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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day… but no one is buying it.
The restaurant and fast-food industries have faced many struggles during the coronavirus pandemic and breakfast may be the toughest, according to new reports. Those reports say people aren’t buying breakfast during lockdown or periods of social distancing as much as they normally do.
Multiple companies reported that breakfast sales had seen steep declines during the first quarter of 2020, WRCBTV reports. During this time period, many locations across the country were forced to shut down dining rooms and primarily focus on take-out, drive-thru or delivery orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
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McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski and Jose Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands International (owner of Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons) both reported that breakfast sales declined during the first quarter on recent earnings calls. Cil reportedly said that lunch and dinner orders have “shown more strength.”
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Jay Johns, president of IHOP, chalked up the decrease to the fact that he considers breakfast “an easy meal to replace,” WRCBTV reports. According to the news outlet, Johns said that he believes that if customers are going to order a meal one time a day, it’s most likely to be dinner.
The decline in breakfast sales is reportedly a significant issue for these chains. For example, McDonald’s sales during breakfast made up about 40 percent of the company’s profits.
Many fast-food chains have recently made investments in the first meal of the day. Wendy’s recently introduced a full breakfast menu, which reportedly made up 8 percent of the company’s total sales, Business Insider reports. Meanwhile, other chains, like Taco Bell, have stopped serving breakfast at some locations. McDonald’s still serves breakfast but has had to cut the all-day breakfast option in some areas.