Somewhere in heaven, an angel just got her wings.
On Monday, Taco Bell announced that it will begin serving breakfast at its locations across the country by March 27. Until now, the increasingly popular menu has been served at approximately 800 of the Mexican-themed fast-food restaurants. The list will now expand to all 5,500 outlets.
"Taco Bell Breakfast comes as a change to the traditional quick service restaurant breakfast routine, bringing the brand's distinctive approach to a crowded breakfast sandwich market," the company's press release said. "Taco Bell will not just deliver but will bring a little más to morning time, offering consumers a break from the usual."
The menu will include a number of highly sought-after items, reviews of which are making the rounds on social media. "I compare guys who ask me out to Taco Bell," @HiJessicaLu posted on Twitter. "100% of the time, they're not better..." And @DILLONFRANCIS posted that "I've had everything on the @TacoBell breakfast menu and I strongly suggest you do too!!! Waffle taco for the win soooooo hard!!!"
I trust you get the point.
The most widely discussed item is the Waffle Taco, which the company describes as a "warm waffle wrapped around a hearty sausage patty or flavorful bacon, with fluffy scrambled eggs and cheese, and served with a side of sweet syrup." Other additions include the A.M. Crunchwrap, Cinnabon Delights, Breakfast Burritos, hash browns, and the A.M. Grilled Taco (click here for a link to the entire menu).
"Fans already like to come to Taco Bell for lunch and dinner, and they share with us their love of late night," said Taco Bell President Brian Niccol in the press release. "Now they're not just asking, but telling us they want Taco Bell Breakfast."
The move adds Taco Bell's name to a growing list of quick-service restaurants that cater to early morning eaters. While McDonald's is the 800-pound gorilla in the space, other chains including Burger King and Jack in the Box have staked their positions in the all-important breakfast market. Most recently, Starbucks doubled down on its morning offerings by acquiring La Boulange, a San Francisco-based bakery that will soon provide the baked goods for all of the coffee slinger's U.S. locations.
The big question, at least for Taco Bell, will be when -- notably, not if -- Chipotle will add its name to this increasingly competitive field. According to the Huffington Post, the Denver-based burrito chain has steadfastly denied that it's contemplating such a move. Yet, it recently started serving coffee at a handful of locations, and at least two airport locations already serve breakfast burritos. However, the company dismisses the importance of the latter by saying,"The airport locations give us a chance to test these things because terms of those leases require that we are open in the morning (earlier than our normal hours)."
But despite this potential threat, there's little doubt that Taco Bell has given itself yet another opportunity to resonate with its customers and, for that matter, shareholders in parent company Yum! Brands. Will its breakfast menu be a smashing success along the lines of the Doritos Locos taco? That's asking a lot. But even if it's half as popular, this will be a big win for Taco Bell.
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John Maxfield has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Burger King Worldwide, Chipotle Mexican Grill, McDonald's, and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, McDonald's, and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.