The breakfast fast food wars are on and the newest competitor is Taco Bell. Why is breakfast the newest frontier in the fast food war? To put it bluntly, Money. In 2012, breakfast made up $10 billion in restaurant sales for McDonalds in the U.S., according to data from food research and consulting firm Technomic. That figure alone accounted for nearly one-third of the $31.7 billion in breakfast sales that all fast-food restaurants did nationwide that year.
According to Technomic (www.technomic.com) one reason breakfast has become a new endeavor for some restaurant chain is the its sales figures, unlike those in much of the fast food industry, is still growing. Technomic reports that breakfast sales in the United States grew by an average of 4.8 percent per year between 20074 and 2012. According to the National Restaurant Association, breakfast is historically underutilized and that there is even a larger potential market to tap into.
Back to breakfast at Taco Bell. Taco Bell has hit the airwaves with commercials using real folks named Ronald McDonald to tell us that Taco Bell makes a better breakfast. During a recent visit to Taco Bell in Upper Darby, three breakfast entrees were tested and to tell the truth, all were well received and liked.
The first breakfast sandwich eaten was the taco waffle. This is the item that all the advertising has been about. According to the customer, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best breakfast sandwich he had at a fast food restaurant, he gave it a 10. It is a simple idea. You take a waffle, fold like a taco and fill it with eggs and your choice of bacon or sausage. The waffle has the sweet taste of syrup while you have the saltiness of the meat. The full breakfast meal comes with a hash brown and a drink. (Coffee or a soft drink). The hash brown, well it wasn’t anything to write home about. It was like any other deep fried hash brown. That only receive a 3 on our scale. The hash brown needs more flavor.
The second meal was something called the A.M crunch wrap. This is a flour tortilla that is grilled, folded and then filled with scrambled egg, choice of meat and a hash brown. It is easy to grab and go but due to the lack luster hash brown it only received a 7 from our tester.
The next breakfast item that was selected was the bacon breakfast burrito. It is a burrito that is filled with egg, cheese and choice of sausage or bacon. The bacon breakfast is served again with that same sad hash brown but the burrito was actually very tasty. One good thing about Taco Bell is your choice of their hot sauces. That is a plus but if your meal counts on those condiments it’s not a good thing. For the burrito it was just a nice breakfast item. It rated an 8.
One problem with the breakfast was how coffee was dispense. The cashier has to dispense the coffee which is fine but he is also responsible for the cream and sweeteners. This is rather time consuming and is really not a good idea. Coffee was sent back because it was either too sweet or not sweet enough. Creamers and sweeteners be dispensed to the customers so they can create the coffee they want.
All in all, breakfast was good. All three of the breakfasts were less than 4 dollars each which came complete with a drink and hash brown. Not a bad start Taco Bell.