McD’s says ‘have it your way’ – eat McMuffins all day long

Discussion
Mar 31, 2015

For those of you who have yearned for a McGriddle sandwich only to realize that it’s 10:35 a.m. and too late, there may be reason for hope. After years of insisting its system could not handle the additional load, McDonald’s is testing an all-day breakfast menu at some of its locations in the San Diego area.

The fast food chain is conducting the test as it seeks to find answers to declining traffic and sales at its U.S. restaurants. Same-store sales at the chain’s locations fell four percent in February.

Customers have long clamored for McDonald’s to expand the hours of its breakfast offerings. Many prefer its morning menu to the burgers and chicken it sells for the rest of the day.

According to an Associated Press report, Janney Capital Markets released an analyst note about the all-day breakfast test. "Having those breakfast items available to sell all day would also serve as a reminder to customers (and the media and Wall Street) that McDonald’s does indeed have craveable food to sell," wrote Janney analyst Mark Kalinowski.

One of the positives coming out of the test, according to industry experts, is it shows new CEO Steve Easterbrook is intent on testing concepts to get the chain’s business back on track.

"I think he has a view that he can accomplish most anything," Larry Miller, founder of MillerPulse LLC, told The Wall Street Journal.

Do you think all-day breakfast can play a significant role in turning McDonald’s business around?

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19 Comments on "McD’s says ‘have it your way’ – eat McMuffins all day long"


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Ben Ball
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Back when a sausage and egg biscuit from McDonald’s was still on my diet I certainly cursed missing that 10:30 deadline, especially when crossing time zones traveling by car. But I fear McDonald’s will fall prey to a common marketing bugaboo—listening to what people say as opposed to what they actually do. E.g., looking at all the complaints about breakfast not being available and then finding that it is an occasional (if very irritating) occurrence. The market test to determine true behavior is smart.

Carrie Vogler
Guest
Carrie Vogler
7 years 1 month ago

While it is great to see a CEO understand the value of user testing, is simply offering breakfast all day a long-term solution? No. Part of the allure of the breakfast menu is its limited offering. Once customers have regular access to a McGriddle, I believe the interest will wane. Let’s think outside the muffin.

Part of being a successful company is learning to look at customer data creatively. I encourage McDonald’s to not only take into account the initial data it gleaned from its user testing, but think about how to unpack the bigger picture surrounding waning sales. What is the sentiment surrounding the brand? How does emotion impact their current/prospective customers? Apply analytic rigor in creative ways to really get to the heart of if customers are really “lovin’ it.”

Max Goldberg
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

In a word, no. There are too many problems plaguing McDonald’s at this time that all-day breakfast cannot solve. They need to offer a menu that is perceived as being healthier. The items they do offer need to taste better. The environment in the restaurants need to be more welcoming, in line with consumer desire for casual dining.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

McDonald’s needs some help no doubt. This may not turn around sales to the extent needed but it is move in the right direction. Research supports the trend toward five to six smaller meals versus the traditional three meals. This being the case, restaurants will be looking to add new menu options for the different parts of the afternoon. McDonald’s offering breakfast entrees all day long seems to be in concert with the current eating patterns of Americans.

Adrian Weidmann
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Necessity is the mother of … doing the right thing. McDonald’s and other retailers need to stop limiting their responses to what their customers want just because their systems and/or processes “can’t handle the load.” I’ve seen this happen time after time. Great merchandising and/or marketing initiatives with proven test results never are activated because the standard operating processes are too difficult to overcome or change. This is ridiculous! It takes work to change. Today’s shoppers won’t tolerate excuses. They expect action and results, regardless of the implications to your status quo. They’ll go elsewhere.

McDonald’s should have been listening to their customers and done this a long time ago. It may be too little too late for McDonald’s but it should be an alarm for other retailers to heed.

Tony Orlando
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

All day breakfast won’t jump sales much, and to me it is the only food I can even eat there since the rest of their food is not very good. McDonald’s is stuck trying to please the budget crowd and have not addressed the foodies at all. I’ll drive the extra miles to get a Five Guys burger, which is delicious. Unless something changes McDonald’s will not appeal anymore to the folks who want a high-quality delicious burger with fresh cut fries.

Dick Seesel
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

McDonald’s is responding to the same sort of “time-shifting” consumers who want to watch TV or shop on their own schedules, not at the bidding of the service providers. But serving breakfast at all hours does bring a logistical challenge, so testing is a smart move. McDonald’s has enough problems with menu complexity to begin with, and it still has challenges just getting hot burgers and fries into customers’ hands.

Gene Detroyer
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

I voted “very likely” because I was considering the all-day breakfast from a demand point of view. The operational problems are an entirely different issue and if they are not solved, it only points to a narrow mindset on McDonald’s part.

Back in the day (way back—I haven’t been to McDonald’s in 20 years or more) the breakfast items were the best offerings they had. From the article it seems that this is still true.

And maybe more importantly is the fact that folks are not locked into eating certain types of foods at particular times of the day. About the only item I eat at Starbucks is the breakfast sandwich. I will have one for lunch or in the late afternoon. Rarely for breakfast. Just because we put an egg on it doesn’t mean it’s for breakfast. Maybe they should put an egg on their hamburgers? They might taste better.

J. Peter Deeb
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

I don’t see how a segment that does only a small percentage of the daily volume can play a significant role. McDonald’s needs to find a way to increase the appeal of its staple menu and expand it to compete with other fast food establishments. A cooked-to-order burger with unlimited toppings (i.e., Five Guys) is much more appealing to consumers than a pre-wrapped, heat lamp held product. Some tastes just change and evolve and Mickey D’s is way behind the curve, just like many other businesses whose model was great at one time but has not met the challenge of the new consumer and competition. At least my Egg McMuffin should be fresh when I order it at 3 p.m.!

Ian Percy
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

First, can anything look more tired than that picture of an Egg McMuffin?

A couple of immutable principles here. The first is customers don’t usually know what is possible. Consequently asking them what they want or like will almost always produce some version of the past. End result is you don’t move forward.

Second, and this has been mentioned many times in this space, NO corporation—not McDonalds, not Walmart, not Amazon, not Apple—can escape the life cycle. If you don’t reinvent (and start a new life cycle) before you reach maturity you are almost certain to fade into irrelevance. The current poster child for this principle of inevitable irrelevance is RadioShack.

Tina Lahti
Guest
Tina Lahti
7 years 1 month ago

Too little, too late. Adam Sandler famously bashed McDonald’s for not serving breakfast after 10:30 a.m. in the 1999 movie Big Daddy. It’s a new century, the whole world has changed since then.

Christopher P. Ramey
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

This doesn’t solve their problems. But it’s a positive step. Their breakfast menu is McDonald’s at their best.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Moving the chairs from the (flooding) foredeck into the lounge?

I agree with Adrian that customers—or potential customers—aren’t interested in hearing “we can’t do that,” but merely proclaiming “we’ll do it” when you really can’t isn’t a solution either. I have to think there’s some reason McD’s—and many other restaurants too—set windows for the type of service they offer. Maybe this is really that easy …but maybe it isn’t.

And of course expanding hours does nothing to solve the other complaints (menus, cleanliness, wait times, etc.).

Robert DiPietro
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

This will not play a significant role in the turnaround, but may be a looked back upon as a turning point. Listening to the customer and giving them what they want is always a good start to righting the ship.

Jerry Gelsomino
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

If it is in fact healthier, and in demand by customers, it should help.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

I have always been a proponent of selling what you have as a means of sustenance. But if the market is passing you by for whatever cause, it stands to reason that change is needed soon. Selling more of the same may not pass the real business growth tests in the near future. It is more likely that this adjustment will only siphon off same store large ticket option sales.

As average annual household incomes decline and discretionary funds dwindle the imperative of replacing current product price lines and menu selection with a more inviting price range and product offering(s) while owning a desired profit margin is easy to see. Only failed businesses and standing governments are immune from the need to change in order to meet current market trends as a means to continue.

Donna Brockway
Guest
Donna Brockway
7 years 1 month ago

Absolutely. My only comment—what took them so long?

Kai Clarke
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Yes. McDonald’s competitors are offering this (successfully) and it will play a large role in adding additional dollars to the bottom line. Change at McDonald’s is good, and any change is better than continuing to allow declining store revenues every month.

vic gallese
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

Absolutely! The voice of the customer has spoken on this and probably a few more item suggestions. Are you listening McRib?!

It is pretty basic customer-centric business, but MickeyD’s must do much more addition AND subtraction to the menu.

Hint: look at Chiptole….

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