Is McDonald's Hungry for Longer Breakfast Hours?

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McDonald's storefront
Alamy
By CANDICE CHOI

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's is in the early stages of looking at whether it can make breakfast available later in the day.

Fans of the Egg McMuffin and Sausage Biscuit have long wanted the option to get breakfast at McDonald's (MCD) after 10:30 a.m. But offering both the breakfast and lunch menu was considered logistically impossible, given the tight kitchen spaces of the restaurants.

Still, it's an option the chain is eyeing more seriously at a time when people's eating habits are changing -- particularly those coveted customers in their 20s and 30s known as millennials.

"We know, as an example, that breakfast on the weekend cut off at 10:30 doesn't go very well," Jeff Stratton, head of McDonald's USA, said in an interview.

Stratton declined to provide any details on how McDonald's would adjust kitchen operations to make breakfast later in the day.

"Well, we're just beginning," he said. "We're just taking a look at it."

A representative for McDonald's, Lisa McComb, said after the interview that there are no tests currently in place for the extended breakfast hours.

McDonald's has long entertained the idea of serving breakfast throughout the day.
But the chain has been inching closer to making the idea a reality as it faces heightened competition and slumping sales. Last year, for example, the company began offering an "After Midnight" menu at select locations. The menu, available from midnight to 4 a.m., consisted of a limited mix of breakfast and lunch items so kitchen operations wouldn't be overwhelmed.

The push to make breakfast outside normal hours also reflects how McDonald's is working to keep pace with shifting habits. In particular, executives have noted that customers increasingly want foods personalized to their tastes and schedules.

To cater to evolving tastes, the chain is also offering newer items such as chicken McWraps and the option to substitute egg whites in any breakfast sandwich.

As for extending its breakfast hours, McDonald's is known for treading extremely carefully when discussing any tests or potential changes. Such matters are considered sensitive in large part because they would require the support of the company's network of franchisees.

In the U.S., about 90 percent of the company's more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants are run by franchisees, who bear the responsibility of training employees and buying new equipment to accommodate any changes.


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18 Comments

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rapcs

LET'S GO. CATER TO THOSE WHO SLEEP LATE DUE TO WORK HOURS.

March 01 2014 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hmadden

I know that Jack in the Box serves breakfast all day. Maybe some other chains do also?

February 25 2014 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
IAWRENCEBURGRORE

Ilike MCDONALDS THE WAY IT IS.

February 25 2014 at 1:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cjloghead

I wish they served it 24 hrs a day. My family loves breakfast at night time.........

February 25 2014 at 1:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
karenc2it

I love the Egg McMuffin but NEVER make it to McD's before 10:30. I would love for them to extend the breakfast hours and also be able to buy breakfast late at night.

February 25 2014 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
laurustine2

I prefer their breakfast menu over the regular daytime/dinner menu and often desire something from their breakfast menu for lunch or dinner. The burger is dead...time for another choice. Alternate options are long overdue.

February 25 2014 at 1:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ron

add some biskits and gravy

February 24 2014 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
prvrtbl1

jack in the box has it all day, micky d, you should to. 24/7

February 24 2014 at 8:10 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Anne Boleyns Crown

Worked for a McD's office for many years and while I quickly burned out on their lunch menu, I never grew tired of the breakfast (except the hashbrowns, which I always hated). Makes me want a 800 calorie bagel just thinking about it!

February 24 2014 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cactuswoodsed00

Yes, Mc Donalds should have breakfast all day long

February 24 2014 at 7:56 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply