The latest food trend: Burgers for Breakfast

By now you’ve likely heard about – or maybe even tasted – the latest breakfast fast food star: the WAFFLE TACO from TACO BELL.

Why would Taco Bell try to get into the breakfast market?

Because when it comes to fast food, there is still tremendous growth opportunity there.  McDonald’s is the fast-food breakfast leader by a landslide.  In 2013, McDonald’s brought in $10 billion in breakfast alone.

That’s a lot of Egg McMuffins.  No wonder McDonald’s can afford to give our free coffee as a breakfast promotion – they can certainly afford to do it.

Breakfast for Dinner: Recipes for Frittata Florentine, Huevos Rancheros, Sunny-Side-Up Burgers, and More!
Breakfast for Dinner:
Recipes for Frittata Florentine, Huevos Rancheros, Sunny-Side-Up Burgers, and More!

So compare that $10 billion in breakfast money over to Taco Bell and their desire to enter the breakfast market.

Taco Bell – as a whole, without breakfast – made just over $7 Billion total in 2013.

In other words, Taco Bell made less in their entire daily workload than McDonald’s made just in breakfast.

So of course Taco Bell has nothing to lose to try to enter the breakfast market.  If they can make even $1 billion in breakfast by introducing the world to a Waffle Taco and maybe some awesome Austin-inspired breakfast burritos, then maybe they’ll have gotten somewhere.

But in reality, what’s the NEXT BREAKFAST TREND GOING TO BE?  It’s going to be BURGERS FOR BREAKFAST.

Burgers are more and more becoming the breakfast food of choice over more traditional eggs and toast.  And the people choosing to have burgers are parents with their children under 17-years-old.

And why not?  Burgers have protein, usually a vegetable.  Put a sunny-side up egg on it, and call it a gourmet event.

Will McDonald’s change their philosophy and start serving burgers at breakfast alongside the pancakes and sausage?

It’s unlikely, as it would require some technique and possible reconfiguration changes at the local restaurant level.  It ends up that the real reason that McDonald’s can’t server burgers and eggs at the same time is not because “breakfast ends at 10:30am”, but because cooking burgers requires the grill to be kept at a much hotter temperature than is needed for the breakfast crowd.  It’s right now really difficult to cook both eggs and burgers on the same grill top at the same temperature…. which is why McDonald’s has to put a fixed time on their breakfast offerings.

For now.

Who knows?  A few years from now, we may be seeing the Hamburglar waking up before noon to have some breakfast with you.  It does look like he’s wearing pajamas anyway, so he wouldn’t even have to change costumes for this promotion.