In the breakfast ‘battleground,’ McDonald’s goes big

The company is introducing new Triple Breakfast Stacks sandwiches next month.
Photograph courtesy of McDonald's Corp.

McDonald’s hopes the solution to its suddenly weak breakfast daypart is bigger sandwiches.

On Tuesday, the company said it plans to introduce a trio of Triple Breakfast Stacks. The sandwiches come on either a Biscuit, a McGriddle or a McMuffin, with triple the meat: two sausage patties plus bacon, two slices of cheese and an egg. The new product will appear on menus on Nov. 1.

The sandwiches would be the first new breakfast menu addition at the Chicago-based chain since 2003, when the company added McGriddles.

The item comes as the chain is working to bolster breakfast sales in the U.S., a traditional strength for the fast-food giant that has struggled this year. The company said on Tuesday that its same-store sales rose 2.4% in the third quarter but traffic is down, including at breakfast.

“We’re still losing a little share,” Easterbrook said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call. “It’s very competitive out there with breakfast.”

“It continues to be a battleground.”

In September, the company added $1 any-size coffee to its $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu, and it also added Sausage Biscuits or Sausage McMuffins to that menu, giving different regions the ability to pick which one to serve.

But the company is also trying bigger items. This year it tested French Toast McGriddles at its Minnesota restaurants.

The Triple Breakfast Stacks were “inspired” by a secret menu at the chain, the company said, noting that its customers would adapt the menu and create their own, larger sandwiches. “People have been hacking our menu for years, so much that it’s inspired our new Triple Breakfast Stacks,” Mike Haracz, manager of culinary innovation, said in a statement.

McDonald’s has largely focused on value in its bid to get breakfast customers back into the fold, including two-for-$4 breakfast sandwich offerings for much of the year. But the company now believes that new menu news is the key to winning back customers.

“We haven’t had much food news at breakfast for a little while,” Easterbrook said. “We want to do better at breakfast.”

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