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McDonald’s All Day Breakfast may never come back

McDonald’s fans really miss it, but most franchisees want it gone for good

In this July 18, 2008 file photo, calories of each food item appear on a McDonalds drive-thru menu in New York.
In this July 18, 2008 file photo, calories of each food item appear on a McDonalds drive-thru menu in New York. McDonald’s may never bring back All Day Breakfast, it was recently reported. The chain introduced All Day Breakfast in 2015.
Associated Press

You can kiss your midnight McGriddles goodbye.

All Day Breakfast might never return to McDonald’s, according to a new report from Business Insider. The report comes amid significant ongoing changes to McDonald’s menus, spurred by new COVID-19 protocols and shifting consumer habits.

McDonald’s began eliminating All Day Breakfast in March, when COVID-19 forced the fast-food chain to simplify its kitchen operations. A McDonald’s rep told Business Insider that the elimination of All Day Breakfast has “provided better speed of service and order accuracy.”

As of June, average wait times at McDonald’s drive-thrus had gotten 25 seconds faster. Closed dining rooms impacted that speed, but simplified menus — and the elimination of All Day Breakfast — certainly helped. Franchisees told Business Insider that All Day Breakfast slowed down workflow at the grill, as employees had to simultaneously use the grill for burgers and other breakfast items. For employees, this made the breakfast-to-lunch transition particularly time-consuming.

Will All Day Breakfast ever return? According to Delish, McDonald’s issued the following statement:

“As McDonald’s and franchisees evaluate if and how we bring All Day Breakfast back to our menus, we want to ensure these improvements will remain consistent for our customers. Any final decision will be made in partnership with our franchisees, based on consumer demand, and designed to drive the business while minimizing operational disruptions.”

It seems most franchisees want All Day Breakfast gone for good. In June, the National Owners Association, an independent group representing 80% of U.S. McDonald’s franchisees, voted to permanently drop All Day Breakfast, The Wall Street Journal reported.

McDonald’s introduced All Day Breakfast in 2015. Back then, McDonald’s had faced six straight negative financial quarters, Restaurant Business Magazine reported. The change quickly boosted same-store sales. But customer habits have changed significantly since then.

“The industry is competing more based upon their ability to get customers through the drive-thru these days than they are competing for customers eager to try new things,” Restaurant Business wrote. “As such, it’s less important now to have a lot of products on the menu, and more important to get customers through that lane.”

For what it’s worth, McDonald’s has been adding certain items back to the menu recently, such as desserts and the Bacon McDouble, and introducing new items like Spicy Chicken McNuggets and the Travis Scott Meal.