Fast Food Chains’ Investment in Breakfast Backfires

November 5, 2020

Over the last few years, fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell have invested heavily in breakfast menu items in order to drive up morning sales. This strategy worked for a while as breakfast sales continually increased from previous years and chains poured millions of dollars into marketing the so-called “most important meal of the day.” But like so many other previously successful ventures, the coronavirus pandemic has taken a major toll on the breakfast business.

Morning drive-thru traffic has dropped dramatically as many Americans continue to work and attend school from home. In April, breakfast transactions at fast food restaurants dropped by a whopping 54 percent. While sales have recovered since then, they remain far below last year’s levels. McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said that breakfast has significantly dragged down sales during the pandemic as commuters largely remain absent from roads and drive-thru lines. Matters are even worse for breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP, which have both recently announced that they will close hundreds of locations due to falling sales. 

IHOP had even been planning to launch a new fast-casual brand called Flip’d that would focus on serving pancakes to busy customers on the go. With that concept on hold, though, the chain is now using discounts to entice eaters for the first time in its history. As restaurants like IHOP struggle, sales for cereal and ground coffee brands have skyrocketed after millions of Americans changed their eating habits during the pandemic. “We are in a position to own breakfast,” said U.S. president of Kraft-Heinz Carlos Abrams-Rivera, makers of products like Oscar Meyer bacon and Maxwell House coffee. 

Questions:

  1. How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
  2. Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?

Source: Julie Wernau, “Fast Food’s Bet on Breakfast Goes Bust During Covid-19 Pandemic,” The Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2020.

84 Responses to Fast Food Chains’ Investment in Breakfast Backfires

  • 1.Since the pandemic has affected everyone mostly people work and go to school at home so the percentage of people buying breakfast has decreased heavily with a whopping 54%
    2.They might survive, but it doesn’t change the fact that people have to wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet apart meaning people will not take that risk.

    • 1. The pandemic has affected many lives, people became unemployed and are now receiving money fro the government, because of this people going out to eat breakfast has decreased by 54%.
      2. I believe they can still survive the pandemic by being very careful, sanitizing very often, wearing masks and gloves.

    • 1.) Breakfast sales went down because less people were going out in the morning so they also didn’t need to go out and eat.
      2.) Yes because they are changes and people get coffee different times of the day. They have enough money and they can afford to lose some.

  • 1) The pandemic has dramatically decreased profit for fast food sales, since morning drive-thru traffic has fallen significantly as many Americans continue to work and attend school from home and don’t leave home, breakfast sales have decreased by 54 percent.

    2)I believe that with special offers and more innovative marketing it will make it possible for the fast-food chains to survive, and since we’re already going back to normal people are beginning to go outdoors and starting to eat at restaurants.

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell? It really has taken a hugged tolled on them. Since everyone doing school and work at home, there breakfast menu has gone down

    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not? I think so, because of one reason is that they are open all day, and people could go at any time.

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    -It made morning traffic drop due to everyone working at home.
    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    -Probably not unless they do something different to attract customers and make money.

  • The pandemic changed breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell because on Taco Bell the breakfast sells have increased and for McDonald’s breakfast has dragged down sells.

    I think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic because they’re a well-known company. IHOP doesn’t only have breakfast it also has lunch. Dunkin’ is like a donut shop. I think they will make it they will find a way to promote more stuff out there that will want to bring costumers in.

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell? It dropped 54%
    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not? Yes, but not all because they have lost lots of money but they will be able to have some still open

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    – It lowered their sales rate.

    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    Yes because I and my family still go lol.

  • 1) The pandemic has changed breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell because people now days don’t have a reason to go out and buy food when they are studying or working at home.
    2) I think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic because people are starting to go out more.

  • 1. The pandemic made the sales for breakfast go down.
    2. I think they will because they are major corporations and everybody knows them

  • 1. Their sales have decreased due to the fact that most people are doing school and work at home.
    2. Their sale will decrease by a lot because their focus on food is breakfast items which people don’t go out and buy as much as they use to when covid wasn’t around because most people have changed their eating habits and are doing their school and work at home.

  • 1. because of the corona people were scared and stopped ordering food from the fast food chain. this caused food chains to loose money and caused many food chains to close down.
    2.i think they would be able to survive the pandemic, if the employees and the customers are careful enough.

    • Sayed Ali
      1) In fast-food chains like McD’s and Taco Bell, an epidemic also shifted snack profits since people nowadays can not have a need to go and purchase groceries when they study or stay at home.
      2. Their sales may fall a lot if their focus on food is breakfast items so people wouldn’t go out and buy much more as they can use while covid is not around and most people have modified their food patterns and will do there homes housing and employment.

  • 1. It changed by dramatically dropping because of most people being at home.
    2. I think yes because they are always going to have customers, by there still being places open they will continue to have customers.

  • 1. The pandemic reduced the amount of customers fas food restaurants have because people don’t want to risk their lives getting the virus.

    2. No, because because of the pandemic more people are getting into making their breakfasts at home rather than going to breakfast restaurants to eat.

  • 1. People don’t go out to eat breakfast no more because of the corona and they don’t won’t to be bother with the long lines in the drive thur.
    2. well they might it’s a 50/50 chance because some people wouldn’t mind going in and sitting down but long as they stay 6 feet apart.

  • 1) Since Covid-19 affect everyone, almost everyone stay at home and most of people are not getting breakfast in McDonald’s or other Fast food.
    2) If they have a plan yes but if not, I actually don’t know.

  • 1. -The pandemic changed breakfast sales because people are less willing to go out and buy food. Since there is a virus that could kill us, people are less likely to go out and eat causing for these people running these places to lose business. This is what caused for many to close down or change the way they get their food to people.(Like drive thru or delivery)
    2. -I think they will be able to survive the pandemic since most of these places are starting to change the hours and methods they get the food to people. The profit will decrease since their focus is on something that at the moment isn’t very popular but it doesn’t mean their completely out of business. Like I said, they’re starting to make new methods to get their food to people who want it with out the danger of getting sick, via delivery, curbside pickup, pickup in store, or drive thru.

  • 1) The pandemic has changed sales in McDonalds’ and Taco Bell negatively. Both of their sales have been decreasing significantly since the pandemic began. Due to the pandemic, people don’t go out to restaurants for breakfast anymore.
    2) I think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP might survive if they are careful about the pandemic. Although their sales might still be really low, they might increase a little with only having a few people present in the dining room.

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    The pandemic change breakfast chains due to people eating at home and because people didn’t want to eat outside because of Covid
    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    I think companies like these will only survive if they are close to a big city/ populated place and if they are not they will fie out because of not selling enough food

  • 1- Because of the virus the sales are going down since people are scared of being infected.
    2- I think that they will if they are careful and that they follow the rules of the pandemic to ensure that everyone is safe.

  • 1. people were scared to go out and do stuff so business was brought down and people felt safer at home so they didn’t go out.
    2. they will survive because they are both good known place and a lot more people go out now

  • 1. Because of the spread of the virus, there was not enough money to go and eat at MCDonalds and Taco Bell.

    2. Know I think they will survive, because people now are going out and eat to restaurants.

  • 1) The pandemic has changed breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell because people now days don’t have a reason to go out and buy food when they are studying or working at home.
    2) I think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic because people are starting to go out more.

  • 1) The pandemic has changed breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell because people now days don’t have a reason to go out and buy food when they are studying or working at home.
    2) I think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic because people are starting to go out more.

  • 1.The pandemic has made people scared to go out so now many businesses are shutting down because they are losing money.
    2.I think they would survive the pandemic if they sanitize everything everyday, wear mask, and keep social distancing.

  • 1.) Corona affected these businesses by dropping their sales, since everyone was on lockdown nobody was allowed to leave the house therefore, sales dropped.
    2.) They might be able to survive it, but due to new safety rude surely everything is going to be different.

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell? It really has taken a hugged tolled on them. Since everyone doing school and work at home, there breakfast menu has gone down

  • 1. How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    – Less people are eating out and going into drive-thrus to eat breakfast, instead eating at home, which has dropped sales significantly
    2. Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    – I don’t think most of them will. I think bigger ones like Dunkin which have been around forever, won’t sink as badly but will still sink. But smaller, family owned business I think will sink and drown because of the decrease in sales

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    Its obvious that it has decreased if it becomes even worse it would make it not to be able in some places or make it more expensive.
    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    They may be able to survive, dunkin’ had a collaboration with a famous influencer and many people started buying again.

  • 1. Since the pandemic the fast food sales have decreased this has happened because people are not going out and ordering out take out food like they use to so that has caused some fast food restaurants to lose money others to go out of business.
    2. I think in the beginning they are going to struggle because they mainly sell breakfast items and since no one is really going out to get breakfast they are losing money but I think over all they might probably continue with their businesses.

  • 1.It changed breakfast sales because there are a lot more people at home instead of driving to get to school or work.
    2. I believe those breakfast brands will survive because as people start getting more comfortable they start to forget they are in a global pandemic and they will start getting more breakfast.

  • 1) Sales have dropped 54 percent in Breakfast fast-food
    2) I don’t think so due so many job losses and companies shutting down, they can barely make sales

  • 1-The pandemic decreased the sales by 54 percent.
    2-I think they might because people/customers could just follow the safety rules to avoid the getting the viruses and being safe.

  • 1- How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell? It changed because more people stay at home because they want to remain safe and not as many people buy breakfast as they use to since they either work or just don’t want to go out and buy.

    2- Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not? I think they will they are open 24hrs and people can just come in any time and buy anything they desire. They may not be as many people as they use to have, but people eventually will tend to go and eat some of their favorite breakfast

  • 1. Breakfast fast-food sales went down and some places were closed by it.
    2. Yes, because a lot of people have forgotten about the pandemic.

  • 1-The pandemic has made their sales go down.
    2- I think they can survive because they are a well known place and people right now still go maybe not a lot like how it used to be , but they still have some clients.

  • 1. The pandemic fast-food sales dropped to 54 percent due to Americans working at home and schooling at home.
    2. I think they might survive especially Dunkin’ because even though we are quarantined we still need to eat we can’t just continue taking sweet it is not healthy and for those who take coffee in the morning go to Dunkin’.

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    Due to the pandemic, breakfast transactions at fast food restaurants dropped by a whopping 54 percent. Because Americans began working at home and attending school from home.

    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    I do not believe that they will be able to survive because as the virus begins hitting its peak, more people are becoming more aware of what is going on, and they do not want to get COVID 19 through an employee that served them breakfast.

  • 1) The pandemic has changed breakfast sells by having them drop by 54 percent, this is because most people and businesses are taking precautions and require to stay home to work or learn which has caused the customers to stay indoors most of the time.
    2) Personally I believe breakfast-focused chains will survive because although this pandemic has been a challenge, these places are still making good amounts of money during the weekend or during special celebrations because most people take the day off and go out for an enjoyable meal/breakfast.

  • 1. The pandemic completely messed up their breakfast profits. All the money they put in the business for breakfast turned out to be a waste.
    2. I think they’ll survive because people have started to go out more.

  • 1. The pamdemic made their sales go down a bit
    2. I think yes they are always gonna be at the top and by it still being open.

  • 1. The pandemic caused these restaurant sales to decrease by 54%.
    2. It’s a 50/50 chance on whether they will survive. If they have a plan, it is possible they might.

  • 1.) It changed breakfast sales because there are a lot more people at home instead of driving to get to school or work

    2.) I don’t think most of them will. I think bigger ones like Dunkin which have been around forever, won’t sink as badly but will still sink. But the smaller, family-owned business I think will sink and drown because of the decrease in sales

  • The sales dropped due to people staying safe and staying home.
    I think no, since everyone is probably losing their main sources with Covid-19 no one can really afford to pend the extra money.

  • 1) The pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell by the people who bought the meals in the morning because they now work from home and try to avoid contact as much as they can.
    2) They might survive, but either way there is not going to be that may people at those places because some people are not going to risk it.

  • People now work from home so that would mean less breakfast sales for those business. The people also try to prevent them from getting the virus.

    They can but it is going to be difficult because since they ae manly focused on breakfast that means less people for that business.

  • 1.The pandemic decreased the sales rate.
    2.Yes,because they’re major companies.

  • 1. The pandemic changed breakfast chains at McDonald’s and Taco Bell drastically because people are staying home due to the pandemic and aren’t going out as much. These people’s eating habits have changed along with this pandemic.

    2. I believe that breakfast chains like IHOP and Dunkin’ will still be around because they are well-known. They will still have decreasing sales due to the pandemic, but they can survive, unlike smaller businesses. I suspect that once things go back to normal, their sales will be going up again.

  • 1.The pandemic changed breakfast sales because people not wanting to take the risk of getting the virus.
    2. I think the restaurants can survive just by a little the work might be slow but once everything is back to normal the economy will go up.

  • 1. The pandemic changes breakfast purchases from customers who purchased the meals in the morning at fast-food franchises such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell because they are now living from home and seeking to escape interaction as far as they can.
    2.They might survive, but there won’t be any way that people will be in those areas and won’t try it.

  • 1.Since the pandemic has affected many people that work and go to school at home so the percentage of people buying breakfast has decreased heavily with a 54%
    2. they might survive , but there are not going to be getting that many costumers due to the pandemic.

  • 1) The pandemic took its toll on the breakfast sales in McDonalds and Taco bell since the people started to work and learn from home, so these big companies lost 54% of their customers due to the pandemic.
    2) IHOP and Dunkin might survive but they might have to close their restaurant’s so they can invest on delivery companies such as GrubHub this might help these 2 companies. Better yet they could join forces, but I doubt they would do that.

  • 1. The pandemic has changed the concept of breakfast outside of our homes because not as many people have to commute to work; even if they do they don’t usually stop for breakfast anymore due to the danger.

    2. I highly doubt breakfast chains are going to survive if the pandemic continues for much longer. This is due to people not going out to eat often now, and even if they do, they don’t go out for breakfast.

  • 1. They reduced the number of sales for breakfast items.
    2. They’re unlikely to survive in the pandemic because the pandemic is the reason why they have failed.

  • 1. How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell? The pandemic changed breakfast sales at fast food chains negatively, because many people stopped going to fast food places due to the whole pandemic and people don’t want to risk getting exposed to the virus which led to the decrease of people who go to fast food places.
    2. Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not? Honestly, there’s a big possibly for Dunkin’ and IHOP to survive the pandemic because those breakfast places are very popular and people can always just order it from home and go for pick-up or also there are quite a few nonsense people who still go out to eat at those breakfast areas, so I’m pretty sure Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic.

  • 1. The sales have dropped dramatically

    2.They might actually survive because of discounts or just attracting customers

  • 1. pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell by decreasing the amount of customers buying breakfast. People’s breakfast habits have changed.
    2. I think that they will survive because it’s been a couple of months since the pandemic hit and they’re still open, but things are not going to be the same as they used to be and.

  • 1. How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    People stopped going out as much and the sales dropped. People also started saving up money.

    2. Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    I think they will survive the pandemic because people have been forgetting about the pandemic and have started to go out more. People are also now ordering the food online by companies like Uber eats which helps all the breakfast focused chains earn money.

  • 1) The pandemic has changed breakfast sales massively by now most people work from home so they make breakfast at home instead of buying from Taco bell.

    2- I think that they will survive the pandemic because there are still people who don’t know how to cook or are too lazy to cook, so they are going to me ordering food from these places.

  • 1. Morning drive-thru traffic has dropped dramatically as many Americans continue to work and attend school from home. In April, breakfast transactions at fast-food restaurants dropped by a whopping 54 percent.

    2. And I don’t think breakfast focused fast-food chains will survive because sales have already dramatically decreased and people will continue to not go through fast-food chains until the pandemic is finished, many people are scared and cautious about the virus.!

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast-food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    The amount of people that eat fast food has dropped by 54% Causing places like Mcdonalds and Taco bell to lose profit, which means the business is running much slower than normal.
    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    Yes, I do think these places will survive. Maybe not all the locations but the majority should survive due to people still enjoying the food and donations towards these types of businesses. Overall I feel like when this all settles down they will sky rocket the sales due to the demand for the food which could cover the losses they lost and the locations that were closed.

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    It changed due to Covid-19 and since most people are working and studying from home its easier for them to have food at home and people are also just trying to be safe and also void contact with other people.

    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    I think thy might survive because some people will go out but that still doesn’t mean they don’t have to wear the mask because they do and stay at least 5 feet apart from people and others can be like I rather stay home and be comfortable and not worry about being to close to other people around them.

  • 1) The pandemic has affected the breakfast company because there is not a lot of sales and people prefer to stay inside and not get sick so they don’t go out side
    2)Well maybe only the big companies will survive because there more known and the people that do go would most likely go there .

  • The pandemic has drastically cut the sales of breakfast items in McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

    Dunkin’ and IHOP will survive because businesses are opening up, but I think they will both be hit hard and be forced to close many locations.

  • 1. The pandemic changed the fas-food breakfast because most people are working at home and children are going online school. Also, most people change their eating habits.
    2.I think that they are not going to survive because most people want to be safe from covid.

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    The pandemic affected breakfast sales at fast food locations by the sales dropping by more then half of the percentage as before because people don’t go out for breakfast anymore due to them studying or working from home.
    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    I feel like there are some locations that are for sure going to shut down just because they’ re sales are massively dropping, but I think the other places that are more common are going to continue open because people could still order off of UberEats and GrubHub or they can just go since some people manage to not care that there is a pandemic going on.

  • 1) The pandemic changed the breakfast sales from fast foods since most people seemed to be working from home and making sure that they stayed safe.
    2) They might survive, since people are going out a bit more since everything has opened back up.

  • 1.The pandemic has changed breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell because their sells are increasing due to the fact that people have to follow safety procedures and can’t go out to eat in the mornings.
    2.They might survive because now that they can dine in some people don’t really care about the pandemic going on and go eat but their is so people that rather just stay safe.

  • 1) The pandemic has changed breakfast sales because it has caused them to decrease due to how people are avoiding as much contact as possible with others.
    2) It is possible if they change certain things, but then again the pandemic is only getting worst and a lot of people don’t want to put themselves at risk so they might have to close down.

  • The sales most likely dropped by noticeable amount.

    Yes, Because the length of time they’re open gives people a chance to eat whenever they want there and will let Ihop have a chance to survival.

  • How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?
    The pandemic changed breakfast sales at fast food chains is because all there sales dropped done because they weren’t getting much sales as usual.
    Do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?
    I feel like they aren’t going to survive because they are a based on the breakfast field. A lot of people aren’t going out and passing by these places on their way to work or school plus it says the sales have been dropping ever since the pandemic.

  • 1.in result of the fact that everyone had been affected by the pandemic less people are wanting to go outside of their homes in fear of catching it.which then decreases their sales.
    2.I think they will ,but the total sales, will be low

  • 1) the pandemic made their breakfast cells go down
    2) I think they will survive because people have started going out again since they think it’s getting better to go outside

  • 1.How did the pandemic change breakfast sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell?

    Sales have drop since the pandemic started because many people continue to stay at home and also do work at home. Less people buy breakfast.
    2.do you think breakfast-focused chains like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to survive the pandemic? Why or why not?

    I don’t think they will survive the pandemic because if sells have dropped they will not be able to make profit. They have to
    be able to pay workers in those restaurants and pay for supplies, such as, napkins, straws, containers, and ingredients to make the food.

  • 1. This pandemic has drastically changed sales at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell because people don’t have a reason to go out and get some food when they are studying or working at home.
    2. I think food chains that serve breakfast like Dunkin’ and IHOP will be able to thrive through the pandemic because people are starting to go out more.

  • 1) people did not want to risk their lives to get fast food and instead stayed home
    2) I think yes because many people use apps like doordash and ubereats

  • 1. The pandemic changed the amount of sales and the amount of money that the companies are bringing in, because a lot of people are now staying home to be safe.
    2. Yes because some people are still going out and going through the drive-threw and those companies before the pandemic were doing really well so they have quite a bit of money saved up.

  • 1. the sales go down
    2. there wouldn’t be many people at the restaurants because they don’t to be at risk.

  • 1 people were scared and stopped ordering food from fast food places. this caused food chains to lose money and caused many food places to close down.
    2. yes because many people still get food

  • Mya McCarty

    1)The reason fast food breakfast is being effected is because most people are working from home and just sting at home in general so they don’t stop to get something on the way to work like they would if we weren’t in a pandemic.

    2) They have a chance because of uber eats and the people who just wont stay home, so they might stay open but their numbers are going to go down dramatically.

  • 1. They went down because people stopped going out.
    2.Yes because people still like to eat out despite the risk.

  • 1.people wouldn’t go because virus so that caused fast food places to lose money.
    2.yes people still get food

Leave a Reply