Wendy’s latest limited-time offer, the Pretzel Pub Chicken sandwich, has extended the quick-service chain’s recent strategy to differentiate its sandwich offerings with upscale bread.

The sandwich uses the same pretzel roll as Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger and is available with either breaded homestyle, grilled or spicy chicken fillets. The menu item also includes tomato, spring mix, a slice of Muenster cheese, Cheddar cheese sauce and honey mustard. Wendy’s will offer the sandwich through October.

“Chicken sandwich lovers told us at the front counter, the drive-thru and especially in 140-character tweets why they deserved the pretzel treatment, and we’re responding in a big way,” Liz Geraghty, Wendy’s vice president of brand marketing, said in a statement. “If your neighborhood upscale pub teamed up with Wendy’s to create a chicken sandwich, the Pretzel Pub Chicken would be it.”

The new sandwich also pairs elements of its last two premium-sandwich limited-time offers, the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger and the Flatbread Grilled Chicken sandwich. Wendy’s reintroduced the chicken sandwich that used an artisan-style multigrain flatbread in late August.

The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger — at the forefront of a growing pretzel bread trend at restaurant chains including Sonic Drive-In, T.G.I. Friday’s and Cousins Subs — has many of the same ingredients as the new chicken sandwich. The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger launched in late June and will remain on Wendy’s menu longer than most limited-time offers, the company previously indicated.

The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger performed so well in test marketing that research analyst Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets projected the sandwich to lift Wendy’s third-quarter same-store sales between 3 percent and 5 percent.

Wendy’s said the Pretzel Pub Chicken sandwich would carry a suggested retail price of $4.79, which is 10 cents higher than the $4.69 suggested retail price for its cheeseburger counterpart. Though the brand put a large digital, social and multicultural marketing push behind the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger this summer, Wendy’s did not launch a special campaign for the Pretzel Pub Chicken sandwich.

Dublin, Ohio-based The Wendy’s Co. operates or franchises more than 6,500 restaurants in the United States and 27 foreign markets.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN