All-Day Breakfast Boosts McDonald’s, But Can’t Save The Company Alone

Image courtesy of Morton Fox

The golden days of the All-Day Breakfast Boom may have passed. No, nothing is happening to your afternoon McMuffin, but the sales surge created by offering breakfast at any time has waned in the U.S. So what’s next?

McDonald’s would probably point out here that the 1.3% sales decrease from this time last year is actually because things have returned to normal. Traffic was up at this time last year due to excitement over the nationwide rollout of a world where you could get an Egg McMuffin at one in the morning.

What will be the next driver of sales now that we’re used to the whole breakfast thing? McDonald’s is betting that it will be ordering without speaking to another human, either through touchscreen kiosks or a mobile app.

Another idea that the company is counting on was previously known as the Create Your Taste burger, an upscale product within McDonald’s with “premium ingredients” and slightly premium price tags. The chain has combined that line with its Chef Created products to get a line called “Signature Crafted Recipes,” only with a simplified order process.

While that idea has potential, and has been tested overseas for a while now it doesn’t have the visceral appeal to fast-foodies that the phrase “all-day breakfast” does. It’s been obvious to McDonald’s and to observers that it couldn’t ride the hash brown train forever, but the company needs a hit that its franchisees won’t hate.

By the way, international sales at McDonald’s are pretty great, as our friends in Siberia could have told us.

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