Fast Food Breakfast: Commuters are at War

Egg McMuffin
Image Credit: Lucas Richarz

With a larger and larger proportion of commuters returning to the office in 2022, a battle returned for fast food breakfast. The industry was one of the hardest hit during the early waves of COVID-19 related closures but the competition has heated up again for the most important meal of the day. 

Restaurant analysts say lunch and dinner were already clearly staked by fast food chains but breakfast has been the remaining white space begging for a brand to take over. (Source). Currently, McDonald’s has the largest share making about a quarter of its profit from breakfast. Wendy’s in particular has been making efforts to capitalize on the commuter audience, turning to the trend of cold coffee beverages like Starbucks ahead of its competitors. “You can wash down your Breakfast Baconator with a Frosty-ccino, for example,” according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Chains who never considered breakfast or attempted a weak approach before, are hoping to break into the field. Taco Bell, White Castle, and Shake Shack are all testing out breakfast menu items. 

Of course, speed and expediency are extremely important in this offering, so logistics experts are hustling to identify ways to offer increasingly faster service. Software development for stronger apps for ordering ahead, rewards systems, and facilitating more orders in less time is at an all time high. Additionally, there is more interest in “grab and go” options that offer handheld or bite-sized menu items to make it even easier on the consumer–hello Wendy’s french toast sticks and Chick-fil-A’s new chorizo egg bites. 

No matter who takes the title of the King of Fast Food Breakfast, all brands are at the mercy of low unemployment and the continuation of the return to pre pandemic work habits. 

So, what are you having for breakfast? 

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