Will All-Day Breakfast Ever Return to McDonald’s?
Among the many hardships we’ve faced over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the suspension of McDonald’s all-day breakfast service clearly isn’t the most serious. Many locations were already over the 2015 menu extension: Last year, McDonald’s granted franchises the option to slim down their all-day offerings to help improve operations before coronavirus was even on our radar. So when the pandemic forced the burger giant to simplify things further, all-day breakfast was a logical place to start.
However, now that locations nationwide have remembered what life was like before all-day breakfast, Business Insider reports that a growing push exists to get rid of the service altogether. And when asked for comment, McDonald’s corporate didn’t increase confidence that all-day breakfast would definitely return.
“We removed All Day Breakfast from the menu to simplify operations in our kitchens, which we saw provided better speed of service and order accuracy,” McDonald’s USA told us in an emailed statement. “As McDonald’s and franchisees evaluate if and how we bring All Day Breakfast back to our menus, we want to ensure these improvements will remain consistent for our customers. Any final decision will be made in partnership with our franchisees, based on consumer demand, and designed to drive the business while minimizing operational disruptions.”
Despite its two-letter length, that “if” is a huge concession coming from a company that has touted all-day breakfast as a major success story. And if corporate headquarters do leave the decision in the hands of franchises, those prospects aren’t very promising, either: As the Wall Street Journal reported in June, the board of the influential National Owners Association, which represents about 80-percent of American franchisees, said earlier this year they want to ax all-day breakfast for good.
Permanently removing all-day breakfast a mere five years after introducing the concept would certainly be upsetting for McMuffin fans who spent decades dreaming of McDonald’s pushing breakfast items into the PM hours. But for franchises that now rely more than ever on drive-thru service, dumping all-day breakfast could have more concrete benefits: Business Insider explains that drive-thru times have been 15 to 20 seconds faster in some areas since McDonald’s made its pandemic changes. That allows more customers to be served over the course of a day, even if they have to go for fries over hash browns.