Trends & Insights

Rise and Shine: How QSRs Can Tackle the Breakfast Boom

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Did you know 7 out of 10 consumers say they wish their favorite restaurant served breakfast all day? In recent months, breakfast options have been trending, moving beyond industry publications into consumer-facing news. With major outlets like Buzzfeed and Mashable covering QSRs moves into breakfast options – like McDonald’s expanding into all-day breakfast – and TIME Magazine’s new online publication, Extra Crispy, dedicated to all things breakfast, the timing is right to consider an expansion into this category for any QSR. In fact, consumption of breakfast at restaurants has increased between 3% and 5% in the States and 6.3% in Canada with breakfast being the only mealtime where restaurants are seeing growth in foot traffic. There’s never been a better time to cater to this need, especially with the quick prep and high margins breakfast dishes offer to QSRs.

Breakfast is becoming the most experimental of any meal occasion, making it the perfect time to try something new and inventive with your morning crowd. Bold flavors like chimichurri, romesco, and umami bombs are becoming more prevalent during early hours. So, too are alternative greens – kale’s now being overlooked for beet greens, mustard greens or chard. Texture’s on deck as well, with crunchy chicken-fried everything, flattop-fried crispy chorizo and panko-breaded items emerging on new menus more frequently as well. Even dessert flavors are getting a morning makeover, with dark chocolate moving past breakfast pastries and into smoothies, smoothie bowls and on toast.

Breakfast, especially on weekdays, is a habit-based meal more than any other – this means, if you’re capturing your target with consistent quality and inventive meal ideas, you’re likely to see them come back week after week. This trend looks even sunnier when QSRs consider that many ingredients in breakfast dishes are applicable for lunch and dinner, too. Bread, bacon, avocados, potatoes and burgers all work 24 hours a day, which makes bulk planning and ordering easy.

Burgers may not seem like a natural fit for morning meals, but with inventive options and portable meals both trending, we know there’s a huge opportunity to put a breakfast spin on this dinner staple. Burgers are endlessly customizable, and with much-sought Millennial and Gen Z targets seeking adventurous flavors, this presents a perfect opportunity to shake things up with ingredients most QSRs already have in their pantries. Try one of these toppings to jump on trending ingredients:

Classic Breakfast Burger

Top an AdvancePierre burger with crispy bacon and a sunny-side up egg between a brioche bun, for a portable twist on a diner classic.

Huevos Rancheros Reimagined

Take your breakfast south of the border with eggs, avocado, hot sauce, fresh tomato, romaine lettuce, and salsa. Wrap with a tortilla or top with a thinner bun.

Low-Carb Burger

Low-carb diets have been around for a while, and often those consumers are underserved in typical QSR restaurants. Wrap a burger in lettuce and cut the carbs.

Eggs Florentine Burger

Help your customers get a serving of veggies in before their day gets underway.

Maple Pancake Bacon Cheeseburger

Because really, who can choose just one?