McDonald's is shrinking its All Day Breakfast menu

The company plans to let franchisees decide what items to serve after 10:30 a.m. amid a continued simplification effort.
Photograph courtesy of McDonald's Corp.

McDonald’s said Tuesday that it plans to simplify its All Day Breakfast menu starting this fall, pulling back on the service amid continued transaction declines and growing concerns about service speed.

The Chicago-based burger giant plans to give local operators more flexibility in determining what breakfast items to continue serving after 10:30 a.m. and when to serve them. Operators must still serve all-day breakfast, but they will be able to pick and choose what items to feature based on local market demand.

“As we sharpen our focus on reducing complexity in our restaurants and for crew, McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. will refresh their breakfast menu on a local level to better serve customers after traditional breakfast hours,” the company said.

McDonald’s said the refresh would come “as early as July” and would be finished by the end of the third quarter this year as local restaurants determine what items to feature on the all-day menu.

The move comes amid a major effort in the company’s U.S. market to simplify operations and improve speed.

The company reported 4.5% domestic same-store sales growth, but traffic continued to decline, following a more than 2% transaction decline in 2018. Customers bought costlier items and made larger orders while paying higher prices. But they came in less often.

McDonald’s has shifted its focus instead to speed and complexity. It is cutting the Signature Crafted Recipes line of chicken sandwiches and burgers from the menu. It is also reducing the number of items on its overnight menu. And the company is adding technology in its drive-thru while pushing markets to improve service times in the window, where about 70% of the company’s business is generated.

But this is the first time McDonald’s has sought to reduce the number of items on its All Day Breakfast menu since a selection of items were first made available after 10:30 a.m. in 2015. The company then expanded the menu to all of its breakfast items a year later.

McDonald’s has since seen traffic in the morning decline. The company added Triple Breakfast Stacks last year in part to help boost that business, then introduced Donut Sticks in February.

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