Wendy's Goes on Sale โ€“ Looking at Downloads, It's Obvious Why...

Ariel Ariel
5/27/22

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #115 - Not More of the Same. Check out the full article for more insights.


This week, my favorite fast-food chain hung a big "for sale" sign on its door. Wendy's announced it's ready to be acquired, citing rising costs and inflation. But if you ask me, there's more to this story.

A few weeks ago I looked at the growth of downloads of fast-food restaurants during the pandemic, including Wendy's. And although it was in the green in that comparison, a longer view shows growth has been pretty stale overall.

A tough market, you might say. Unless you're McDonald's...

To see how Wendy's compared to its most obvious rivals, McDonald's and Burger King, I looked at quarterly downloads for the trio in the US.

The good news is that Wendy's grew its downloads fairly steadily since 2019, and when comparing Q1 of 2019 to Q1 of 2022, downloads are up 50%. That's not a small number. But... McDonald's doubled in the same period.

And that's only half of the story. McDonald's ended Q1 of 2022 with around 5 million downloads, according to our estimates. Wendy's, after its 50% growth, ended Q1 of 2022 with a little over a million downloads. Just a fifth.

That means there's much more room for growth, but at the pace of the last few years, getting close will take what seems like a lifetime.

Restaurants that aren't focused on mobile growth are already a thousand steps behind in this race. Those who focus on usage are a little closer, but considering the last few years have taught most to order ahead via app, book a reservation via app, or order for delivery also via app, are still behind.

The game is growth, and the currency is downloads.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #food

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