A Snapshot: McDonald’s All Day Breakfast

Foodservice Brief — December 2015

Breakfast lovers who want to order breakfast foods throughout the day at QSRs now have a new option available to them. McDonald’s recently introduced “all day breakfast,” and it has caught the attention of many in the foodservice industry. However, all day breakfast is nothing new – what’s new is the breakfast market leader making it available.

Many industry observers are studying consumers’ response to McDonald’s all day breakfast marketing initiative. An early read is provided below, using our Checkout TrackingSM  data. Purchase behavior of McDonald’s breakfast buyers during the pre-launch period of August 30 – October 5 and post-launch period October 6 – November 7 is in the basis of our evaluation.

McDonald’s breakfast food buyers’ purchase behavior
A review of McDonald’s buyers purchasing breakfast foods from pre-launch to post-launch reveals an increase in purchasing breakfast foods throughout the day, from 39 percent to 47 percent. This initial read reveals a rather sizeable lift in ordering of breakfast foods, which should have been anticipated given the marketing support provided and consumers’ initial positive reaction to McDonald’s new offering.

Looking at the purchase behavior of McDonald’s breakfast buyers who purchased breakfast foods beyond traditional breakfast hours, we see a thirdhad not purchased from McDonald’s at all during the pre-launch period. Thus, our early read leads us to conclude all day breakfast was initially successful at attracting new or lapsed buyers to the brand.

Lunch was the preferred time of day 

Examining consumer ordering patterns of all day breakfast foods at McDonald’s provides some insight as to when consumers were most inclined to order breakfast foods beyond traditional breakfast hours. Initially, it appears McDonald’s buyers were most interested in ordering breakfast foods at the lunch meal occasion – the chain’s busiest time of day.   

What McDonald’s consumers spent on breakfast foods 

McDonald’s customers who purchased breakfast foods beyond traditional breakfast hours at McDonald’s spent slightly less on breakfast foods than those purchasing breakfast foods during the pre-launch period. On average, customers spent $4.63 on breakfast foods prior to the launch of all day breakfast. During the initial launch period, the average spend on breakfast foods was slightly less, $4.22. Of note, though, among consumers purchasing breakfast foods at McDonald’s during lunch hours, 61 percent of their receipts also included non-breakfast food items.  Because of these non-breakfast food add-ons, McDonald’s total check among all day breakfast users grew versus checks during the pre-launch period.

This preliminary review of McDonald’s all day breakfast offer suggests consumers are receptive to ordering McDonald’s breakfast foods beyond traditional breakfast hours. As shown, a sizeable number of consumers ordered breakfast foods beyond traditional breakfast hours during the launch period, particularly for lunch. Still, many foodservice marketers are asking important questions:
Did the McDonald’s all day breakfast offer . . .

  • Attract new buyers?
  • Have an impact on competition?
  • Increase visit frequency among existing customers?
  • Encourage current breakfast buyers to trade down?
  • Cannibalize core menu items?

For more detail about Checkout Tracking findings related to McDonald’s new Breakfast All Day offering, please contact your client service representative, call Bonnie Riggs at 847-692-1847, or email bonnie.riggs@npd.com.

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