Is McDonald’s Scrambling Your Sales?

How you can react to the burger behemoth’s all-day-breakfast boon
McDonald's All-Day Breakfast

Franchisees have called it a headache, a nightmare, even a disaster. Analysts have called it a no-brainer that took 60 years to figure out.

Consumers? So far, they’re lovin’ it. It’s been three months since McDonald’s began offering its breakfast menu all day. By early December, numbers from The NPD Group revealed that around-the-clock access to Egg McMuffins helped the chain gain new customers and boost check averages at lunch.

From the October launch into early December, one-third of customers who ordered a breakfast item outside of the traditional morning hours had not been inside a McDonald’s at all prior to the rollout. Among consumers purchasing breakfast foods during lunch, 61% also bought nonbreakfast items, raising the check average.

54%

Amount of consumers who say they enjoy eating breakfast foods at nontraditional times —Technomic

“It’s early and there are other questions to answer as time goes on, but for now it is working,” Bonnie Riggs, an industry analyst with Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD, said in a release.

So how can c-stores stay competitive? Laura McGuire, director with Technomic, Chicago, has a few ideas. First, consider combo meals and value menus centered on breakfast. Fifty-seven percent of consumers ages 18 to 24 say breakfast combo meals are important offers at foodservice locations, according to Technomic data. McGuire also recommends calling out “clean” ingredients such as natural, organic or GMO-free items, as well as ethical sourcing such as cage-free eggs.

Extending your own breakfast hours could be beneficial: Fifty-four percent of consumers say they enjoy eating breakfast food at nontraditional times, up from 48% in 2013.

But instead of rushing to copy McDonald’s strategy, McGuire suggests slower, incremental moves: “Expand breakfast hours into lunch and see how consumers respond to the change.”