For those frustrated souls who have long wanted to start their day with a Whopper and fries for breakfast, Burger King announces that it will begin serving parts of its lunch and dinner menus in the morning. A move to improve their breakfast line makes sense as fast food restaurants have lately amped up their breakfast offerings to catch a piece of the rising fast food restaurant breakfast market, including Taco Bell’s new Waffle Taco and White Castle’s Belgian Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches. Even Dunkin’ Donuts has stepped into the fray by offering an Eggs Benedict Breakfast Sandwich.
The recent focus on breakfast customers results from NPD studies conducted earlier in the year which showed that even though people cut back on eating out for lunch and dinner last year, the breakfast business showed an increase each year for the last four years. With dwindling daytime and evening business, every franchise with a dog in the fight is looking to grab a part of the increasing morning business.
What makes Burger King’s new campaign in the war of the fast food breakfast establishments different than others who have introduced new items based on what has traditionally been breakfast fare, is that BK is not tweaking their current breakfast menu or introducing new breakfast food items, but rather it is offering an entirely new type of breakfast food to commuters and students who start their days on the run.
The new move by Burger King in the war of the breakfasts is the exact opposite of what McDonald’s has been doing to stake their claim. McDonald’s remains at the top of the heap as far as breakfast business is concerned, and the main complaint has been that they do not offer breakfast for its patrons all day long. Mickey D’s has been offering some of its breakfast items for lunch and dinner between midnight and 4 a.m. under the “McDonald’s After Midnight” program, but it does not address those who want to eat Sausage McMuffins for lunch or dinner. Fast food competitor Wendy’s has responded to the breakfast wars by stepping out of the ring after testing breakfast offerings in their franchises.
The planned menu is set to launch as the new Burgers at Breakfast menu and will make current Burger King fare such as the Double Whopper, the bacon double cheeseburger and the Big King available before the previous time of 10:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. depending upon the day and location. Also available on the Burgers at Breakfast menu will be the Whopper and the Whopper Jr. as well as BK’s selection of cheeseburgers and hamburgers. Patrons can truly make their breakfast a dinner with the addition of French fries and an apple pie.
The new menu will be launched as early as the end of May in some locations. A total of 5,000 Burger Kings will offer the Burgers at Breakfast to start, with radio marketing campaigns to spread the word. At this time, there has been no word on whether BK is planning to feature the new menu temporarily or if they are seeking to permanently offer their burgers for breakfast.
By Jennifer Pfalz