Fast-food chains take popular menu items away so they can bring them back. Sometimes it's seasonal and planned like McDonald's (MCD) Shamrock Shake or Starbucks (SBUX) Pumpkin Spice Latte, which are tied to St. Patrick's Day and fall respectively. In other cases, the chains keep fans guessing.
McDonald's, for example, brings the McRib back in seemingly random locations on no particular schedule. Yum! Brands' (YUM) Taco Bell does the same thing with a variety of fan favorites, but usually on a national level.
Sometimes limited-time offers (LTOs) are based on supply and logistics. McRib becomes available whenever the pork scraps that go into the product fall to a price that makes sense for McDonald's while the chain's famed lobster sandwich tends to be offered in the northeast, near where lobsters are caught.
In other cases, chains bring out an LTO to try something that has worked well for one of its rivals. That's probably why Wendy's (WEN) has added French Toast Sticks -- a Burger King menu favorite for 37 years -- to its menu.
That's a challenge Restaurant Brands International's (QSR) Burger King won't let go unanswered.
Burger King Wants You on its App
Fast-food chains want customers to use their app because it allows them free access to market to anyone on their platform. That has been incredibly successful for Starbucks and McDonald's but has been more of a challenge for pretty much every other restaurant chain.
That could simply be app fatigue as consumers grow tired of having to access a dedicated app for every business they visit. It could also be because consumers simply don't see the value of signing up for yet another platform.
Burger King (and pretty much every fast-food chain) offers free food in exchange for signing up for its app. Some of the deals are pretty good including one of Burger King's current offers that involves it taking a not-so-subtle shot at Wendy's latest menu addition.
Burger King Offers a Free Breakfast Treat
Burger King pioneered French Toast Sticks in the fast-food space (sometimes, although not currently) using them as a base for breakfast sandwiches. These fan favorites date back to 1985 and have been a perennial fan favorite.
Now, with Wendy's offering its own take on the classic menu item, Burger King has answered its rival.
Burger King is offering a free order of French Toast Sticks through its app for anyone who makes at least a $1 purchase through the end of August.
"In order to take advantage of the deal, Royal Perks members can simply redeem the offer in the app or online at BK.com during the promotion period with any qualifying purchase of $1 or more, " Fast Food Post reported.
The chain has been making steady progress with its app, according to RBI CEO Jose Cil's comments during the chain's second-quarter earnings call.
"Burger King's digital progress is steadily advancing. Our mobile app with white label delivery capabilities and loyalty through Royal Perks is getting faster through improvements our engineers have made. We're learning more from digital guest interactions and we're finding new ways to drive engagement and platform adoption through integrated marketing campaigns," he said.
The CEO also reiterated his company's commitment to its digital platform.
"Restaurant technology is increasingly important as restaurants have evolved from essentially only having point-of-sales hardware to working with multiple delivery aggregators having indoor and outdoor digital menu boards, mobile app integration and likely more technology touch points in the future," he said. "We want all of this to work seamlessly for our guests and for team members in the restaurant so they can focus on excellent service."