Customers pass the service counter inside a Wendy’s Co.’s hamburger restaurant.

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Wendy’s on Monday cut its 2019 outlook as it plans to ramp up spending for a nationwide launch of breakfast next year.

As a result of its entrance into the breakfast wars, Wendy’s plans to invest about $20 million to support its U.S. stores in preparation for the launch.

In August, the company said it expected adjusted earnings per share growth of 3.5% to 7%, but it now expects adjusted earnings per share to decline by 3.5% to 6.5% in 2019. Wendy’s will provide an update to its 2020 goals at its investor day Oct. 11.

The restaurant chain’s stock, which has a market value of $5.1 billion, is up 40% this year.

The Dublin, Ohio-based company currently offers breakfast in more than 300 of its restaurants. To support its breakfast expansion, Wendy’s and its franchisees plan to hire an additional 20,000 employees.

In August, the burger chain reported second quarter net income of $32.4 million, or 14 cents per share, up from $29.9 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier. In North America, restaurants open at least 15 months saw sales grow by 1.4% during the quarter.

Fast-food burger chains as a whole have seen business slow down. Even McDonald’s, which reported U.S. same-store sales growth of 5.7% during its second quarter, continues to experience negative U.S. traffic.

Breakfast is one way to help. The NPD Group found that the early meal is the only restaurant daypart with year-over-year growth.

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