Dunkin Donuts coffee
(Getty)
  • American chain Dunkin' Donut's early morning rush used to run from 06:00 to 09:00, as people stopped in for coffee before work.
  • But now, as the pandemic forces Americans to work from home, more are grabbing coffee later in the day, from 10:00 to 14:00, according to Dunkin's CFO.
  • Starbucks, McDonald's, and Dunkin' have all seen breakfast sales decline in the US since the start of the pandemic.  
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The morning coffee-and-doughnuts rush at American chain Dunkin' Donunits has shifted to mid-day, as workers skip their commutes to work from home, Dunkin' CFO Katherine Jaspon said on Tuesday.

"People are coming out a little later, maybe they need a break from their Zoom," said Jaspon at a conference hosted by JPMorgan.

Before the pandemic, American consumers lined up for coffee on their way to work between the hours of 06:00 to 09:00 every morning. Now, people show up more between the hours of 110:00 and 14:00, Dunkin's CFO said.

Dunkin' isn't the only US chain restaurant feeling the change. Breakfast sales have "dried up" at McDonald's, Panera, and Starbucks, Business Insider previously reported.

In July, Starbucks also revealed that sales had slumped due to disruptions in morning commutes to work and school. Like Dunkin', the coffee chain said that Americans were stopping in later in the day, with early visits around 9:30. and a 14:00 afternoon peak. The chain saw same-store sales decline 41% year over year, with more consumers buying cappuccinos at suburban drive-thrus than urban cafes, according to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson.

To court the growing number of Americans eating at home, Dunkin' has in recent months shifted to focus "on the espresso and latte platforms and things that you really can't make at home," said Jaspon. The chain also rolled out a line of breakfast cereals in August, with two lightly caffeinated flavours: Caramel Macchiato and Mocha Latte.

Despite these efforts, Dunkin's sales have been hurting since the start of the pandemic. In July, Dunkin' announced that it would be closing 800 stores across the US, about 8% of locations, according to prior Business Insider reporting. The chain also reported that same-store sales declined 18.7% year over year in the second quarter, not including temporarily closed locations.