McDonald's customers have long demanded one thing: all-day breakfast. Their wish may come true this fall.
All-day breakfast is one of the top requests from McDonald's customers. This year, the chain began adding prep space to kitchens to make room for all-day breakfast tests in San Diego and Nashville restaurants. So far, the results have been promising, according to a memo sent to U.S. franchisees that was secured by the Wall Street Journal.
A McDonald's franchisee who leads a task force studying all-day breakfast told the WSJ that it may launch nationwide as early as October. But it doesn't look like the whole breakfast menu will be available all day — operators may have to make the difficult decision of "whether they want their new menu boards to feature biscuits or muffins for the breakfast sandwiches," the WSJ reported.
If this were to become a reality, franchisees would need to order new equipment and change menu boards.
"We're testing it out in a few markets to learn more about this possibility," a McDonald's spokesperson said in an email to BuzzFeed News. "We know your mouth is watering, but there's no news on this yet."
Currently, most McDonald's restaurants stop serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m.
The company has avoided offering breakfast items while it's cooking burgers, wraps, and other foods during lunch and dinner hours in order to keeps things simpler in the kitchen. Already, its lunch and dinner menu have become bloated with too many items, and the addition of McCafé beverages has slowed service. This is bad for any fast food business.
Despite the hurdles, bringing over some items from its popular morning menu could be worthwhile. Some analysts think it could grow sales, if executed correctly. Already, breakfast accounts for about 25% of the fast food chain's domestic sales, according to Bloomberg News.
In addition to all-day breakfast, McDonald's is experimenting with a number of strategies to reverse its recent sales decline.
McDonald's domestic sales have been sliding since late 2013. Comparable sales at restaurants that have been open at least 13 months declined 2.2% in the U.S. and 0.3% globally in May.
As McDonald's tries to clean up its lunch and dinner menu by eliminating less-popular items, it is also adding new options, such as custom burgers.
Inside stores, customers will be able to build their own burgers by selecting the ingredients using a "tablet-like kiosk." This will not be a cheap change for restaurant owners: The price to install all the new equipment for this program is reportedly around $100,000 per store. A pared-down version is also being tested for drive-thrus, where the chain rings up a majority of its sales.
Whether any of these ideas will help McDonald's grow again will depend largely on if they can be offered without compromising order accuracy, speed, or food quality.
Venessa Wong is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Wong covers the food industry.
Contact Venessa Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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