It's judgment day in the Fast Food Breakfast Wars. Just as Taco Bell announced it will unveil a Waffle Taco-highlighted breakfast menu next month, McDonald's executives say they are contemplating extending the company's notoriously short morning meal hours. Let the fight begin.
McDonald's has dominated the breakfast food market thanks to the beauty and elegance of the Egg McMuffin. In recent years, though, coffee has become the focus of the Fast Food Breakfast Wars, as McDonald's has tried to fend off encroachment from Starbucks with the McCafe and expanded coffee offerings. But Taco Bell's announcement that it will enter the breakfast market next month signals a shift back to the food.
It’s true. Beginning March 27th we are bringing breakfast to America. For the next 30 min, we’re answering questions. Use #TacoBellBreakfast— Taco Bell (@TacoBell) February 24, 2014
"The breakfast sandwich hasn't changed in 40 years, and we think this breaks that paradigm," Taco Bell's chief marketing officer told AdAge. Headlining that charge is the Waffle Taco, an egg, cheese, and sausage concoction rolled into a taco-shaped waffle that had a limited debut last year. But the best bet to win the Breakfast Blitzkrieg may be the A.M. Crunchwrap: a tortilla filled with eggs, cheese, meat, and a hash brown. Yum.
Most importantly, the Taco Bell breakfast will be open until 11 a.m. Currently, McDonald's breakfast stops serving items from the breakfast menu at 10:30 — too early for late risers — but it has made overtures at extending those hours in recent days, the Associated Press reports. "We know, as an example, that breakfast on the weekend cut off at 10:30 doesn't go very well," McDonalds executive Jeff Stratton told the AP. Though he assured that the company was "just taking a look at it," the later end for Taco Bell's breakfast could encourage McDonald's to do the same.
Taco Bell will also be unveiling its own coffee for breakfast, but that's more of a side than the main breakfast food attraction. "So far, no one has been able to compete with McDonald's for breakfast," the president of restaurant consulting firm Technomic told USA Today. Taco Bell can only hope its sunrise showdown pays off.