The McWonderful World of All Day Breakfast at McDonald’s

mcdonalds-breakfast2“McWonderful”, is what the Washington Post calls it.  HuffPost termed it as “a dream come true,” Charlie Thomas in Pittsburgh remarked “it was about time.”   All of this in reaction to McDonald’s testing of making breakfast available all day.

The pending change in Mickey D’s long standing policy that breakfast ends at 10:30 A.M. is not only a huge shift for the fast food giant, but an acknowledgement of the changing desires of its customers.

Understanding our customers and adjusting our processes to their needs is key to a vibrant business.  This month McDonald’s will test the all-day breakfast concept at select San Diego area restaurants.  The results will provide answers to three fundamental questions McDonald’s and all of us must know to remain vibrant.

  1. Is The Market Real?

How often have you arrived at the Golden Archers at 10:35 A.M. Egg McMuffinwilling to do almost anything to get an Egg McMuffin?   When that happens you have fallen for part of the charm of the McDonald’s breakfast.  That is it can be sometime difficult to get it.

With the 10:30 A.M shackles removed will you still crave an Egg McMuffin, at 10:35 A.M. or 12:35 P.M. or 8:35 P.M.?

Like your business McDonald’s can’t depend on the sentimentality of the occasional customer who may want a McGriddles after the 10:30 cut-off.   You must know if the market is real. The San Diego test will provide the hard data needed to make the all-day breakfast decision.

Question: What data guarantees that your market is real?

 2, Do We Have The Right Systems and People?

Crew MemberCan the griddle at McDonald’s serve two masters? McDonald’s famed 10:30 AM breakfast cut off exist largely because of the limited capacity of its kitchen equipment. The same toasters and grills that crank out Sausage Burritos must be ready to handle other menu favorites, like chicken nuggets and burgers during the all-important lunch hour.

With high customer traffic during breakfast McDonald’s doesn’t offer a made-to-order option.  Eggs, sausage and hotcakes are pre-cooked and held for breakfast item assembly.   The all-day breakfast will not provide the luxury for McDonald’s to pre-stage these items.

For the all-day breakfast to work McDonald’s will have to rework systems and retrain staff so the griddle can effectively perform double duty.

Question: What is your capacity to change with a shifting market?     

  1. Can We Bet The Other Guy?


While sales of burgers, chicken nuggets and other dinner items are falling.  Sales of biscuits, bagels and other breakfast items are on the rise.

The battle for supremacy in the fast food breakfast wars are underway.  Taco Bell has engaged the batter with a new weapon:

The California A.M. Crunchwrap which contain just about every Taco-Bell-California-AM-Crunchwrapitem one could want in a breakfast sandwich.   The arsenals of other fast food combatants will improve.  As they all take aim on the Golden Arches of the breakfast leader.

Will the internal disruption of ramping up to serve breakfast all day jeopardize the battle to beat the other guy?

Question: What are you doing to stay ahead of the other guy?

 Critical Questions / Critical Decisions

McSignThese are not ordinary times for McDonald’s.  Sales are down, stores have closed, and the company is looking for a new CEO.   The critical all-day breakfast decision will forever change the basic way the company does business.    How ironic that a company built on beef and lunch will perhaps now depend on eggs and breakfast for its future.  Welcome to the McWonderful world of the all-day breakfast at McDonald’s.

 © 2015 Marben Bland

What are your thoughts about the McWonderful world of the all-day breakfast at McDonald’s?

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