The coronavirus pandemic killed the fast-food breakfast as we know it - Business Insider

Breakfast sales at fast-food giants like Starbucks and McDonald's 'dried up' during the pandemic

8/3/2020 3:04:00 PM

Breakfast sales at fast-food giants like Starbucks and McDonald's 'dried up' during the pandemic

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Irene Jiang / Business InsiderMcDonald's, Starbucks, and Dunkin' said breakfast sales are continuing to slump, even as sales through the rest of the day have improved during the coronavirus pandemic. "Breakfast has dried up," Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary told Business Insider. 

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Chains are hoping to make up lost breakfast sales by selling food and drinks later in the day, as many customers no longer make their morning commutes to the office. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Americans are now eating the most important meal of the day at home — if they bother at all. 

Chains including McDonald's, Starbucks, and Dunkin' reported over the last week that breakfast sales are continuing to slump, even as sales through the rest of the day have improved during the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the coronavirus, breakfast was a growing market, which drew more competition. Wendy's launched a national breakfast menu in March, while Panera has been trying to draw in more breakfast with a coffee subscription service. 

"Breakfast ... prior to the pandemic was the only day part that was growing," McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinskisaidon a call with investors this week. "And so as a result, there were a lot of new competitors that were flooding into the breakfast day part. That certainly was one area of pressure for us." 

Kempczinski said McDonald's had actually grown its share of the breakfast market during the pandemic. However, so few people are dining out for breakfast it is still the chain's most challenging meal of the day and dragging down overall sales. 

Dunkin' said sales are now booming during the middle of the day.Erin McDowell/Business InsiderStarbucks and Dunkin' both said they'd seen significant shifts in their breakfast business, as people working from home stop grabbing a coffee on their morning commute.

Starbucks said customer visits were peaking at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., with more customers getting afternoon snacks, and that stores were being staffed accordingly. At Dunkin', sales shifted from early morning to mid-day, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. "There's not much recovery in the breakfast day part right now. In terms of day part, breakfast has dried up," Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary told Business Insider.

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