The Story of How McDonald's All-Day Breakfast Came to Be
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Soon, you'll be able to get your McMuffin fix all day long.
On Tuesday, McDonald's broke the news that it will begin selling breakfast nationwide starting Oct. 6. While customers have long requested all-day breakfast, or at least extended hours, getting to this point was far from easy for the fast-food chain.
Here's the process of making all-day McDonald's breakfast go from a pipe dream to a national reality.
June and July 2007: Users tweet about all-day breakfast.
In the summer of 2007, when Twitter was just a year old and didn't even have hashtags, two early adopters took to the social network to complain about the lack of all-day breakfast at McDonald's. These tweets would have likely been long forgotten if McDonald's hadn't responded to them yesterday, eight years later, to announce the national launch of all-day breakfast.
February 2014: Rumors of extended breakfast hours emerge.
After Taco Bell announced the March roll out of a breakfast menu with service until 11 a.m., rumors emerged McDonald's was considering expanding the option of extending breakfast hours beyond the 10:30 a.m. cutoff. McDonald's position as the reigning king of fast-food was challenged, and the company realized it was time to up its game.
July 2014: McBrunch?
In July, McDonald's filed for a federal trademark registration for the term "McBrunch." While that chain hasn't done anything with the trademark, it demonstrates that the company was already considering ways to stretch the power of the breakfast business.
October 2014: McDonald's shuts down breakfast lovers.
In October, McDonald's launched the "Our Food. Your Questions." campaign. One of the questions: why does the chain stop serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m.? The company's response: "Here’s the thing: it comes down to the sheer size of kitchen grills. They simply don’t have the room for all of our menu options at one time — especially considering we use our grill to prepare many items on our breakfast menu."
November 2015: McDonald's hits one year without sales growth in the U.S.
October sales figures reveal that McDonald's same-store sales fell 0.5 percent globally and 1 percent in the U.S. This marks a full year without a single month of reported same-store sales growth in the U.S.
March 2015: McDonald's brings on a new CEO.
In late January, McDonald's announced that after 25 years at McDonald's, Don Thompson would retire as president and CEO, to be replaced by the current senior vice president and chief brand officer Steve Easterbrook on March 1. Easterbrook, who also has experience as CEO of European fast-casual chains PizzaExpress and Wagamama, expressed commitment to making major changes at McDonald's in his new position.
April 2015: The first breakfast test rolls out in San Diego.
In late March, the company announced that it would begin testing breakfast in April at some locations in the San Diego area. The proposed partial menu for all-day breakfast included breakfast sandwiches and hash browns.
May 2015: McDonald's turnaround plan pushes all-day breakfast into Nashville.
On May 4, McDonald's revealed its turnaround plan, which focused on increasing franchising, restructuring and a new dedication to the upheaval of tradition – including traditional breakfast hours. That meant expanding all-day breakfast tests to Nashville, as franchisees found out the next week in an internal webcast.
July 2015: Memo reveals potential national launch.
The Wall Street Journal got its hands on a memo sent to U.S. franchisees and employees in late July saying that all-day breakfast tests had been encouraging. The memo told franchisees to get ready for a potential launch of all-day breakfast as soon as October.
August 2015: Franchisees votes for national roll out.
Franchisees voted to approve all-day breakfast in late August, with the news breaking on Sept. 1. Operators will spend the next month adding or changing equipment and training staff prior to the Oct. 6 launch date.