Here’s who’s winning and losing at breakfast based off a recent string of earnings:
Although it didn’t launch anything new in the morning during the third quarter, the recovery was buoyed by stronger sales across the whole day. McDonald’s added celebrity meals and new chicken nugget flavors, which helped US sales at stores open at least a year grow 4.6%.
The meal is “providing a sales and profit layer that we did not have previously,” remarked CEO Todd Penegor on a November 4 earnings call. “We are also seeing our customer satisfaction scores be our highest at the breakfast daypart, as customers are loving the offering that we have.”
Notably, critics worried that launching breakfast would cannibalize its lunch and dinner sales. That has not the case, with Penegor saying that the “messaging around the quality food we deliver at breakfast haloes back to support our rest of day business.”
Loser: Taco Bell
Breakfast sales, which historically made up 6% of sales at Taco Bell, fell to 4% for the third quarter. That’s the result of a significant chunk of its US restaurants stopped selling it during the pandemic.
Despite that, quarterly sales at stores open at least a year grew 3%.
Loser: Tim Hortons and Burger King
CEO Jose Cil said the “pandemic disruption to morning routines and mobility has contributed to our softer performance in the morning daypart,” in an earnings call. He added there “clear areas for improvement in our breakfast offering” and will be rolled out in early 2021.
Tim Hortons, which is better known for its breakfast and coffee, also had a rough quarter. Sales fell 14% in Canada, where it’s located and has about 5,000 restaurants.
“The spread of Covid-19 and resulting at stay-at-home orders have had an especially significant effect on high-frequency routine-based visits in the morning, which are a particularly important part of our business in Canada given our high rate of visitation,” Cil said.