Biscuit tacos? Taco Bell expands breakfast menu in challenge to McDonald's

Taco Bell will add biscuit tacos to its breakfast menu Thursday

Taking on McDonald's popular Egg McMuffin, Taco Bell has invented something new for breakfast -- biscuit tacos.

They'll appear on Taco Bell's breakfast menu starting Thursday, replacing another unexpectedly foldable item, the waffle taco. The fast-food chain launched its breakfast menu only last year, and the biscuit tacos are evidence that the company intends to keep trying to compete for early morning customers.

“This year is about making sure we continue to give people the food they crave in a way that’s unique to Taco Bell,” Chief Executive Brian Niccol said in a statement. “Ultimately, we aim to make the breakfast day part as famous as our late night.”

So far, the Irvine-based company's foray into breakfast items has been profitable, said Kevin Burke, founder and managing partner of Trinity Capital, which counts Yum Brands, owner of Taco Bell, as one of its clients. Breakfast items have probably made up about 6% of sales, he said.

"Breakfast is a large opportunity," he said. "Some people have tried and quit."

The taco is pretty much what it sounds like, with the tortilla replaced by a "fluffy" biscuit that's folded in a taco shape and filled with breakfast staples like sausage, bacon, eggs and cheese or chicken breaded with tortilla chips, called "Crispy Chicken," the company said in a statement. Country gravy or jalapeño honey can be added.

An ad posted to Taco Bell's Facebook page Tuesday gives the best indication that the biscuit tacos are intended to directly challenge the Egg McMuffin. In the video, a clown-faced military dictator hands out circular biscuit sandwiches to lines of patrons.

Yum shares closed up 90 cents, or 1.1%, at $80.17.

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