McDonald’s made big moves Tuesday to please customers and hopefully boost dwindling sales by moving several of its beloved breakfast items to the all-day menu.
The highly-anticipated rollout began in March after new CEO Steve Easterbrook took over. The expanded menu went nationwide Tuesday.
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) October 2, 2015
Previously, customers had to arrive at the fast-food chain by 10:30 a.m. to get breakfast. Now they’ll only have to do so if they want some of their favorite items.
That’s because the all-day menu whittled the usual breakfast offerings down from some 24 items to nine, and some of those nine items will not be offered at all locations.
Biscuit sandwiches will only be sold at a few select southeastern states, with the McMuffin dominating much of the U.S., according to a graphic by McDonald’s and provided to Nation’s Restaurant News.
The reason for the divide? McDonald’s reportedly chose which type of sandwich is most popular in the different markets.
Another favorite that is now on the all-day menu but is not expected to be served at all locations are the hash browns.
This is because of a “restaurant configuration issue,” McDonald’s spokesperson Lisa McComb told Buzzfeed.
“If a location isn’t able to offer hash browns at this point, that doesn’t mean they never may offer them as more learning continues to happen,” McComb said. “There may be another solution in the future.”
An all-day breakfast menu was “likely the No. 1 request” from customers, a McDonald’s spokesperson told CNN in July.
But the expansion did not come cheaply or easily.
More than 14,300 restaurants in the U.S. had to install separate griddles to accommodate the additional items, and staff had to be trained to handle taking orders, prepping and cooking both breakfast and lunch items simultaneously, according to CNN.
The changes were predicted to cost each franchise $500 to $5,000 – a price McDonald’s planned to help pay, CNN reported in September. Updated figures were not available Tuesday.
Additional items also make is more difficult to manage a restaurant and lead to longer wait times for customers, franchisees have previously told the company while asking that the number of items sold be cut back.
However, the new CEO, who inherited a 15 percent profit decline in 2014, believes Tuesday’s move will help.
RBC analyst David Palmer agrees, telling CNN the change may boost sales 4 percent.
“McDonald’s U.S. business wants and needs a win,” Palmer said. “All-day breakfast is a start, but the company needs to build on it.”
Some items not included on the all-day menu include the Big Breakfast, Cinnamon Melts and McGriddles.
Despite the limited offerings, hundreds took to Twitter with McDonald’s promoted hashtag #AllDayBreakfast to praise the menu expansion on Tuesday:
— Julie M. Mah (@JulieMM) October 6, 2015
I'm gonna gain 100lbs from all the McDonald's I'm about to eat today #AllDayBreakfast
— Spank (@spencerguidish) October 6, 2015