As McDonald’s launches a limited all-day breakfast menu, it remains to be seen whether other fast-food restaurants will follow suit.
“Many of McDonald’s customers and other fast food customers have been asking for the ability to get breakfast all day long, or at least beyond 10:30,” said Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst with the NPD Group.
Riggs said sales of breakfast food were strong even during the recession, and restaurants that offer it stand to see growth.
“Two things that are going to drive your business are convenience and price, and both of those are at play at breakfast,” she said.
That has compelled operators such as Burger King and Taco Bell to step up their breakfast games, according to Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy.
Hottovy said other players will probably watch McDonald’s all-day breakfast rollout with a keen eye.
“McDonald’s apparently internally thinks this could have a 2.5 percent lift with their same-store sales,” he said. “If they do hit those kinds of numbers, I think it’s going to be hard for the rest of the industry to ignore.”
White Castle, a small regional burger chain, has already rolled out its own all-day breakfast offerings.
But Bob Goldin, with the food industry research firm Technomic, doubted wider ripple effects. He said apart from Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, other fast food chains can barely compete with McDonald’s at breakfast. So he said few would extend those offerings to other parts of the day.
“It’s really been hard for competitors to find much of a crease,” he said.
But Goldin said even McDonald’s, the king of fast food breakfast, could have trouble serving it all day. He says any time a quick service restaurant makes its menu more complex, workflows change and the fast food might turn out to be less than fast.
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