McDonald’s Corp. is embarking on its biggest operational change in years as it tries to increase sales with plans to offer breakfast items all-day at its more than 14,300 U.S. restaurants starting October 6, 2015.
The move to all-day breakfast, which McDonald’s has been testing since March, was approved in a vote by franchisees last week and affirmed on Tuesday by a franchisee leadership council, the company said. It marks the latest new initiative under Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, who took over on March 1 vowing to revamp the burger giant’s stale image and end a sales slump in its home market that began nearly three years ago.
McDonald’s customers for years have asked the company to sell breakfast items past the traditional 10:30 a.m. cutoff, but the challenges of cooking Egg McMuffins alongside Big Macs deterred the company. In an interview, McDonald’s USA President Mike Andres said it is the biggest strategic move the company has made since it rolled out its McCafe line of coffee and espresso drinks across the U.S. in 2009.
“This is the consumers’ idea. This is what they want us to do,” Andres said. “That’s why I think this could be the catalyst for our turnaround.”
The move could help McDonald’s franchisees who have struggled with slowing sales, though it also creates new costs and complexities. To address their concerns, McDonald’s began testing all-day breakfast about six months ago in San Diego and later in Nashville and Mississippi, and in June, convened a seven-member task force of franchisees to study a nationwide rollout.