Expanding All-Day Breakfast Strains McDonald’s Franchisees

In a move franchisees fear will create even more operational headaches, McDonald’s is now offering its full breakfast menu all day at over 150 locations in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area and the Triad region of North Carolina, and is adding McGriddles to the all-day menu at 1,000 additional stores throughout the South.

When the chain launched all-day breakfast in October, it limited the breakfast menu after 11:00 AM, in part to reduce the operational complexity associated with executing over 100 menu items. Even with the limited menu, franchisees reported backed up kitchens, with one franchisee describing “people falling over each other and equipment jammed in everywhere.” Operational complexities lead to staffing concerns, with one franchisee worried that all-day breakfast would require additional hiring, and another noting that the program has “caused management turnover, and crew turnover out of frustration.” One franchisee felt her store would lose customers over the initiative because of slower service times and lower quality food.

If McDonald’s moves forward with a fuller breakfast menu all day, it may only create more difficulties for franchisees. For example, owner/operator LeAnn Richards, who led a task force on all-day breakfast, points out the complexity of serving just one of the breakfast items, McGriddles – egg sandwiches with special pancake buns. The pancake buns have to be heated up in the same ovens used for apple pies, cookies, and mozzarella sticks, and require frozen eggs instead of the cracked eggs used on McMuffins. This additional juggling of grill and oven space, necessitated by adding this one item alone, would likely create serious operational problems. Doing this at the same time the company is committing to improve order accuracy and speed may prove too much for franchisees.

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