McDonald's May Go Long on Breakfast

Published in CSP Daily News

And Taco Bell launching "desayuno" nationwide on March 27

OAK BROOK, Ill. & IRVINE, Calif. -- As Taco Bell prepares to roll out a national breakfast program, McDonald's is in the early stages of looking at whether it can make breakfast available later in the day.

The breakfast menu is not available after 10:30 a.m. The chain considered offering both the breakfast and lunch menu logistically impossible, given the tight kitchen spaces of the restaurants. But the fast feeder is mulling the option more seriously at a time when people's eating habits are changing, particularly those coveted customers in their 20s and 30s known as millennials, reported the Associated Press.

"We know, as an example, that breakfast on the weekend cut off at 10:30 doesn't go very well," Jeff Stratton, head of McDonald's USA, told the news agency.

He declined to provide any details on how McDonald's would adjust kitchen operations to make breakfast later in the day. "Well, we're just beginning. ... We're just taking a look at it," he said.

McDonald's spokesperson Lisa McComb added that there are no tests currently in place for the extended breakfast hours.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's has long entertained the idea of serving breakfast throughout the day. But the chain has been inching closer to making the idea a reality as it faces heightened competition and slumping sales, said the report. Last year, for example, the company began offering an "After Midnight" menu at select locations. The menu, available from midnight to 4:00 a.m., consisted of a limited mix of breakfast and lunch items so kitchen operations would not be overwhelmed.

Separately, Taco Bell said that Taco Bell Breakfast, which will offer the highly anticipated Waffle Taco, the all-in-one A.M. Crunchwrap and Cinnabon Delights, will be available in restaurants nationwide starting March 27 from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Taco Bell is launching the brand's largest, most extensive menu since it first opened its doors more than 50 years ago, it said. Taco Bell Breakfast comes as a change to the traditional quick-service restaurant (QSR) breakfast routine, bringing the brand's approach to a crowded breakfast sandwich market.

Taco Bell president Brian Niccol said, "We have invested in our most extensive training ever for team members and will not require any major new equipment for operators--making for a holistic effort our teams are proud of and our owners are confident to execute."

Taco Bell Breakfast is classic breakfast tastes (eggs, sausage, bacon and hash browns) with a Taco Bell twist--products wrapped up and portable for consumers' "on-the-go" lifestyle.

Fans are already taking to social media to buzz about their appetite for the Waffle Taco--a warm waffle wrapped around a sausage patty or bacon, with scrambled eggs and cheese, and served with a side of syrup. For an all-in-one breakfast solution, the A.M. Crunchwrap offers a morning twist on the iconic Crunchwrap featuring classic breakfast tastes of scrambled eggs, a hash brown, melted cheese and bacon (or a sausage patty or steak), wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.

More than 5,500 participating restaurants nationwide will offer Taco Bell's full breakfast menu and will feature the following items, all with the great value Taco Bell can provide: Waffle Taco; A.M. Crunchwrap; Cinnabon Delights; Breakfast Burrito; Bacon Breakfast Burrito; Sausage, Steak & Eggs Burrito; A.M. Grilled Taco; Bacon A.M. Grilled Taco; sausage; Sausage Flatbread Melt; hash brown; coffee; and Tropicana orange juice.

The campaign will be supported with TV and radio advertising led by Deutsch L.A., in-store POP and packaging by Draftfcb, as well as digital, social and public relations support from DigitasLBi and Taylor, respectively.

"Taco Bell Breakfast will be one of the brand's priority initiatives of the year, along with a vigorous development plan to increase accessibility of restaurants and a mobile platform that puts the Taco Bell menu board and payment in customers' hands," said Niccol. "These key initiatives will continue momentum for the brand's strong and growing relevance with millennials, while working towards the aggressive goal to double revenue and add 2,000 restaurants by 2022."

Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell Corp. is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands Inc., Louisville, Ky.