is adding three new bacon items to its menu – the Big Mac Bacon, Quarter Pounder Bacon, and Cheesy Bacon Fries.
“There’s no such thing as too much bacon,” McDonald’s says.
Wendy’s took the bacon wars one step further by offering a free Baconator sandwich (half-pound burger, cheese, and six pieces of bacon) with a $10 purchase on DoorDash, the on-demand delivery service. And the restaurant chain is offering its bacon special is not for an hour, but for the whole week.
"We've always owned bacon and that's not changing because our competitors are throwing a happy hour to celebrate its importance," Wendy’s said in its release.
In such a competitive field, quick-service restaurants often try to outdo and out-promote each other to lure customers.
“The industry is so competitive, that they are trying to steal each other’s thunder as much as possible and not let you know any one promotion go without being matched at another competitor,” says BTIG analyst Peter Saleh.
Robert Derrington, research analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, says that the competition to offer menu items for free does hurt franchisees’ bottom line.
“Free gets the attention of consumers,” he says. However, “in the big scheme of things, free isn’t as helpful to the franchise bottom line as selling for a price, so in that regard, it’ll get some attention, it’ll get some customer traffic, it very well could potentially could blunt some of the big news of McDonald’s adding bacon,” he says.