Two hundred and seventy five Burger King restaurants in Chicago offer punters burgers for breakfast, and the surprising sales success has raised a few questions about whether it would be sensible for BK's peers to stop telling their fastfood aficionados that they can't buy a burger before 10.30am.

Generally fastfood restaurants tend to sell a breakfast menu in the mornings, from which the burger is notably absent, but the Chicago outlets have recorded a 4-7% increase in sales since they offered early morning Whoppers.

With a recent advertising push, burgers now account for between 35-40% of all morning sales in the outlets.

Events in the Chicago stores have prompted speculation as to whether the burger-for-breakfast concept may be rolled out nationwide in a bid to allow the company to compete with McDonald's, currently the leader in breakfast fastfood sales.

"Breakfast is an under-performer for Burger King," explained equity analyst for Merrill Lynch Peter Oakes, to the Wall Street Journal: "Offering Whoppers at that hour can possibly help them ring the cash register."

A spokesman from BK, a unit of British group Diageo, would not say whether the menu variations were likely to go national, but did reveal that staff at the firm's Miami-based HQ were watching sales with interest.


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