Sustaining The Breakfast Franchise Model
Sustaining The Breakfast Franchise Model

McDonald's learned having breakfast all day may not be a sustainable business model.

Who doesn’t love a tall stack of pancakes in the afternoon or evening? Apparently everyone, that’s who. Having breakfast past the waking hours is an amazing pipe dream, but some restaurants have decided to regulate those meals to the standard morning hours. McDonalds decided to buck that trend and discovered people may not be ready for breakfast all day.

On October 6th, the fast food brand unveiled its “All Day Breakfast” campaign, it’s inevitable launch of having their Egg McMuffins and other breakfast items being available all day. It was a long time coming as people have been clamoring for years to get a McGriddle past 11 a.m., and the recent wave of support through social media twisted the Oak Brook, Illinois-based brand’s arm.

Out of the gate, the new menu items were not doing so hot. Serving breakfast all-day became a nuisance to McDonald's managers, employees and franchisees as it slowed down service, resulted in lower bills for customers and created confusion in the kitchen, according to Forbes. Not to mention, the added inventory for each store makes a dent in the company’s budget. Robert Maynard, co-founder of craft breakfast restaurant Famous Toastery, said McDonalds doesn’t understand the niche appeal of breakfast.

“Half the enjoyment from breakfast comes eating it first thing in the morning. Sure eggs or pancakes can be a nice treat to have during dinner, but over doing it can cause it to lose its luster,” Maynard said. “In the restaurant business, having novelty items available all day can cause those meals to lose their luster. Customers will no longer be excited to have breakfast items and sales for those items will drop.”

Despite the allure of breakfast being an all-day offer, serving breakfast all day has seemed to be doing ok for McDonalds right now. A study conducted by market research group NPD Group Inc., found that a third of customers who purchased breakfast past morning hours did not visit their prospective McDonalds location the month before the launch. And the enticement of a McBiscuit at all hours of the day got customers to order other items as 61 percent of those customers also bought non-breakfast items. It is yet to be determined if this is a sustainable move for McDonald’s while brunch concepts like Famous Toastery continue to thrive.