Taco Bell announced plans yesterday to roll out their breakfast menu nationally on March 27. The new menu will offer morning meals including the Waffle Taco, the A.M. Crunchwrap and the already popular Cinnabon Delights.
Reactions to the move have been mixed. The Waffle Taco has taken center stage as the boldest and weirdest breakfast offering from the chain that created the Doritos Locos Taco. The idea is unique and certainly memorable, especially following a year where America went wild for mashups like the Cronut. However, the breakfast item still has to prove itself in terms of taste, especially to nutrition-conscious customers.
Taco Bell is one of many chains competing in the breakfast arena. Earlier this month Burger King announced plans to focus on developing breakfast items. Burger King has also reportedly been mulling a waffle product of its own, with limited tests of chicken and waffle sandwiches earlier this year.
The reigning king of fast food breakfast is McDonald’s. Taco Bell president Brian Niccol said in an interview that the Tex Men’s chain’s hope is to be a “ strong No. 2 ” after the burger chain. However, even McDonald’s is trying to expand its expand its breakfast presence with an increased focus on coffee and reportedly exploring the option of extending breakfast hours beyond the 10:30 A.M. cut off.
While select McDonald’s long ago realized that many will be craving an Egg McMuffin after 10:30, nationally the chain still ends breakfast half an hour before Taco Bell plans to switch to its lunch menu at 11 A.M. As chains compete for the coveted morning customer, expect fast food restaurants across the board to step up their breakfast game in 2014.