McDonald’s is testing a new version of its popular McGriddles sandwich line, this one featuring French toast, as it seeks to regain breakfast customers it has lost this year.
The company is testing the McGriddles French Toast breakfast sandwich at more than 200 locations in Minnesota. The sandwich features both bacon and sausage, cheese and an egg on a brioche French toast bun.
“It’s everything you love about breakfast in one sandwich,” McDonald’s chef Mike Lingo said in a statement. He said that the French toast features cinnamon, spice and vanilla flavors.
McDonald’s has seen its traffic lag this year, in large part because of weakness in its historically dominant breakfast daypart. Same-store sales rose 2.6% in the U.S. in the quarter ended June 30.
“It’s been a stronghold for us for many, many years,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said on a conference call last month. “But we’ve just begun to lose a little bit of share at that daypart.”
The company’s efforts to improve its breakfast positioning have included more deals, such as a two-for-$4 breakfast sandwich offer. It is also hoping some additional local marketing of the daypart will help.
The French toast test also demonstrates that McDonald’s is intent on using innovative products to improve sales in the morning.
The last major breakfast sandwich the company introduced was the Egg White Delight McMuffin, in 2013. McGriddles were introduced in 2003. The company said that it is “fulfilling our customers’ desires for a little indulgence at breakfast.”
In more recent years, the Chicago-based company generated sales by offering its breakfast menu all day, and later added the semicustomizable line of Signature Crafted Recipes chicken sandwiches and burgers. Earlier this year, the company started selling Quarter Pounder burgers to order using fresh beef.