On the Call: Wendy's/Arbys CEO Roland Smith

Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc. is preparing to introduce breakfast at Wendy's later next year. The company announced Friday it lost money in its third quarter on high commodity costs and weak performance.

Adding breakfast at Wendy's is one way to boost performance. People are eating out less since the recession began, but breakfast is a cheap meal, so business can be strong.

CEO Roland Smith talked about the company's breakfast rollout at Wendy's during a conference call with investors Friday. More will be known after the company's investor meeting in January.

QUESTION: What's the company's plans for advertising next year as the company grows its breakfast business?

RESPONSE: We are going to talk in great detail in January about our breakfast test results and also, as I mentioned, our advertising strategy and operational consideration.

As I mentioned, our current plan is to begin a national rollout in the later part of 2011. And we are looking very carefully at our test results and incremental advertising that we have spent to date.

We know that the lunch and dinner dayparts are incredibly competitive, and we do not want to subtract from our advertising impact during our dayparts to launch breakfast.

We believe that long-term, breakfast will be a self-supporting daypart, but we are going to have to spend some incremental advertising as we begin to launch advertising so that we can build up that awareness.