Can All-Day Breakfast Turn McDonald's Around?
Chain needs to solve griddle riddle first
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2015 2:51 AM CDT
Herb Peterson, the creator of the Egg McMuffin, shows off his invention in this April 1997 photo at one of his McDonald's franchises in Santa Barbara, Calif.   (AP Photo/John Hayes)
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(Newser) – Forget kale burgers. McDonald's latest strategy to turn around sagging sales is giving customers something they've apparently been long clamoring for: breakfast for lunch or dinner. The company says it's going to try out serving McMuffins, hash browns, and so on throughout the day at some outlets in San Diego starting in April, the Wall Street Journal reports, although the company says it's "premature to speculate on any outcomes." What the analysts think:

  • Some see it as a winner: "Arguably, the two most craveable items on the McDonald's menu are its french fries and breakfast items such as various McMuffin permutations and the utterly delicious McGriddles," analyst Mark Kalinowski says in a research note, per Bloomberg. "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."

  • But before McDonald's can think about rolling out all-day breakfast to all of its 14,000 US restaurants, it has to solve the problem of lack of grill space, which it has cited in the past as a reason it couldn't serve breakfast all day, notes Shelly Banjo at Quartz. The sales potential is "undeniable," she writes, but only if the "chain can finally make enough room on its griddles to cook both eggs and burgers, at the same time."
  • The griddle problem is a "major challenge," Technomic exec Darren Tristano tells Slate, but it looks like McDonald's is ready to try to solve it. "They're in a funk right now and for the last two years," he says. "Any move that gives your customers what they want, when they want it ... is a strong and positive move."
  • Whether the breakfast experiment works or not, many see it as a sign of new CEO Steve Easterbrook's willingness to try new things. "I think he has a view that he can accomplish most anything," industry analyst Larry Miller tells the Journal.

 

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