In 1972, McDonald’s pioneered fast food breakfast when they released the Egg McMuffin. Just last year, in October of 2015, McDonald’s started serving their popular breakfast menu all day. And now, McDonald’s has announced that they are expanding their all-day breakfast menu across the country.
The two biggest changes to come? The sweet and savory McGriddle will be added to the all-day breakfast line-up starting this fall. Additionally, McDonald’s will now have a national breakfast menu so that every location nationwide will have the same all-day breakfast offerings: McMuffins, biscuit sandwiches, and McGriddles, to name a few.
These changes come as no surprise, considering that McDonald’s all-day breakfast has been a huge hit since launching last year. The company, which has been struggling with sales in the past five years or so, reported that national sales have increased 5.4% due to the popularity of all-day breakfast.
In January of this year, McDonald’s posted their highest quarterly sales in nearly four years. Again, mostly due to the success of their 24-hour breakfast menu.
Looking at this breakfast expansion through this lens, it makes us think less about how much we would love a midnight-McGriddle and more about the harsh reality of our favorite fast food chain: is breakfast the last hope for Mickey D’s?
All the signs that McDonald’s may be losing steam have been present in the last few years.
In general, the last 10 years have seen McDonald’s come under a lot of fire. Between finding chemicals and fabricated ingredients in their food, being protested for low employee wages, and generally being a less-than-health conscious choice within a world that now emphasizes and prefers such a lifestyle, it has not been a fantastic few years for McDonald’s.
Currently, McDonald’s is making a half-hearted attempt to revamp the look of its nationwide locations. Although they’ve been trying to nix the classic cafeteria look in favor of a chicer vibe (one that they no doubt feel will draw in more millennials), decreasing sales and lack of positive response has been delaying the national makeover.
And that’s not the only desperate (and pretty sad) attempt the chain has made to try and woo customers back. So far using kale in their recipes, promising fresh beef patties, and grilling their hamburger buns for five seconds longer have impressed no one, and it shows in recent McDonald’s sales.
But among all this controversy and falling numbers has been one saving grace: the all-day breakfast menu.
This one menu change gave McDonald’s the sales boost it desperately needed, so it makes perfect sense that they’re working to expand upon the idea. The cold truth is, and many McDonald’s executives have probably realized this, it may be the chain’s only shot at returning to its former glory.
But will it be enough?
Many analysts say no. While the hype of all-day breakfast has been popular in the past nine months, many experts say the desire for breakfast at any hour may wane. It’s a fad, and the truth about fads is they tend to disappear.
But, now that McDonald’s has discovered just how popular their breakfasts are, they may continue to play with their breakfast menu. It may be a last ditch attempt, but right now, it seems like the only leg McDonald’s may have to stand on.
Honestly, we firmly believe that as long as there are stoners craving McMuffins at 2 AM, there will be a McDonald’s. Hopefully, it will be the same McDonald’s we all know and love.