McDonald’s Tests All-Day Breakfast Menu
April 3, 2015 Leave a comment
McDonald’s is testing an all-day breakfast menu in the San Diego area. For many people, this may seem like something that doesn’t need to be tested: breakfast items (and fries) are generally speaking the most popular items at the restaurant chain. But overhauling the menu at 14,000 stores is difficult, so the company needs to make sure it works.
Breakfast items, normally only served until 10:30 am, account for 25% of McDonald’s sales. There could be any number of reasons for this, but one likely cause is that their breakfast foods are seen as “fresher” than their other offerings. These items, like the Egg McMuffin, tend to approach the Platonic ideal represented in McDonald’s advertising and signage than the average Big Mac. The recent revelation that they actually break open eggs and cook them right there probably helps.
There are chains, like Jack In The Box, that offer breakfast all day, so why hasn’t McDonald’s? the main problem is that there isn’t enough griddle space. Kitchen space is at a premium in the fast food chain, and offering breakfast items all day will likely require some redesign of that space in order to keep up with demand without slowing service to a halt.
Taco Bell’s recent unveiling of breakfast across the country has met with significant success, although they only offer those items in the morning. They’re a challenge to McDonald’s breakfast dominance, because unlike Jack In The Box, Taco Bell is everywhere. If McDonald’s can figure out how to make breakfast available all day, they might be able to reassert that dominance.
It might also help sales, too. Sales are down, the company’s promotional efforts have been falling flat, and they’ve been involved in some ugly disputes over labor around the country. Basically, McDonald’s isn’t getting the best press. They’re not struggling per se, but no business wants to lose business. Their breakfast sales are good despite all these problems, so don’t be surprised if, sometime down the road, you can get an Egg McMuffin for dinner.