McDonald’s on Oct. 6 began the roll-out of its all-day breakfast platform, joining a number of other quick-service restaurant chains with similar offerings, including White Castle, Sonic, Jack in the Box, IHOP and Denny’s. The initiative has not gone unnoticed by another large Q.S.R. player, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.
In an investor and analyst day presentation on Oct. 1, executives at the Canton-based company addressed questions about how the company expects to compete in what is becoming a crowded field of players offering all-day breakfast. In short, Dunkin’ is ready to duke it out.
“I think competition exists every single day of the year in our industry,” said Chris Fuqua, vice-president of Dunkin’ Donuts brand marketing and global consumer insights and product innovation. “Breakfast is the biggest part of Q.S.R. that’s growing. When one of the biggest players out there gets into breakfast all-day, obviously we pay attention.
“I think the reality is, if we execute our plans well, if we go out there and deliver a great coffee experience, a great breakfast sandwich experience, we deliver a variety of donuts and we execute well on our stores, we can fight anybody any day. I have a great deal of confidence in it, and I think the Perks Program helps us do that as well.”
Mr. Fuqua noted that while Dunkin’ respects all its competitors, it fears no one.
“We think we have our place as well, and we’re going to keep going strong,” he said.
That place, Mr. Fuqua said, includes a strong presence in coffee. He indicated the coffee portion of Dunkin’s business has continued to grow and has made the company “more of a coffee player than ever.” He also believes Dunkin’ is selling great breakfast sandwiches and said the company intends to continue to offer great breakfast sandwiches in the future. Late last month, news surfaced that Dunkin’ will begin testing a Bacon Lovers Sausage sandwich featuring a sausage made completely out of bacon, and next month the Sweet Black Pepper Bacon sandwich is expected to arrive, featuring four pieces of bacon in a mixture of pepper and sugar placed on top of an egg and then stuffed onto a buttery croissant roll.
Currently, about 35% of Dunkin’s food sales come after 11 a.m. Mr. Fuqua said most of those food sales are donuts and bakery, which gives him confidence that Dunkin’ will continue to be able to sell food in the afternoon, especially as it builds off its donut platform.