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How QSR Can Survive the Competitive Breakfast Market

Posted by Jim Coughlin

Jul 18, 2016 11:00:00 AM

QSR can win in the competitive breakfast market

Long heralded as the most important meal of the day for individuals, breakfast plays an increasingly important role for the QSR industry, too. Daily breakfast is the only area where most QSRs have seen growth, and increased consumer demand equals great opportunities. Those opportunities come with an added dose of competition, as QSRs and chains compete to grab a share of this coveted market. How can a QSR survive the breakfast wars — or better yet, thrive in the AM? These tips will help you make the most of the growing consumer need for a quick, nutritious breakfast on the go.

Understand the Needs of the Commuter

The mom (or dad) driving the kids to school, hoping to get them a nutritious breakfast, but still make it to the carpool line on time. The busy executive who needs a protein boost before an early meeting. The folks who need to fuel up to perform hands-on tasks all morning long. These typical morning customers need quality food, delivered quickly. Before you do anything else, ensure that the customer can be served efficiently and quickly so that you can help them meet their morning goals. Your menu, branding and signage may tempt a customer once, but make them wait or fail to deliver a good meal, and you’ll never see them again — at least not for breakfast.

Good Quality, Nutritious Offerings

Those customers who identify breakfast as important enough to warrant a stop on the way to work or school are also heavily invested in acquiring a healthy meal. According to Food Business News, 67% of consumers who opt for a fast food breakfast feel that nutrition is important and will make selections that are packed with protein and perceived as healthy. Of course, longtime favorites like doughnuts, pastries and muffins will still tempt some customers, but having some heavy hitting handhelds that feature eggs and meats allows you to cater to the consumer looking for a high quality, filling meal.

Boost Awareness

McDonald’s saw rapid success when it rolled out full day fast food breakfast, in part because it simply made popular, known items available throughout the day. Taco Bell also instituted a successful breakfast menu, but the chain had to make a significant investment in advertising and marketing to succeed in entering an entirely new market area with new, untried products.

If you want to join the breakfast revolution, or just need to jumpstart your efforts, you need to make customers aware of what you have to offer. Advertising, marketing, social media announcements and other campaigns can help you build awareness of your offerings, particularly if you are not known for breakfast. According to Adweek, Taco Bell spent $73 million on breakfast advertising in 2015, compared to McDonald’s $53 million, targeting all day breakfast buyers in the same period. These two giants are leading the breakfast wars – and ad buys.

Break Out an All Day Breakfast

If you already have some items that perform well in the morning, consider following in McDonald’s footsteps and offering those items throughout the day. Consumers are breaking away from traditional mealtimes, and if your top sellers are easily made on demand, you can increase your sales on those pieces simply by offering them to consumers past 10:30 in the morning. And offering customers more opportunities to buy something they already like is a low pain way to test the market and increase sales. Consumers already have a desire for your offerings, and you don’t have to invest extra money into development.

Developing an appealing menu, serving it up in a hurry and making customers aware of your latest offerings can help you take advantage of the booming QSR breakfast market. By providing healthy, quality options in a convenient manner, you can fulfill the needs of the morning commuter and survive an increasingly competitive breakfast marketplace.


Win Breakfast Market Share

Written by: Jim Coughlin

Topics: QSR, Breakfast, Food Service