Breakfast is, as the saying goes, “the most important meal of the day.” And these days there is no shortage of places you can go to get yourself that most important of meals once you leave your house in the A.M. And since the early 1980s, one of those places has been Burger King. However, while you might be familiar with some of their current morning offerings, there are some things you may not know about breakfast at the home of the Whopper. Here are the top 10 truths about Burger King’s breakfast.
10. Introducing Breakfast Was Harder Than Expected
The year was 1983. The Mario Bros. video game was released as a Nintendo arcade game in Japan, Microsoft introduced the world to a little program called Microsoft Word and Burger King started serving breakfast. In 1972 McDonald’s had introduced the Egg McMuffin to the world and the breakfast landscape was changed forever. Five years later in 1977 they added a few more items and went national with a complete breakfast menu in all of their restaurants. McDonald’s and Burger King have been in a heated battle for years. So, why did it take over a decade for the king of the flame-broiled hamburger to get going in the breakfast space? Well, actually, it was that flame-broiling. You see, Burger King had tried to get going with breakfast four years earlier in 1979, but there was a little snag. Those amazing flame-broilers that they had built and customized in order to make their burgers, weren’t ideal for cooking breakfast items on – as opposed to the grills McDonald’s uses, which are easily compatible with breakfast eats. So, the King had to go back to the drawing board and come up with items for a breakfast menu that they could cook on the equipment installed in each and every restaurant. Four years later they finally had it figured out.
9. BK Still Has Lots of Catching Up To Do
The fast-food breakfast war between Burger King and Mickey D’s is a pretty one-sided battle. Burger King took over 10 years to start serving breakfast after McDonald’s introduced the Egg McMuffin and five years after The Golden Arches had already gone national with a full selection of breakfast items. They started behind the eight-ball and according to the numbers that is where they remain at this time. A look at those numbers from 2019 has an average Burger King restaurant bringing in around $1.4 million, which is half of what a similar McDonald’s is making ($2.8 million). However, when it comes to breakfast, the disparity in the numbers is even greater. While McDonald’s is doing about $800,000 worth of business, per restaurant, at breakfast time, Burger King is only generating about $200,000 in that morning slot. Burger King would obviously like to see those numbers go up. And looking at the total revenue figures, one would expect to see at least $400,000 per Burger King restaurant for them to remain on par. But, while they aren’t there yet, the King sure isn’t giving up. They have been doing a lot of work to improve those morning numbers and they show no signs of sitting back and letting McDonald’s cruise along in first place.
8. Breakfast Stops at 10:30am Sharp
At Burger King they still stop serving breakfast at 10:30am, even though their arch-rival doesn’t anymore. Prior to 2015 if you wanted breakfast from McDonald’s or Burger King you had to get there before, usually, 10:30am. But then, in 2015, McDonald’s made a huge change. One that the world had been asking for for years… They introduced all-day breakfast! And while they are pulling back on that temporarily due to the current pandemic, it has been a big hit for them and should be back as soon as they are able to make it work in their restaurants again. But while McDonald’s is offering a bunch of breakfast items all day long, don’t expect the same from Burger King any time soon. And temperature is the reason. Not the temperature outside, but the temperature of the flame-broiler grills. You see, the temperature at which the griddles are set for breakfast items is lower than the temp they need to be at to cook the main menu of burgers and such. And it would seem that the griddles just aren’t big enough, nor is there enough room in the warming trays to accommodate the main menu items and leave space to cook the breakfast foods as well. So, when you go into a Burger King and ask for a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit at 10:31am and the guy behind the counter says, “sorry, we stopped serving breakfast at 10:30” he isn’t trying to be a jerk. He honestly can’t make you breakfast anymore.
7. You Could Have a Whopper For Breakfast
You don’t have to have been out partying until 6 in the morning to crave a hamburger for breakfast. And if you do, you might be able to get one at your nearest Burger King. Back around the time that McDonald’s was gearing up to introduce all-day breakfast to the world, Burger King corporate sent out word to their franchisees that they could offer certain lunch and dinner menu items in the morning if they wanted to. Said items, included, the Whopper, Whopper Jr., french fries and a few other ones. While there were undoubtedly some very happy customers, the financial world did not see this as a good idea, feeling, among other things, that it would take away from the morning menu and lead to people associating burgers with Burger King breakfast instead of the actual breakfast items. Given that the grill temperature for cooking of the lunch and dinner items needs to be higher than for the breakfast menu, and griddle space is limited, this would only work if the specific franchise felt the number of orders would allow it. In the end it doesn’t appear to have been a hit, and most restaurants are no longer offering burgers for breakfast. So, to satisfy that 7am Whopper craving you might have to do some searching to find a Burger King that is serving them.
6. How does a 17 cent Cup of Coffee Sound?
You can get a cup of coffee for 17 cents. And no, you don’t have to take a time traveling Delorean back in time to the 1950s to get it. Last year Burger King introduced their BK Cafe coffee subscription program which allows members to get a cup of BK coffee every day for only $5 per month! Yes, do the math and that comes out to only 17 cents per cup of joe. To get in on this offer you just need to get the Burger King app and sign up for the coffee membership through said app. Easy peasy! This was a really smart play by the Burger King folks. Not only is it a direct shot at McDonald’s and their McCafe brand and growing rank in the coffee world, but it is also a great way to get people into your restaurants. Obviously the goal here isn’t to sell 17 cent cups of coffee. The membership program is meant to get more people into the restaurant assuming that they will purchase more than just that subscription cup of coffee. And the more people use an app and interact with a brand, the more customer loyalty that brand can build with those customers as well. Burger King is hoping to use their coffee as a gateway to sales growth – especially in the breakfast market.
5. BK Needs To Work On Their Coffee
Using a super cheap coffee membership to get customers into their restaurants was a brilliant move by the higher-ups at Burger King. Except they forgot to take one thing into account… the coffee! Sure, $5 for a month of coffee is an amazing value, but if the many taste tests are to be believed, Burger King doesn’t make the best coffee. While many people, even coffee snobs, have had to give McDonald’s at least some props for the quality of their coffee, that isn’t the case over at BK. Multiple sites and publications have done rankings and taste tests of fast food chain coffee and more often than not Burger King’s offering has found itself at the bottom, or near the bottom, of the list (just beating out the coffee from Taco Bell). Now, at 17 cents a cup (if you have a subscription) you probably aren’t going to be as picky about your cup of joe as you would be if you were paying over $5 for some specialty coffee drink at Starbucks. But how forgiving people are when it comes to the taste of their morning brew will no doubt have an effect on the heights of success this coffee subscription can reach.
4. The Croissan’wich Coupon Scam
Everyone loves a good BOGO! Whether it’s a pair of shoes or a morning breakfast sandwich, few people can resist the pull of a buy one, get one offer. And usually, these offers do provide the value they claim to. You are getting two for the price of one. But what happens when the price of that one is raised for people using the offer? Well, that is exactly what was happening to some customers back in 2017 when they used BOGO coupons for the BK Sausage Croissan’wich sandwich. This all came to light when a Maryland resident, Koleta Anderson, filed a class action lawsuit against the home of the Whopper claiming that she had been charged more for the sandwich when she used a coupon. The differing charges varied by location, but in one location she was charged $1 for a Sausage Croissan’wich, but when she used a BOGO coupon she was charged $4.19! That isn’t buy one, get one. At that price it’s more like buy 4, get one! Her findings were confirmed by multiple people, including private investigators and the Miami Herald. Burger King, of course, refused to admit they had done anything wrong, but they did agree to settle the case: agreeing to refund customers $5 or give them a $2 gift card. This applied to anyone who was overcharged between October 1st, 2015 and May 19th, 2017. For all you looking to get in on this, the claims ended in 2018.
3. Go Meatless for Breakfast at BK
One of the biggest trends sweeping the fast food industry, as well as the food industry in general, is meatless! “Meat” made from plants has been a huge hit for restaurants all over, including A&W with their Beyond Meat Burger. Carl’s Jr. also offers a Beyond Burger and Burger King launched a meatless version of the Whopper, The Impossible Whopper, last year. And now they are bringing the meatless revolution to breakfast. The fast food giant had been testing the Impossible Croissan’which, with sausage made from plants, in selected markets and just recently announced that they are ready to take the sandwich nationwide – for a limited time. According to the press release, “This new menu item makes Burger King the first national restaurant to offer Impossible Sausage Made From Plants on a breakfast sandwich… The all-new, limited-time-only Impossible Croissan’wich features a toasted flaky croissant, fluffy eggs, melted American cheese and a seasoned sausage made from plants from Impossible Foods.” To promote the new breakfast offering Burger King was giving away 100,000 Impossible Croissan’wich sandwiches. They might be all gone, but if you live in the United States, you can download the BK app and see if the offer is still active. If not, you can still get one for only $3.99 at participating Burger King restaurants. Enjoy!
2. Burger King Breakfast Around the World
While one would never think about going into a North American Burger King and ordering a hot dog for breakfast, lucky folks in Japan can do that each and every morning if they want to. If you go to Singapore you can get your Croissan’wich with turkey sausage, crispy chicken, mushroom and Swiss, and turkey bacon. In Malaysia you can order a Smoky Chicken Kingwich – which is smoked chicken, egg and cheese sauce. Are you craving bacon but don’t want all that other stuff that normally comes on a breakfast sandwich? Well, head on over to the UK and order a Bacon Butty (crispy bacon between two buns). There is also a Sausage Butty option. Or stuff a yummy Breakfast King in your mouth (basically a sandwich with a Whopper patty, egg, cheese and bacon). And who doesn’t love a Belgian Waffle for breakfast. To get one, you could go to Belgium, of course; but if you’re already in Ireland, you could just walk on over to Burger King and get a Belgian Waffle for breakfast.
1. The Crazy Canuck BK Breakfast
Back in 2005 Burger King introduced a breakfast item like no other: The Enormous Omelet Sandwich. And this sucker sure did live up to its name. Picture this: a two-egg omelet, a large sausage patty, bacon and cheese – and all of this on a toasted hoagie roll! This thing is as wonderfully enormous as it sounds and is definitely not for those on any kind of diet. This mammoth meal clocks in at just over 700 calories and 41 grams of delicious fat. Not to mention the days’ worth of sodium as well. According to Burger King this breakfast creation came about in response to customers who were asking for something more filling than the current options on the breakfast menu. Well, if you wanted “more filling” the Enormous Omelet Sandwich certainly fit the bill. But while sales started off strong, they slowed after a while, and this “enormous” experiment ended in the United States after only one year. But not in Canada. Maybe it’s the colder weather or how they spell omelette with two “Ts.” But for whatever reason, this beast of a breakfast item is still on the menu to this day in the land of hockey and maple syrup! So, any Americans who missed out on this belly-busting breakfast back in 2005, all you gotta do is make your way north across the longest non-militarized border in the world and you can happily ingest 700+ calories of Burger King breakfast goodness. Oh Canada!