Many nutritionists say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but Americans don't always abide by that guideline. According to a poll of 10,000 U.S. consumers conducted by consumer insights platform Instantly, if stretched for time — a common occurrence — nearly 21 percent will skip breakfast altogether, but 43 percent will get something on the go. While 31 percent of those people will grab a meal from a gas station or convenience store, 45 percent prefer to hit the drive-thru of a restaurant, and 27 percent will swing by a coffee shop.
Not all restaurants are equally popular for breakfast. McDonald's — which has been struggling financially — still remains the fast food chain most frequented for a morning meal by a large majority. 44 percent of survey takers responded that the chain is their "go-to" for breakfast. Burger King came in second place, with five percent of people saying it was their go-to. In third place is Taco Bell, which launched its breakfast menu last year. However, only four percent of those who responded said it was their pick for breakfast. Other popular choices included Jack in the Box and Carl's Jr.
Fast food doesn't exactly have a reputation for being healthy and nutritious, which is why restaurants like Chipotle are steadily becoming more and more popular. However, many survey takers — the majority of which are concerned with the nutrition of their fast food breakfast — feel as if fast food has gotten a little bit healthier over the past year. (It probably helps that everyone is putting kale on the menu.) Most importantly, the poll found that an overwhelming majority of American consumers (72%) think that fast food chains should serve breakfast all day, which bodes well for McDonald's plans.