McDonald's is the biggest fast food chain in the world and has an elite brand, but it also has a trump card that's helping it maintain its big lead over the competition.
Aisling Balfe, a retail analyst with Planet Retail, told QSR Magazine that McDonald's dominates the sector because of its "crucial first mover status" and "staying ahead of the curve with new product innovation."
And it's a good thing that it has been so dominant, because breakfast is a very important business for McDonald's, reports the Trefis team at Forbes.
The average number of annual customers at McDonald's locations keeps increasing because it's able to grab customers in nontraditional time slots, like late night and early morning.
But the other brands are catching up — or at least they're trying to.
Dunkin' Donuts is the number two player, and it has been expanding its offerings. Wendy's is also trying to be a big player in the breakfast segment, and even Taco Bell has come up with a menu — called "First Meal" — for folks in the morning.
It just makes sense for these brands to offer breakfast, explains Trefis. From its report at Forbes:
"From a business point of view, it makes sense for restaurants to attract a greater number of customers in the breakfast category since certain costs such as rental/occupancy costs remain fixed. The incremental revenues thus help drive the overall profitability, besides increasing the absolute profits."
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