McDonald's All-Day Breakfast is a Disaster So Far

October 16th 2015

Alex Mierjeski

Burger chain behemoth McDonald's rolled out its all-day breakfast initiative last week, in an effort to boost slumping sales and restore the company's prominence as a fast-food mainstay. But many stores are reporting complications with the program.

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The company, which is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings next week, has seen seven consecutive quarters of decline to date and remained hopeful that the breakfast bonanza would be a turning point. It's also scheduled to roll out a national value plan as its next bid for big bucks, Bloomberg reports.

Now you can buy McDonald's all-day breakfast, unless you work ...

Now you can buy McDonald's all-day breakfast...unless you work at McDonald's.

Posted by ATTN: on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"The successful launch of All Day Breakfast proves that when we listen to and respond to our customers and align around a great execution plan, we will grow our business and take share," McDonald's U.S. president Mike Andres wrote last week in a company email obtained by Bloomberg.

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But so far, the extent of the launch's success is up for debate.

Business Insider reports that for many of the company's franchisees, the new menu is a nightmare. "In small stores, the problems are vast with people falling over each other and equipment jammed in everywhere," one owner wrote in a survey conducted by Mark Kalinowski, an analyst at Nomura that tracks the company. Another franchisee wrote that the initiative was a "non-starter."

"We are trading customers down from regular menu to lower-priced breakfast items," that same franchisee wrote. "Not generating new traffic."

Other responses to the survey called All Day Breakfast an "erratic, distorted, disorganized direction from McDonald's," claiming that the program led customers to abandon the store "because we are either too slow," or because of "sub-par quality[.]" At least a dozen franchisees said that longer breakfasts made service slower and made kitchen operation more complex, according to Business Insider. The survey represented a small segment—226 restaurants—of the company's more than 14,000 U.S. locations.

Still more responders complained that added labor requirements needed to keep output at pace with the new menu stretched budgets already taut thanks to slumping sales and kitchen upgrades. "Unfortunately, with the current labor pool in our area, we are struggling to have enough people to run the shift, much less add an extra person," a responder wrote.

At the same time, franchisees reported feeling confident that new customer-focused menu and business changes could open the road for higher profits in the future. CNBC notes that aggregate quarter increases were expected to be about 1 percent, with some northern stores projecting a 2.7 sales boost thanks to the program, according to the same survey.

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A McDonald's spokesperson did not immediately respond to ATTN:'s request for comment on Thursday.