Breakfast to Go: It’s a scramble

Breakfast to Go 

More Americans are grabbing breakfast to go, and

restaurants are scrambling to serve them.

This month, Panera Bread Co. added new egg

wraps, baked goods and coffee drinks. Right now, 80

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percent of Panera’s business comes after 11 a.m. It

wants that to change.

Burger King launched a $5

monthly coffee subscription,

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good for one cup each day.

McDonald’s recently

introduced its first new

breakfast items in five years.

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Morning restaurant visits

rose an average of 2 percent

annually over the past eight

years, says The NPD Group, a

market research firm. That’s

faster than lunch visits, which flattened as more

people snack or work from home. Morning meals

accounted for 22 percent of restaurant traffic last year.

The lift isn’t helping everyone. U.S. sales at some

sit-down breakfast mainstays, like Bob Evans, fell last

year. That’s because consumers

want quick options, says David

Portalatin, a vice president at


Breakfast also appeals to

fast-food chains because there’s

less competition — restaurants

like Chipotle and Domino’s don’t

participate, for example — and

coffee has high margins, says

Robert Byrne, a senior manager of

consumer insights at Technomic