Online Breakfast Orders Gain Traction

But there’s still ground to recover in the morning daypart at quick-service chains and c-stores.

June 29, 2020

SAN JOSE, Calif.—For fast-food chains, online spending for breakfast items increased nearly two-fold between March 16 and April 13, according to Edison Trends, CNBC reports. However, many chains have seen breakfast sales plummet.

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a loss in early morning sales at fast-food chains and convenience stores because of consumers choosing to eat breakfast at home. But some customers have turned to delivery and ordered breakfast online, nearly doubling their spending. Edison Trends identified McDonald’s as the most popular place to order breakfast online.

McDonald’s experienced the largest bump in online spending for breakfast, although overall, the chain’s breakfast business is lagging. From mid-April through May, Starbucks, which recently added an Impossible sausage sandwich to its menu, and Dunkin’ both had increases in online breakfast orders.

Taco Bell and Burger King also had upticks in breakfast sales ordered online, although not as significant. Wendy’s, which launched its breakfast menu nationally, didn’t have a lift in online spending in the morning daypart.

As restaurant reopen dining rooms, some chains are promoting breakfast with new campaigns and menu selections. For example, Panera Bread is giving free coffee subscriptions throughout the summer.

At convenience stores, the morning daypart is still lagging but making a slow comeback, with trips during the 7 a.m. to 9:59 a.m. daypart still at about 90% of their pre-COVID levels for the week ended June 14, according to consumer behavior insights from PDI and NACS.