Late last year the fast food chicken sandwich wars took America by storm. Restaurant Brands International and Popeye’s entered the heavyweight fight and went straight for Chick-fil-A Inc. with some clever marketing and oddly well timed shortages of their chicken sandwich offering. While many eyes have been drawn to this fried chicken fracas, other savvy chains have been looking for a new angle.  We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it is the one we have the least amount of time for. What better way to get a hearty meal in a limited amount of time than fast food. Restaurant chains have been aware of this forever, but the landscape has largely remained unchanged since Taco Bell Corp. debuted its breakfast in 2014. However, 2020 has reignited old feuds about biscuits, bacon, and even fake meats.

In January, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. collaborated with Snoop Dogg and created a Beyond sausage patty smashed between two halves of a doughnut. The food fight had begun. McDonald’s Corporation followed up Dunkin’s announcement with their own breakfast chicken sandwich: one on a biscuit and the other on their signature McGriddle hot cakes. The news came as a delight to franchisees who had long been asking for a chicken based breakfast item to win customers back from Chick-fil-A. While it is unlikely to make a dent in Chick-fil-A’s profits, it at least gives McDonald’s customers a meat option that is not pork for breakfast. It seems likely that Burger King Worldwide Inc. will offer a breakfast response later in the year as they are already testing an Impossible plant-based sausage patty that leverages the unique Croissan’wich bread. As the chains heat up their competition, customers will have more options and harder decisions about where to eat first.

*2019 revenue reports are not yet available.

There is one more chain looking to enter the breakfast wars after having their morning menu options stagnate for decades. The Wendy’s Company is reaching into the past to revive its breakfast game. The company launched breakfast in the 1980’s, but it was largely considered a failure and their numerous attempts following the debut have also ended in defeat. Some select Wendy’s locations have served breakfast for years, but they remain few and far between, and people have resorted to using phone apps to track down the elusive breakfast menu. That kind of egg hunt will end on March 2nd as Wendy’s debuts breakfast at all of their locations. The lineup will feature fresh cracked eggs, sausage croissants, chicken biscuits, and even a breakfast version of the Baconator. The eggs are promised to be cooked to order which should give them an advantage over the competition’s pre-made eggs, but it could slow down production time. The chicken and croissant sandwiches show that the chain is ready to beat Burger King and Chick-fil-A at their own game and the Baconator is a unique offering that will draw in curios customers. If Wendy’s can sustain a good menu offering, as history is working against them, then McDonalds, Burger King, and Dunkin’ may discover that they did not bring enough food to this fight.

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