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How Three Fast Food Giants Are Slugging It Out in the Breakfast Wars

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so eat like a king! We’ve heard this modern adage numerous times since we were kids being encouraged by our parents to, well, eat our breakfast. We’ve also been exposed to the so-called breakfast wars by the largest fast-food chains and we can’t blame them either.

After all, if a fast-food chain can get customers into their restaurants and start their day with one of its heart breakfast offerings, then it’s well on its way to industry leadership! Here are three of the fast-food giants – Taco Bell, McDonald’s and Wendy’s – that are going head-to-head in the breakfast wars.

Taco Bell with Its Breakfast Burritos

Taco Bell with its Tex-Mex fare doesn’t seem like a suitable candidate for the breakfast wars considering that most Americans are into pancakes, sandwiches and muffins for breakfast. But it’s exactly what Taco Bell wants to do – to change the American breakfast by offering toasted burritos!

According to Taco Bell’s Melissa Friebe, customers are looking for warm, familiar foods for their breakfast so it made sense to toast the burritos. The toasted burritos deliver on the quality and comfort that customers look for in the morning.  These food items also set Taco Bell apart from its competitors, particularly Wendy’s and McDonald’s, which offer more traditional American breakfast fare.

The Tex-Mex chain then started selling its new line of pressed breakfast burritos recently. There are three items joining the menu, namely:

  • The Cheesy Toasted Breakfast Burrito with eggs, sausage and nacho cheese sauce; prices start at just $1
  • The Grande Toasted Breakfast Burrito with two eggs, potato bites, pico de gallo, and cheese as well as a choice between bacon and sausage; priced at $2.79/order.
  • The Hash Brown Toasted Breakfast Burrito with a choice of either bacon or sausage, as well as hash brown and cheese; priced at $1.99 each. (here is a list of Taco Bell menu prices)

If you ask us, these are great deals considering that you can get a fairly hearty breakfast for just a dollar! You may even want to take out the leftovers of the Grande Toasted Breakfast Burrito as a mid-morning snack, if you’re being thrifty.

Taco Bell has had its breakfast menu since 2014 across its national locations. Aside from its breakfast menu, it also offers several types of tacos, burritos and quesadillas, among others. With its new additions to its breakfast menu, it’s definitely stepping up its game.

Wendy’s Also has Its National Breakfast Menu

Wendy’s also recently launched its national breakfast menu! It includes egg sandwiches, for which the chain has been largely praised, as well as a breakfast burrito with egg, cheese and sausage. It’s also been spending millions of dollars into its breakfast program, even hiring around 20,000 new employees as part of its breakfast initiative.

And get this: It even hired Mike Haracz, a former McDonald’s chef, in advertising its menu and it was a direct dig at the Golden Arches! In the world of corporate competition, there’s no such thing as stooping too low for as long as it achieves your purpose. At least, that’s how it looks.

Judge for yourself. Wendy’s tweeted a tombstone for McDonald’s famous Egg McMuffin, attached the #EggRIPMuffin hashtag, and the direct hit: “Here lies mediocrity”. If for nothing else, Wendy’s can burn its competitors, so to speak, on social media, a stark contrast to its sweet and innocent logo.

Wendy’s needs to be so because it has an uphill battle in unseating McDonald’s much-loved Egg McMuffins, which it has served since 1971. Its collection of biscuit and croissant sandwiches as well as its Frosty-ccino and Breakfast Baconator may not be able to defeat the Egg McMuffins, witty social media posts notwithstanding.

McDonald’s Remains on Top

What makes McDonald’s such a hit with the fast-food breakfast crowd? Well, it doesn’t rest on its laurels and continues to innovate on its breakfast menu! Its competitors have also been unsuccessful in their own efforts to break McDonald’s stranglehold on the breakfast sector for one reason or another.

As its CEO Chris Kempczinski once said, “We have to win at breakfast”, and they are winning on many fronts. It has introduced new items like the McChicken Biscuit sandwiches and the Chicken McGriddles. It has given out free Egg McMuffins on what it called National Egg McMuffin Day, the same day that Wendy’s began selling its national breakfast menu.

Talk about stealing Wendy’s thunder and being successful at it, too!

The fast-food chains are understandably hungry for the dollars of their customers, especially in light of more people getting their breakfast and morning snacks away from them. There’s been a trend toward getting meals and snacks from quick-service restaurants, and it’s something Taco Bell, Wendy’s and McDonald’s want to stop.

But you should also remember that breakfast should be a healthy meal since it serves as your fuel for your physical and mental activities in the hours ahead! You must choose the healthier options regardless of where you find yourself at breakfast.


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