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Breakfast is back in the restaurant industry, after a nearly four-year-long lull, yet another of many Covid-related consequences. During the pandemic shutdown and the years to follow, restaurants saw considerable slow-downs on all daytime service, especially breakfast, from sit-down dining to quick-serve establishments. 

Now, according to this recent article from Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN), restaurants are getting more “bullish” about their breakfast sales. The article details new innovative concepts and aggressive sales-goals for QSR restaurants like Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell, with particular emphasis on Wendy’s $6,000 per restaurant, per week in breakfast sales. “Should this goal come to fruition, it would grow the chains breakfast sales by 50% throughout the next two years,” writes NRN. These efforts include a $55 million advertising package toward daytime offerings and guests.

Many QSR businesses feel these sorts of efforts will be fruitful. Jack in the Box CEO Darin Harris says, “I think [breakfast] is one of the more competitive areas right now that we have to make sure were competing heavily in and having the right offerings. So, I think thats one we have to lean in to and be more aggressive.” And according to NRN, “McDonalds CEO Chris Kempczinski shared this sentiment, stating that ‘breakfast continues to be a competitive area; a lot of activity going on in breakfast.’”

QSR dining is following the trends in other areas of the restaurant market. Fast-casual and sit-down dining restaurants are also leading the charge back to early daytime dining. NRN states, “look no further than the recent performance of brunch concept First Watch, which experienced a 22% jump in sales and a 9% increase in unit count from 2021 to 2022, according to Technomic Ignite data. Smaller concepts, like Biscuit Belly, Toasted Yolk, and Another Broken Egg Café, are growing sales and units at an even faster clip.”

NRN continues with further proof of this fast-moving activity: “Another sign of bullishness in this category is Dennys acquisition of Kekes Breakfast Café a year and a half ago. At the time, Dennys CEO Kelli Valade said, ‘This is an exciting opportunity to participate in the fast-growing A.M. eatery segment through a complementary brand.’ Earlier this month, Valade shared that the concept now has 14 signed development agreements for over 100 Kekes Cafés across multiple states.”

For restaurants that made adjustments to their daytime offerings in the wake of the pandemic shutdown, now might be the time to readjust menus to include breakfast or more breakfast options. Consumers are eager for normalcy and convenience, and they also are freer during daytime hours with work-from-home schedules still in place. 

Our restaurant consultants are experts in menu engineering and can use our Operations Analysis to determine the best reintroduction to breakfast in your restaurant. Richard Weil, owner and principal of National Restaurant Consultants notes, “Restaurant operations that feature breakfast should strongly consider ‘all day’ offerings of core items that work in their respective kitchens.  Lunch and dinner concepts can easily transition multiple breakfast offerings to also attract guests that enjoy breakfast menu options as well.” 

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