In June, BurgerBusiness.com broke the story that Jack in the Box had trademarked the term “brunchfast.” The follow-up is that it has gone beyond trademark to a Brunchfast menu testing in Southern California. Credit for this goes to insidesocal.com’s Dine 909, which spotted it in Moreno Valley, Calif., in July. Brunchfast remains on the menu at selected restaurants there, and at least one new item has been added.
Since both Jack’s regular breakfast and Brunchfast menus are available all day, the Brunchfast menu is much more augmentation than separate daypart. But the role Jack apparently hopes it will play is to lure additional traffic during that valley between breakfast and lunch crowds. In February Jack in the Box CEO Len Comma told analysts, “we experienced the effects of both the heightened competitive focus on value and the impact of McDonald’s all-day breakfast, primarily between the hours of 10:30 a.m. to noon.”
As initially tested, the Brunchfast menu—available all day, as is all Jack’s menu with the exception of the late-night Munchie Meal menu—included a Brunch Burger, which until 2014 had been a Munchie Meal choice. The build remains the same: beef, bacon, Cheddar and a fried egg on a croissant bun ($3.99 alone/$5.79 as a combo with a side and beverage).
Jack’s Brunchfast also includes a Bacon & Chicken Brunch Sandwich, also with a fried egg, and served on an English Muffin ($4.49/$6.29); a Sourdough Omelet Sandwich with an egg-and-peppers omelet, ham and cheese on sourdough ($3.49/$5.29); and a Southern Scrambler Plate with that same-eggs-and-peppers scramble, home fries and a croissant ($4.59).
Recently a new entrée joined the menu: a French Toast Plate with three slices of French toast and choice of sausage or bacon for $4.79. For Jack in the Box in recent years, breakfast and lunch have been almost even with about 22%-to-23% shares of total daily sales each. Brunchfast could strengthen both dayparts if it takes.
Breakfast has become the most important daypart not just for Jack in the Box and McDonald’s but all quick-service restaurant brands because the morning meal continues to show growth in a flat (at best) marketplace. The NPD Group reported that for the 12 months ended February 2016, breakfast visits to QSRs increased by 5%. That’s on top of a 3% increase during the same period a year ago.
That’s why QSRs continue to roll out new breakfast items. Among the most recent:
◊ Starting today (Aug. 29, 2016), Dunkin’ Donuts is offering nationally a new take on the waffle sandwich idea it has done previously. This time it’s a Belgian Waffle Breakfast Sandwich (below) with cherrywood-smoked bacon, egg, and American cheese between Belgian waffles.
◊ Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s just brought back a Steak, Egg & Cheese Biscuit back to its menu, coupling it with a Steak, Egg & Cheese Burrito. The duo have done variations on steak biscuits before, including a Rib-eye Steak, Egg & Cheese Biscuit in 2012. Steak always draws interest.
◊ Chick-fil-A’s Egg White Grill is grilled chicken, folded egg whites and American cheese on a multi-grain English muffin.