McDonald’s Expanding Breakfast Menu To ‘After Midnight’
Nothing beats some hot, greasy breakfast food after a night of partying. Except maybe McDonald’s breakfast. But who wants to wait until daybreak to get that sausage biscuit and hashbrown? Good news! The Golden Arches will soon be serving Egg McMuffins right alongside Big Macs as early as midnight at participating locations.
After several months of testing its “Breakfast After Midnight” menu in just a few McDonald’s locations—in Delaware, Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, California and Texas—McDonald’s is ready to expand the menu to reach the whole nation. Breakfast currently accounts for about a quarter of all fast-food sales, despite many chains limiting its availability to just four to five hours a day. The expansion of McDonald’s late-night menu accommodates the various schedules consumers eat their meals.
“Customers are commuting longer, people are out at different hours of the day,” McDonald’s spokesperson Danya Proud told the Chicago Tribune. “This is a good opportunity to meet the needs of those customers.“
In fact, chains such as Sonic and Jack in the Box currently serve breakfast all day, but other McDonald’s competitors, such as Burger King, have not yet made the leap to full menus all day. And McDonald’s can certainly use a boost in sales. The company has struggled to regain its low-income customers—the heart and soul of its business model—in a recovering economy. While raising prices would be counterproductive, expanding its menu allows McDonald’s to attract new demographics.
“It’s indicative of how competitive things are,” Scott Hume, founder of BurgerBusiness.com, told USA Today. “All the chains are struggling to get their numbers up.“
In fact, according to the NPD Group, morning fast-food traffic increased 2 percent in the first quarter, while lunch remained flat and dinner traffic fell by 1 percent.
“Ongoing consumer economic concerns coupled with the payroll tax hike will continue to hinder restaurant industry growth,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “It’s important for operators and foodservice manufacturers to keep in mind that consumers still made more than 61 billion restaurant visits last year, which means that there is still significant demand. Understanding and meeting the wants and needs of restaurant consumers is the best way to build traffic.”
McDonalds’ has not yet announced how many McDonald’s locations will offer its “After Midnight” menu, but almost half of its restaurants are open 24 hours. A sneak peak of the late-night menu has been leaked, however, by ESPN’s Darred Rovell.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 6, 2013
Although McDonald’s says locations in different regions can customize their menus to satisfy local tastes, the released menu includes breakfast staples such as Egg McMuffins, breakfast burritos and hotcakes with sausage, as well as classic McDonald’s items like Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, Double Cheeseburgers and McNuggets. Customers ordering off the “After Midnight” menu can choose between French fries and a hashbrown, regardless of which entrée they order.