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  #1  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:32 PM
Lobsang Lobsang is offline
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Why don't Mcdonalds serve their breakfast menu all day?

I think they'd make a killing.

I sit here at 19:30 looking at the mcdonalds website (.co.uk) deciding what to have. And I find myself salivating over the sausage'n egg mcmuffin. It's all I want, but I can't have it.

Surely there's profit in making these available all day??? So why don't they?
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:38 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Because they have determined that they will not make a killing. You are not their typical customer.
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:40 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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1 reason - possibly because they don't have room to make both kinds of stuff - they can only make 1 type of stuff at a time. And because the demand is just not that high after 11 AM.

In the US there are places that serve breakfast all day long such as IHOP , Waffle House and Bojangles (for biscuits.)
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  #4  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:40 PM
otternell otternell is offline
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I would buy breakfast out of the "normal" hours. Especially on a Saturday when I wake up with a hankering, and its 11am. Dammit!
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:41 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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McDonalds site on this idea.

The answer is they don't care what customers think is a good idea.
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:47 PM
robby robby is offline
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
1 reason - possibly because they don't have room to make both kinds of stuff - they can only make 1 type of stuff at a time. And because the demand is just not that high after 11 AM.
Exactly. They have neither the room nor the staff to make both simultaneously all day.

(I used to work at McDonald's back in the dark ages.)

Even the transition from breakfast to lunch is a pain in the neck, and you only have to do that for a few minutes.

They could increase the kitchen size and add staff, but they have determined that there's not enough demand to justify it, and a larger kitchen and staff would cut into their bottom line.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:49 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
McDonalds site on this idea.

The answer is they don't care what customers think is a good idea.
So the reason they don't serve breakfast is they don't care what customers think? You got all that from your link? Impressive.
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  #8  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:49 PM
Richie Incognito Richie Incognito is offline
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I thiink the market for this is small. Think of the places where you can get breakfast all day ( IHOP, Dennys, random diners, etc.). Now think of how many times you walked into one of these places and saw many people eating breakfast food at an off time (after brunch).
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:53 PM
Skammer Skammer is online now
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I remember a while back that Burger King had a big campaign advertising that you could now get their non-breakfast menu at all hours: if you want a double Whopper for breakfast, have at it. Do they still do that? Or did it turn out not to be successful?
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  #10  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:56 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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You guys have hit on it: It's mostly an equipment cost issue. The same equipment is used for both their lunch and breakfast, and they can only do one at a time. And they can't justify the expense of getting new equipment as the market for breakfast at non-breakfast times isn't large enough.

Most of the places mentioned by Richie Incognito pull it off because because they cook things to order, so their's very little difference in cost no matter what you order.

The only other place I can think of that sells breakfast all day is Sonic. The thing with them is that most of their breakfast food was always served all day. All they have to do is warm up a package of sausage or egg, or use the premade breakfast burritos (which McDonalds could do, too.)
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:56 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Another reason McDonalds rejects new ideas is so they don't get sued. They don't want anyone claiming they invented the new sandwich they just released.
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:58 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Originally Posted by Contrapuntal View Post
So the reason they don't serve breakfast is they don't care what customers think? You got all that from your link? Impressive.
You don't. Oh well.
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:58 PM
Reepicheep Reepicheep is offline
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Originally Posted by Lobsang View Post
I think they'd make a killing.

I sit here at 19:30 looking at the mcdonalds website (.co.uk) deciding what to have. And I find myself salivating over the sausage'n egg mcmuffin. It's all I want, but I can't have it.

Surely there's profit in making these available all day??? So why don't they?
Back when I was working at McDs we did serve breakfast all day long, and all night up to close. This was very long ago, the late '70s. We stopped, however, when not enough people were ordering the egg dishes to keep one of the three grills set at the temperature to grill the eggs all day, instead of grilling meat. We ran breakfast all day for over a year before the change to only morning. At that time we were the 15th busiest McDs in Maryland, and the 7th to get a drive thru.
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2010, 01:59 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
You don't. Oh well.
I don't what?
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:00 PM
Lobsang Lobsang is offline
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OK. I guess I got answer fast.
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  #16  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:14 PM
Magiver Magiver is online now
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Originally Posted by Richie Incognito View Post
I thiink the market for this is small. Think of the places where you can get breakfast all day ( IHOP, Dennys, random diners, etc.). Now think of how many times you walked into one of these places and saw many people eating breakfast food at an off time (after brunch).
all the time. It's probably the only thing keeping them in business.

I don't fully accept the space limitations quoted. Waffle House cooks breakfast/lunch/dinner 24 hrs a day in less space than McDonalds. It's a function of engineering the space properly to accommodate the higher volume the McDonalds franchise is based on.

Me personally, I would almost always choose an Egg McMuffin over any of their burgers.
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  #17  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:18 PM
Skammer Skammer is online now
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Another reason McDonalds rejects new ideas is so they don't get sued. They don't want anyone claiming they invented the new sandwich they just released.
That's the same reason, with a few exceptions, you can't just send a script for a TV episode to the producers of a show and expect them to read it. They don't want to be accused of stealing your ideas. At the very least you need to go through some kind of agent.
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  #18  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:19 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Originally Posted by Contrapuntal View Post
I don't what?
Get all that from that page?
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  #19  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:22 PM
Driver8 Driver8 is offline
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I have the opposite problem. I eat a very early lunch, but they won't make me a burger at 10am. As others have suggested, I am sure they have crunched the numbers and determined that catering to my whims is not profitable.
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  #20  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:27 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Get all that from that page?
Show me where it discusses the breakfast question, and where it says that it doesn't care what customers think, and that this lack of caring is the reason for not serving breakfast all day.

It says that it has a process in place for new ideas, that unsolicited suggestions are too numerous to address, and that determining what is truly new versus what is already in the pipeline creates a challenge, but that's not nearly the same thing as not caring what customers think, which is what you claimed. Not at all.
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  #21  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:27 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Originally Posted by Contrapuntal View Post
So the reason they don't serve breakfast is they don't care what customers think? You got all that from your link? Impressive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
McDonalds site on this idea.

The answer is they don't care what customers think is a good idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Another reason McDonalds rejects new ideas is so they don't get sued. They don't want anyone claiming they invented the new sandwich they just released.


That's common for most businesses -- "Hey, you stole my idea!!! I'll sue you!!!" They'd also have to pay royalties to said person, wouldn't they?

It has nothing to do with not "caring about their customers." It's about not getting their asses sued. And I can't say I blame them.
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  #22  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:28 PM
Driver8 Driver8 is offline
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Get all that from that page?
Contrapuntal is right - it is stupid to connect that page to them not serving breakfast. They would care very much if customers en-mass rejected McDonalds because they couldn't get breakfast all the time. If they determined that customers thought it sucked to the extend that it would have been more profitable to reconfigure the stores to serve both then they would absolutely do it.

This is not related in any way to their lack of desire to accept specific unsolicited ideas from the general public - there are reasons unrelated to not caring about what customers want for doing this. However, if their own research told them that most customers did indeed care about 24 hour breakfast, I am sure we will see it.
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  #23  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:29 PM
SpartanDC SpartanDC is offline
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I have a very vague memory from awhile back of a new McDonald's executive talking about re-engineering the kitchens so they could do all-day breakfast, suggesting that it really is a matter of equipment and space.

I do think they should treat weekends differently though and have some sort of limited breakfast menu until noon -- maybe just McGriddles and burritos, or whatever else requires the least equipment.
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:29 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
I have the opposite problem. I eat a very early lunch, but they won't make me a burger at 10am. As others have suggested, I am sure they have crunched the numbers and determined that catering to my whims is not profitable.
That always ticked me off as well when i still ate at McDonalds with a group that stopped for a meal during a trip. I'll just have a soda please.
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  #25  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:32 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Some locations have longer breakfast on the weekends but only an extra 30 minutes.
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  #26  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:33 PM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
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Jack-In-The-Box serves breakfast all day, but as was pointed out earlier, they make their food to order, so it doesn't matter much. Burger King still serves lunch food during breakfast time (as does Jack-In-The-Box and Carl's, Jr., for that matter), presumably for the same reasons.

Along similar lines, I've been wondering why McDonald's is the ONLY fast food restaurant I'm aware of that serves pancakes. I can't think of any other chain that does this. Lots of breakfast sandwiches and burritos at other places, but only McDonald's troubles with pancakes. If it's profitable enough to pull off at the Golden Arches, why not elsewhere?
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  #27  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:34 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
all the time. It's probably the only thing keeping them in business.

I don't fully accept the space limitations quoted. Waffle House cooks breakfast/lunch/dinner 24 hrs a day in less space than McDonalds. It's a function of engineering the space properly to accommodate the higher volume the McDonalds franchise is based on.

Me personally, I would almost always choose an Egg McMuffin over any of their burgers.
Waffle House doesn't have to fill up its flat grill with hamburgers. You can't cook burgers and eggs on the same flat grill. Not only is it a question of space, but also temperature (burgers are cooked at much hotter temps than eggs and pancakes) and contamination from the burger grease. Joints that specialize in all-day breakfast (and I've worked at a couple) usually have a separate charbroiler for burgers and steaks, but those burgers and steaks are not cooked in anywhere near the same quantity that McDonalds would need to cook burgers, and don't require anything near the same amount of space and energy.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 02-03-2010 at 02:35 PM..
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  #28  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:35 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
I don't fully accept the space limitations quoted. Waffle House cooks breakfast/lunch/dinner 24 hrs a day in less space than McDonalds. It's a function of engineering the space properly to accommodate the higher volume the McDonalds franchise is based on.
Redesign 30,000 kitchens worldwide to be able to serve Egg McMuffins later? Are you kidding?

The difference between McDonalds and Waffle House is that McDonalds functions like an assembly line, with customers waiting for some matter of tens of seconds for their food under most circumstances, and Waffle House makes food to order taking 5, maybe 10 minutes. If you want to make McDonalds more like Waffle House, the process gets less efficient and it ends up costing money.
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  #29  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:37 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Sonic serves breakfast items all day.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:40 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Sonic has more kitchen space because it doesn't have a dining room.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 02-03-2010 at 02:41 PM..
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  #31  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:43 PM
Magiver Magiver is online now
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Redesign 30,000 kitchens worldwide to be able to serve Egg McMuffins later? Are you kidding?
No, I'm not kidding. I've watched them tear down perfectly good McDonalds buildings to construct larger volume units. It may seem like personal opinion that people prefer the breakfast menu but go to any McDonalds just before the switch and there will be a huge line of people wanting to get breakfast. It seems pointless to try and introduce a different version of a hamburger when people already show an interest in an established product.

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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
The difference between McDonalds and Waffle House is that McDonalds functions like an assembly line, with customers waiting for some matter of tens of seconds for their food under most circumstances, and Waffle House makes food to order taking 5, maybe 10 minutes. If you want to make McDonalds more like Waffle House, the process gets less efficient and it ends up costing money.
Yes, I pointed out the difference between them. I also pointed out Waffle House uses a smaller grill than McDonalds. It's an engineering task to alter existing kitchens.

Last edited by Magiver; 02-03-2010 at 02:44 PM..
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  #32  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:44 PM
CaveMike CaveMike is offline
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I don't fully accept the space limitations quoted. Waffle House cooks breakfast/lunch/dinner 24 hrs a day in less space than McDonalds. It's a function of engineering the space properly to accommodate the higher volume the McDonalds franchise is based on.
I think the space issue is reasonable. It is not just grill size, but also number of fryers, fryer trays, slider trays between the kitchen and register, etc. All of these things have to scale and it is reasonable to assume that they are already optimized to their full potential.

Look at it another way. If McD's had the ability to add space for X number of breakfast items, then they could instead choose to add X number of new lunch items. In fact, considering how their menu has grown in recent years, it is possible that this is exactly what they did do.
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  #33  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:47 PM
Magiver Magiver is online now
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
Waffle House doesn't have to fill up its flat grill with hamburgers. You can't cook burgers and eggs on the same flat grill.
Funny, I watch them do it all the time at Waffle House. Grills have adjustable heat zones for this reason.
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  #34  
Old 02-03-2010, 02:53 PM
Magiver Magiver is online now
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I think the space issue is reasonable. It is not just grill size, but also number of fryers, fryer trays, slider trays between the kitchen and register, etc. All of these things have to scale and it is reasonable to assume that they are already optimized to their full potential.

Look at it another way. If McD's had the ability to add space for X number of breakfast items, then they could instead choose to add X number of new lunch items. In fact, considering how their menu has grown in recent years, it is possible that this is exactly what they did do.
If there is a Sonic next to a McDonnalds then they have already won the breakfast race. They're currently building Sonics like mad in my area. "Can't" is not a good business model.

When you have an established menu item that sells well it just makes sense to exploit it rather than try to introduce new products.

You're correct that McDonalds probably has their kitchen optimized for their current regiment. It would have to be re-optimized.

Last edited by Magiver; 02-03-2010 at 02:55 PM..
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  #35  
Old 02-03-2010, 03:19 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is online now
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Exactly. They have neither the room nor the staff to make both simultaneously all day.

(I used to work at McDonald's back in the dark ages.)

Even the transition from breakfast to lunch is a pain in the neck, and you only have to do that for a few minutes.

They could increase the kitchen size and add staff, but they have determined that there's not enough demand to justify it, and a larger kitchen and staff would cut into their bottom line.
I used to work in fast food as well. That is the reason.

Different food types are stored in their own packages. We can't, for example, just keep the breakfast muffin buns together upstairs (our storage and main freezers were downstairs) together all the time. We'd have to allocate room for breakfast foods, rest of the day foods, fries, etc. When you're limited on the variety of what you're selling, it makes storage easier. Nobody wants to run downstairs every 20 mins for another package of breakfast buns and nobody wants to overstock breakfast upstairs and have to do many more trips for the lunch food.

Also, we would have to have different cooking areas. We would have fryers for fries, seperate ones for our little corn dogs, and another set of fryers for fried chicken patties and nuggets. If we were to add breakfast to that, we'd have to keep another fryer specifically for our lightly fried potato chunks (sorta like hash browns). They need different frying times so we cannot simply share it with the regular french fry fryers.

Another thing is the garnish we use on the breakfast potatoes. They come with onions, bell pepper, and some other thing. With no breakfast all day, we can store those downstairs. If we had breakfast all day, we'd have to find even more room to put those thing in, not to mention the potatoes. And if things don't sell within a certain time, we'll have throw them away and mark it as spoilage.

For us, like for robby, changing from breakfast to lunch is a huge hassle. People who miss breakfast by a few minutes complain a lot, so we ended up sending staff to cut off the lines at a certain point. We would also try to move the breakfast stuff downstairs quickly, but we can't do that until we know how much breakfast orders were left, so we solicited orders from people while in line to see if they were ordering breakfast or lunch. It was such a pain to do every morning.
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  #36  
Old 02-03-2010, 03:57 PM
CaveMike CaveMike is offline
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If there is a Sonic next to a McDonnalds then they have already won the breakfast race. They're currently building Sonics like mad in my area. "Can't" is not a good business model.
I find these simplifications very frustrating. "Can't" is a perfectly acceptable business model if it allows several more viable "Cans". Everything is a trade-off and presumably McDonalds' business staff are executing a plan they feel will continue to make McDonalds successful.

Personally I love McDonalds breakfast and am not fond of the rest of their menu. If they went breakfast-only I would likely gain weight. But I have to assume that McDonalds' business staff have already factored in that CaveMike loves sausage McMuffins and that Sonic is building a lot of restaurants near Magiver's house when they came up with their plans to run the $70B business.
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  #37  
Old 02-03-2010, 04:06 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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There's a difference between what customers "THINK" would be a good idea and what they actually would buy.

Most people thought New Coke tasted better, but they didn't want it.

McDonalds does a lot of marketing and research, if enough people wanted it, you can better believe it'd be there. They'd FIND a way to do it.
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  #38  
Old 02-03-2010, 04:13 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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"Can't" is not a good business model.
It's also not a great business model to toss out your core competencies to chase a few more bucks.
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  #39  
Old 02-03-2010, 04:18 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Funny, I watch them do it all the time at Waffle House. Grills have adjustable heat zones for this reason.
Yes they do, but I have never seen a breakfast flat grill used simultaneously asa burger grill, and I would be surprised if that as going on at waffle house. There would be no way to keep the burger grease out oif the eggs.

Either you're seeing them cook on separate grills and not realizing t, or they're cooking so few burgers that it doesn't matter. McDonalds has to fill the flat grill literally from edge to edge. The loaders are sized that way.
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  #40  
Old 02-03-2010, 04:29 PM
Superfluous Parentheses Superfluous Parentheses is offline
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Heh. When I go to McD for breakfast it's because I'm still awake and I need a cup of coffee and a big mac. They actually have a breakfast menu?
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  #41  
Old 02-03-2010, 04:36 PM
Livardo Livardo is offline
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I'd buy it.. it's the best part about mcdicks
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  #42  
Old 02-03-2010, 08:34 PM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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As always, when you have a question starting with "Why don't they...", the answer is "Money".

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"Can't" is not a good business model.
You cut off most of that. It's "Can't without reducing profit and overall customer satisfaction", and that's a necessary business model, not just a good one. If it would increase profit, they'd do it in a second.
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  #43  
Old 02-03-2010, 09:03 PM
Magiver Magiver is online now
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Yes they do, but I have never seen a breakfast flat grill used simultaneously asa burger grill, and I would be surprised if that as going on at waffle house. There would be no way to keep the burger grease out oif the eggs.

Either you're seeing them cook on separate grills and not realizing t, or they're cooking so few burgers that it doesn't matter. McDonalds has to fill the flat grill literally from edge to edge. The loaders are sized that way.
They do cook everything on one grill but obviously are not doing it edge to edge or at near the volume. It could be as simple as using Burger King's model of running burgers through a treadmill cooker.

I don't know how McDonalds makes their wraps but it has to be a change in kitchen real estate.

I would be afraid of Sonic if I owned a McDonalds.

Last edited by Magiver; 02-03-2010 at 09:06 PM..
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  #44  
Old 02-03-2010, 09:24 PM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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I do think they should treat weekends differently though and have some sort of limited breakfast menu until noon -- maybe just McGriddles and burritos, or whatever else requires the least equipment.
Like McD's, Tim Hortons only does breakfast (at least their breakfast buns with eggs, ham, etc.) until 11, but they go until noon on weekends. However, they still make the rest of their menu when they're serving breakfast.
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  #45  
Old 02-03-2010, 10:56 PM
Apocalypso Apocalypso is offline
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You guys have hit on it: It's mostly an equipment cost issue. The same equipment is used for both their lunch and breakfast, and they can only do one at a time. And they can't justify the expense of getting new equipment as the market for breakfast at non-breakfast times isn't large enough.

Most of the places mentioned by Richie Incognito pull it off because because they cook things to order, so their's very little difference in cost no matter what you order.

The only other place I can think of that sells breakfast all day is Sonic. The thing with them is that most of their breakfast food was always served all day. All they have to do is warm up a package of sausage or egg, or use the premade breakfast burritos (which McDonalds could do, too.)
Funny, the last time I was inside a McDonalds getting breakfast, they used the same microwave/warming try to heat my sausage as they do for burgers. I was under the impression that almost nothing they serve is actually cooked at the McDonalds, only warmed up. Only a few of the fried things are cooked, and those are mostly pre-cooked, aren't they? How much more expensive is it to assemble one set of ingredients than another?

Back in the day, when they used to actually cook those burgers right there in the restaurant, I could see that being the issue. They used to make tons of food slightly ahead of peak times, so they would have food ready. I knew people that would deliberately order a sandwich made without one of the ingredients, because then they would get a "fresh" one, not a sandwich that had been sitting there a while. But nowdays, it seems like everytime I get a meal at McDonalds, the staff makes (warms up and assembles) my food to order. Given this, and that McDonalds already makes breakfast food and has the equipment to do so, I'd say cost isn't the factor. I'm guessing it's just a question of demand: they probably just don't see a big enough demand to offer breakfast items all day.
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  #46  
Old 02-03-2010, 11:52 PM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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I know that both I and my wife would:

1. Eat much more McDonald's
2. Only eat breakfast options

If McD's sold it all day.

Joe
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  #47  
Old 02-04-2010, 01:49 PM
Recliner Recliner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Another reason McDonalds rejects new ideas is so they don't get sued. They don't want anyone claiming they invented the new sandwich they just released.
That's universal in...most all industries, the "no unsolicited suggestions" thing. Like you said, if they even look at your (script/sandwich-idea/schematic), they take on a liability of you filing suit over claimed similarities. McDonald's certainly cares very much what its customers think (and they presumably have suggestion boxes, which almost certainly allow them to claim any suggestions become their property in perpetuiuty)>
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  #48  
Old 02-04-2010, 05:49 PM
Magiver Magiver is online now
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Given the long lines just before breakfast is cut off I think it would make sense for McDonalds to test market a full menu all day.
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  #49  
Old 02-04-2010, 06:03 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
Given the long lines just before breakfast is cut off I think it would make sense for McDonalds to test market a full menu all day.
They have. But a rush of last minute b-fast shoppers doesn't translate into demand later in the day.
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  #50  
Old 02-04-2010, 06:19 PM
Magiver Magiver is online now
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
They have. But a rush of last minute b-fast shoppers doesn't translate into demand later in the day.
I didn't realize they already test marketed it. My home town use to be a test bed for such projects. Where did they test it at?
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