Wendy's offers a $3 breakfast meal after McDonald's cheap meal

An exterior view of a Wendy's fast food restaurant in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, on May 19, 2024.

Paul Wever | SOPA images | Getty Images

Wendy's will offer a $3 breakfast combo meal starting Monday as restaurant chains look for new ways to boost sales while consumers retreat from dining out.

The deal includes a small portion of seasoned potatoes and a choice of an English muffin with bacon, egg and cheese or an English muffin with sausage, egg and cheese, the fast-food chain said.

The promotion comes as Wendy's rival McDonald's is planning a similar meal option with limited value as it tries to boost traffic. Last week, CNBC reported that the fast food giant's $5 meal deal would only be available in stores for a month, starting June 25.

Consumers have become more selective about what they spend their dollars on, and some restaurants are starting to see a long-awaited consumer pullback. Other fast-casual chains have seen strong sales despite higher prices.

As inflation continues, companies targeting lower-income consumers face a particular challenge in acquiring customers.

Wendy's reported earlier this month that first-quarter sales grew a modest 1.1% to $534.8 million. Global same-restaurant sales grew just 0.9% in the quarter.

McDonald's missed first-quarter profit expectations last month. While higher prices have boosted the chain's sales, they have turned off some low-income customers. Chief Financial Officer Ian Borden said the company has adopted a “street fighting mentality” to compete for value-conscious diners.

Owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell Yum brands also published a disappointing earnings report earlier this month, as revenue exceeded Wall Street estimates. The company cited declines in same-store sales for KFC and Pizza Hut.

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