Waking up breakfast sales

The morning meal is booming, especially in the quick-service restaurant segment.

Published in FSD Update

The industry’s giants are in full battle mode, with McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King and other QSRs publicly duking it out for a bigger piece of the $30 billion breakfast pie. According to the Breakfast Insights for Champions report released last month by Chicago-based Food Genius, a data-research company for the food industry, availability of breakfast away from home has been steadily increasing during the past year. In fact, growth increased 13% in just the last nine months. The quick-service segment is the most active, confirms the report; casual and fine dining are significantly underrepresented.

So what exactly are consumers looking for when they stop by a QSR or fast-casual restaurant for breakfast in the morning? During the week, speed and portability rule, finds the 2013 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report published by Chicago research firm Technomic. Customers grabbing breakfast to go want a handheld option that they can eat in the car or at their desk. Breakfast sandwiches still are the most popular, appearing on 42% of menus, says Food Genius, but inventive restaurant operators are taking the a.m. sandwich in new directions—or abandoning the bread altogether.

Pizza for breakfast

Though atypical for a pizza concept, 19-unit fast casual Uncle Maddio’s is testing a breakfast program in its Charlotte, N.C., location. “A large number of people pass through the Bank of America building where we’re located, and the Chick-fil-A next door does a lot of breakfast, so we wanted to try it,” says Alex Cook, vice president of operations, research and development and corporate training.

Pizza is not a usual breakfast choice, so Cook developed a commuter-friendly alternative called the Break-Zone ($3.99). Like a calzone, fresh pizza dough is folded to enclose a filling that includes scrambled eggs, cheese and ingredients such as bacon, sausage, onions and peppers. All the products except the eggs already existed in Uncle Maddio’s inventory.

“The Break-Zones are all prepared and baked to order and ready in 4 to 5 minutes,” Cook says. The new breakfast menu—which 85% of customers order to go—also includes breakfast pizzas and paninis, Cook says. In four months, breakfast business in Charlotte is trending positively and consistently every week, Cook adds, and Uncle Maddio’s plans to expand the menu to airport locations. “The biggest challenge is getting people to realize that a pizza concept can align with breakfast,” he says, adding that the Charlotte crew is doing a good job of promoting it through coupons and POS materials.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has appointed Cathy Desquesses as its chief people officer, the company announced on Friday.

Before joining Sodexo, Desquesses held multiple leadership roles in the human resources department at General Electric, where she worked for 20 years. Most recently, she was the global HR leader for GE Power Gas.

Desquesses will begin her new role on July 1 and will report to Sodexo CEO Denis Machuel. She will replace Juan Pablo Urruticoechea, who is moving into a new position at Sodexo.

Photo courtesy of Sodexo

Managing Your Business
woman in the kitchen alone

The #MeToo movement has turned sexual harassment into the top labor-related regulatory issue for all employers, triggering action from three out of four companies, according to a new survey on workforce concerns.

About two-thirds (66%) of employers rank the issue among their top two employment-related legal worries, even without a change in the pertinent laws and regulations, the canvass found.

What has changed, concluded surveyor Littler Mendelson, one of the nation’s largest labor-focused legal firms, are employee expectations and the social climate.

“No company...

Managing Your Business
Starbucks college campus

Noncommercial dining centers are often filled with their own Starbucks, Burger Kings, Panera Breads and dozens of other nationally recognized brands. Branded concepts, whether corporate brands or self-operated, offer diners familiar names, menu items, and a sense of place. This translates into more money spent and more diner loyalty for foodservice operators.

However, the success of branded concepts vary greatly. There can be significantly different results depending on whether noncommercial operators decide to franchise, lease or develop their own branded concepts. There’s no one-...

Menu Development
pizza oven

Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code