At Breakfast, Convenience is King

Ketchup with the latest condiment trends
March 14, 2019
March 19, 2019

Ummm. Waffles.

Breakfast has long been considered the most important meal of the day by consumers, but now a growing number of restaurant operators are waking up to the early daypart’s huge potential.

The “morning meal,” a category that includes both breakfast and morning snacks, has shown consistent traffic growth over the last several years, and is the only foodservice daypart with year-over-year growth, according to the latest research from global market research firm The NPD Group.

Restaurants are benefiting from on-the-go breakfasts. It’s not more people eating breakfast, it’s more restaurants making breakfast easier.

Operators that serve breakfast are meeting multiple consumer needs, NPD found. Restaurant breakfasts satisfy busy consumers’ need for convenience and affordability, as breakfast tends to be less expensive then eating out at other meal occasions.

The breakfast sandwich — the most popular breakfast item — checks multiple boxes, NPD said: It’s convenient, inexpensive, portable and simple yet somewhat balanced morning meal.

“The breakfast sandwich is the most popular eating behavior in more than a decade. It’s something people increasingly consuming.

Innovative operators — mostly those in the quick-service segment — have helped to diversify the definition of a breakfast sandwich. Today, a breakfast sandwich could just as easily be egg, ham and cheese on and English muffin, as it could be chicken on a buttermilk biscuit, a burger patty between two pancakes or scrambled eggs and bacon in a taco shell.

With only 13 percent of breakfast opportunities being satisfied by foodservice, and 9 percent of breakfasts missed or skipped, breakfast is a significant growth opportunity for the foodservice industry.

Millennials — now in their 20s and 30s and at peak career and family building phase of life — place a particularly high value on convenience and are a prime target for restaurants looking to promote easy breakfasts.

Millenials are outsourcing. It ultimately comes down to convenience.Courtesy od’s

While major restaurant chains continue to innovate at the morning meal — such as McDonald’s recent launch of Donut Sticks and its Triple Breakfast Stacks, an indulgent spin on of its popular Egg McMuffin — smaller chains are finding new ways to push convenience, affordability while staying true to their brands.

Condado Tacos had a successful weekend brunch with three to four breakfast tacos on the menu, they always wanted to do egg tacos all day long. As a first step, about six months ago they added scrambled eggs and bacon as an all-day option at all 10 locations. Eggs now account for 10 percent of proteins sold and are growing.

Source:, 2-27-19

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