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Breakfast Restaurant Trends - US - February 2012

Breakfast has been a notable trend in the restaurant industry as operators have either added breakfast platforms or revitalized breakfast offerings to counter declines in traffic and tepid consumer spending. Mintel Menu Insights shows a 24.2% increase in number of breakfast menu items available from Q3 2009 – Q3 2011. Despite such efforts, breakfast restaurant sales improved an unimpressive 2% from 2006-11, with sales reaching an estimated $25.4 billion in 2011.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research finds that breakfast restaurant usage is stable, with 62% of respondents ordering breakfast from a restaurant in the past month. However, frequency of use remains low—with an average of 4.8 visits per month. This report seeks to provide insight and opportunities to help restaurant operators drive frequency of breakfast restaurant usage. To that end, Mintel presents analysis of breakfast restaurant trends while incorporating proprietary research featuring consumer attitudes and behaviors toward breakfast including:

  • Competitive position of breakfast at restaurants against breakfast at home
  • The influence of macroeconomic data on breakfast restaurant usage
  • The impact of population shifts by age, Hispanic origin, and presence of children in the household on breakfast restaurant usage
  • Restaurant analysis of limited-service breakfast and full-service breakfast
  • Breakfast menu analysis by restaurant segment, menu item and ingredient claims
  • Strategic marketing efforts to promote breakfast menu items and platforms
  • Consumer breakfast usage by type of restaurant, procurement method, and frequency
  • Analysis of breakfast restaurant usage by weekday and weekend, including differences in time of day, spending and menu items ordered
  • Factors that most influence breakfast restaurant users’ choice in restaurants
  • Breakfast menu items and attributes that garner the most interest from breakfast restaurant users

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Overview
                      • Breakfast restaurant trends subject to demographic population shifts
                        • A closer look at limited-service breakfast
                          • A closer look at full-service breakfast
                            • Family restaurants account for largest share of breakfast menu items
                              • Increasing number of breakfast menu items available
                                • Fresh is a leading descriptor of breakfast menu items
                                  • Participation for breakfast at restaurants is solid
                                    • Frequency of breakfast restaurant usage is modest
                                      • Weekday breakfast usage edges out weekend use
                                        • Breakfast restaurant users spend less on weekdays
                                          • Coffee is the most commonly ordered breakfast menu item
                                            • Restaurant selection driven by quality attributes
                                              • Breakfast restaurant users show more interest in savory than sweet items
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                • Overview
                                                  • The call for healthy breakfast
                                                    • Figure 1: Age-adjusted prevalence of being overweight, obese, or extremely obese, among adults aged 20 or older, 1988-2008
                                                  • Breakfast menu opportunity to meet healthy calorie range
                                                    • Limited-service breakfast opportunity for BFY menu items
                                                        • Figure 2: Subway’s TV ad, Broken Barrier, January 2012
                                                      • All-day breakfast
                                                      • Inspire Insights

                                                          • Trend: “Extend My Brand”
                                                            • Trend: “Mood to Order”
                                                            • Market Size

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Uptick in breakfast restaurant sales
                                                                    • Figure 3: Breakfast restaurant sales*, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                    • Figure 4: Breakfast restaurant sales*, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-16
                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                      • Figure 5: Fan chart of market value for breakfast restaurant sales, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                      • Figure 6: Best and worst case forecast for breakfast restaurant sales, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                                  • Competitive Context

                                                                    • Overview
                                                                      • Recession fuels at-home dining trend
                                                                        • Figure 7: Incidence of cooking more at home to save money and improve nutrition, May 2011
                                                                      • Packaged food makes for convenient and economical at-home breakfast
                                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                                        • Economic uncertainty impacts use and innovation in beverages
                                                                            • Figure 8: Real personal disposable income, January 2007-October 2011
                                                                            • Figure 9: Median household income in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2000-10
                                                                            • Figure 10: Unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2007-December 2011
                                                                            • Figure 11: Consumer Sentiment Index, March 2007–November 2011
                                                                            • Figure 12: NRA performance indices, January 2009-November 2011
                                                                            • Figure 13: Adjusted foodservice and drinking places sales, January 2008-November 2011
                                                                          • Young breakfast restaurant-goers are important to market
                                                                            • Figure 14: Types of restaurants used for breakfast, by age, November 2011
                                                                            • Figure 15: Attitudes toward breakfast, by age, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                            • Figure 16: Attitudes toward diet and health, by age, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                            • Figure 17: Population, by age, 2006-16
                                                                          • Breakfast restaurant trends must oblige Hispanic consumers
                                                                            • Figure 18: Types of restaurants used for breakfast, by Hispanic origin, November 2011
                                                                            • Figure 19: Attitudes toward breakfast, by Hispanic origin, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                            • Figure 20: Attitudes toward diet and health, by Hispanic origin, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                            • Figure 21: Population, by Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                                                          • The impact of the family consumer unit on restaurant sales
                                                                            • Figure 22: Types of restaurants used for breakfast, by presence of children in household, November 2011
                                                                            • Figure 23: Households, by presence of children, 2001-11
                                                                            • Figure 24: Average annual expenditures for food away from home, all consumer units vs. parents, 2005-09
                                                                            • Figure 25: Frequency of visit to favorite restaurants, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                            • Figure 26: Reason why the restaurant is favorite, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                        • Restaurant Analysis—Limited-Service Breakfast

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Fast food drives breakfast usage of limited-service restaurants
                                                                              • Figure 27: Who fast food breakfast users dine with, by gender, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                              • Figure 28: Types of limited-service restaurants used for breakfast, November 2011
                                                                            • QSR breakfast
                                                                              • Value meals, dollar menus, and snack-size breakfast items expected at fast food
                                                                                  • Figure 29: Interest in breakfast menu items or breakfast attributes, by fast food users, November 2011
                                                                                • Coffeehouse/donut shop breakfast users seeking gourmet coffee and sweet breakfast
                                                                                    • Figure 30: Interest in breakfast menu items or breakfast attributes, by coffeehouse/donut shop users, November 2011
                                                                                  • Fast casual breakfast
                                                                                    • Fast casual breakfast users looking for premium beverages and unusual breakfasts
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Interest in breakfast menu items or breakfast attributes, by fast casual users, November 2011
                                                                                    • Restaurant Analysis—Full-Service Breakfast

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Full-service breakfast is a social affair
                                                                                          • Figure 32: Who full-service breakfast users dine with, by age, April 2010-June 2011
                                                                                        • Full-service breakfast offers an abundance of choice
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Restaurant type by breakfast menu items, Q3 2009-Q3 2011
                                                                                          • Savory breakfast items in demand, but price is still important
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Full-service restaurant users interest in breakfast menu items or breakfast attributes, November 2011
                                                                                          • Menu Insights Analysis—Restaurant Segment Menus

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Fastest growth in breakfast menus by nontraditional breakfast segments
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Restaurant segment breakfast menu items, by incidence, Q3 2009-Q3 2011
                                                                                              • Casual dining breakfast participation is nearly nonexistent
                                                                                                • Figure 36: Restaurant segment breakfast menu items, by distinct number of restaurants, Q3 2009-Q3 2011
                                                                                              • Fine and casual dining dropping breakfast prices, while fast casual raises price
                                                                                                • Figure 37: Restaurant segment breakfast menu items, by average price, Q3 2009-Q3 2011
                                                                                              • Despite mandates for menu transparency, calorie counts for breakfast are high
                                                                                              • Menu Insights Analysis—Top Menu Items

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • The breakfast sandwich is king
                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Top 10 breakfast menu items, by incidence, Q3 2009-Q3 2011
                                                                                                    • Price
                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Top 10 breakfast menu items, by average price, Q3 2009-Q3 2011
                                                                                                    • Menu Insights Analysis—Ingredient Claim

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Freshness is integral to breakfast menu
                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Top 10 ingredient marketing claims on breakfast menus, by incidence, Q3 2009-Q3 2011
                                                                                                          • Highest price increases for menu items described as “golden”
                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Top 10 ingredient marketing claims on breakfast menus, by average price, Q3 2009-Q3 2011
                                                                                                            • Nutritional claims are underutilized on breakfast menu
                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Top 10 ingredient nutritional claims on breakfast menus, by incidence, Q3 2009-Q3 2011
                                                                                                            • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                              • Overview
                                                                                                                • Television ads
                                                                                                                  • Full-service breakfast marketing strategies
                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Bob Evans TV ad, Morning Rush, November-December 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Denny’s TV ad, Time for Anything, May 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Golden Corral TV ad, Dawn, August 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: IHOP TV ad, We Know You Know, January-March 2011
                                                                                                                  • Limited-service breakfast marketing strategies
                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: McDonald’s TV ad, A Premium Twist, January 2012
                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Taco Cabana TV ad, Lovingly Prepared Breakfast, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                  • Digital marketing
                                                                                                                    • Dunkin’ Donuts—Integrated marketing strategy
                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Dunkindonuts.com home page, January 2012
                                                                                                                    • Social media
                                                                                                                      • Email alerts
                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: IHOP email alerts, January 2012
                                                                                                                    • Breakfast Restaurant Usage

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Limited-service restaurants best full-service restaurant in breakfast usage
                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Types of restaurants used for breakfast, November 2011
                                                                                                                        • Young age groups more likely to use restaurants for breakfast
                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Types of restaurants used for breakfast, by age, November 2011
                                                                                                                        • Larger families are strong breakfast restaurant users
                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Types of restaurants used for breakfast, by presence of children in household, November 2011
                                                                                                                      • Breakfast Restaurant Usage—Procurement Method

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Dining in for breakfast more popular than take out
                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Restaurant breakfast procurement method, November 2011
                                                                                                                          • Usage of takeout decreases with age
                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Restaurant breakfast procurement method, by age, November 2011
                                                                                                                          • Larger families are more likely to dine in for breakfast
                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Restaurant breakfast procurement method, by presence of children in household, November 2011
                                                                                                                          • Take out supports limited-service usage, while dining in drives full-service breakfast
                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Types of restaurants used for breakfast, by procurement method, November 2011
                                                                                                                        • Frequency of Breakfast Restaurant Usage

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Weekly visits to restaurants for breakfast
                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Frequency of breakfast restaurant usage, November 2011
                                                                                                                            • Men emerge as high-frequency breakfast restaurant users
                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Frequency of breakfast restaurant usage, by gender, November 2011
                                                                                                                            • Younger age groups show above-average frequency of use for breakfast
                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Frequency of breakfast restaurant usage, by gender, November 2011
                                                                                                                          • When Consumers Order Breakfast

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Breakfast restaurant usage higher on weekdays
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Time of day breakfast is ordered at restaurants on weekdays and weekends, November 2011
                                                                                                                                • Weekday breakfast restaurant usage
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Time of day breakfast is ordered on weekdays, by age, November 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Weekday breakfast ordered to go
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Time of day breakfast is ordered on weekdays, by procurement method, November 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Weekend breakfast restaurant usage
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Time of day breakfast is ordered on weekends, by age, November 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Equal usage of dining in and take out for weekend breakfasts
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Time of day breakfast is ordered on weekends, by procurement method, November 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Restaurant Breakfast Spending

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Average breakfast spending is higher on weekends
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Breakfast spending on weekdays and weekends, November 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Breakfast spending on weekdays
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Breakfast spending on weekdays, by gender, November 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Highest weekday breakfast spending occurs within the 25-34 age group
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Breakfast spending on weekdays, by age, November 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Breakfast spending on weekends
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Breakfast spending on weekends, by gender, November 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Restaurant-goers aged 25-44 yield highest average spend for weekend breakfast
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Breakfast spending on weekends, by age, November 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Menu Items Ordered for Breakfast

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Coffee tops the list of menu items ordered for breakfast
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Menu items ordered for breakfast on weekdays and weekends, November 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Men order breakfast meats
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Menu items ordered for breakfast, by gender, November 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Young breakfast restaurant users order all types of breakfast dishes
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Menu items ordered for breakfast, by age, November 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Lower incomes turn to satisfying dishes
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Menu items ordered for breakfast, by household income, November 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Large families order a balance of healthy and hearty breakfast items
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Menu items ordered for breakfast, by presence of children in household, November 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Restaurant Selection Factors for Breakfast

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Fresh, quality food drives decision in where to dine
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Restaurant selection factors for breakfast, November 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Men look for restaurants with early morning breakfasts
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Restaurant selection factors for breakfast, by gender, November 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Restaurant selection by young respondents less influenced by most attributes
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Restaurant selection factors for breakfast, by age, November 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Large families’ restaurant choice is influenced by healthy food and friendly staff
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Restaurant selection factors for breakfast, by presence of children in household, November 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Menu variety and atmosphere important for full-service, while portable items drive limited-service restaurant choice
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Restaurant selection factors for breakfast, by types of restaurants used for breakfast, November 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Interests for Breakfast

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Savory breakfast garners most interest from breakfast restaurant users
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 81: Interest in breakfast menu items or attributes, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Women looking for healthy breakfasts as well as sweet or snack-size offerings
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Interest in breakfast menu items or attributes, by gender, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Menu interests vary by age
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 83: Interest in breakfast menu items or attributes, by age, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Families need more kids’ breakfast items
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 84: Interest in breakfast menu items or attributes, by presence of children in household, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Dollar menus and portable breakfast items popular for take out ordering
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 85: Interest in breakfast menu items or attributes, by types of restaurants used for breakfast, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics are more likely breakfast restaurant users
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Types of restaurants used for breakfast, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • White respondents least likely to eat breakfast off-premise
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 87: Restaurant breakfast procurement method, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Black restaurant-goers are high frequency breakfast users
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 88: Frequency of breakfast restaurant usage, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics spend more for restaurant breakfast
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Breakfast spending on weekdays, by Hispanic origin, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 90: Breakfast spending on weekends, by Hispanic origin, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics seek out relaxing, comfortable restaurants for breakfast
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 91: Restaurant selection factors for breakfast, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Hispanics interested in breakfast value meals, kids’ meals, and beverage menu items
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 92: Interest in breakfast menu items or attributes, by Hispanic origin, November 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                        • Arby's Restaurant Group
                                                                                                                                                        • Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods
                                                                                                                                                        • Bruegger's Enterprises Inc.
                                                                                                                                                        • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                                                        • Cosi Inc.
                                                                                                                                                        • Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
                                                                                                                                                        • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                        • Dunkin' Brands
                                                                                                                                                        • Golden Corral Corporation
                                                                                                                                                        • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                        • McDonald's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                        • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                        • The Taco Cabana
                                                                                                                                                        • Tim Hortons (USA)

                                                                                                                                                        Breakfast Restaurant Trends - US - February 2012

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