2020 may have killed McDonald's All Day Breakfast. Customers are upset — but some franchisees and workers are celebrating.
- McDonald's removed All Day Breakfast from the menu in late March due to the pandemic.
- Six months later, All Day Breakfast still has not returned.
- Many of McDonald's franchisees and workers want to keep All-Day Breakfast from ever returning to the menu.
- "I absolutely do not think we should bring it back," one McDonald's worker said. "It makes us faster, and gives the grill less to worry about."
- "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," McDonald's said in a statement.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
McDonald's All Day Breakfast may soon be a relic of a past era, destroyed by 2020.
The fast-food giant stopped serving breakfast all day in late March. At the time, the change was presented as a temporary tweak, part of a larger effort to simplify operations during the pandemic.
However, six months later, All Day Breakfast is still nowhere to be found, sparking questions from confused and distressed customers.
—Troy Barber (@SlicBic) September 16, 2020
—Pallyberry (@Pallyberryy) September 19, 2020
—skertskerttt (@sKERTttt) September 16, 2020
—DJBIGJAE (@Djbigjae) September 19, 2020
One McDonald's employee told Business Insider that he has witnessed customers angrily speed away from the drive-thru lane after finding out that the location no longer serves All Day Breakfast.
But, despite some infuriated customers, the employee and multiple franchisees who spoke with Business Insider do not want All Day Breakfast to return to McDonald's. (McDonald's employees and franchisees spoke with Business Insider on the condition of anonymity.)
"I absolutely do not think we should bring it back," the employee said. "It makes us faster, and gives the grill less to worry about."
McDonald's said in a statement to Business Insider that the company "removed All Day Breakfast from the menu to simplify operations in our kitchens, which we saw provided better speed of service and order accuracy."
"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," the statement continued. "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."
Some McDonald's workers and franchisees have hated All Day Breakfast for years
McDonald's launched All Day Breakfast back in 2015, soon after Steve Easterbrook became the chain's CEO.
All Day Breakfast was celebrated as a hit by McDonald's leadership, with same-store sales rising 5.7% in the US the quarter it rolled out across the nation. However, from the start, some franchisees and employees were critical of the plan.
Some employees felt that serving breakfast all day created extra work in already cramped kitchens, as well as making the transition from breakfast to lunch more difficult. Franchisees complained about crowded kitchens, extra work, and slower service.
"All-day breakfast is a non-starter," one franchisee told analyst Mark Kalinowski in 2015. "We are trading customers down from regular menu to lower-priced breakfast items. Not generating new traffic."
Franchisees stopped fighting All Day Breakfast as same-store sales continued to rise. However, when the pandemic hit in March, All Day Breakfast was on the chopping block once again, along with other unpopular items, such as salads and grilled chicken.
"To simplify operations in our kitchens and for our crew, and ensure the best possible experience for our customers, we are working with our franchisees and local restaurants to focus on serving our most popular choices," Bill Garrett, McDonald's senior vice president of operations, said in a statement to Business Insider at the time.
"We will regularly evaluate the situation and look to move back to our regular menu as soon as possible," Garrett added.
In recent months, McDonald's has added back items it removed due to the pandemic, such as desserts and the Bacon McDouble. McDonald's also launched Spicy Chicken McNuggets and Chips Ahoy! McFlurry last week. However, All Day Breakfast has yet to return.
With a more simplified menu, McDonald's has been able to significantly speed up service, with drive-thru times improving by roughly 15 to 20 seconds in major markets around the world.
Franchisees told Business Insider that speeding up service and reducing complexity in the kitchen is far more important than offering serving breakfast all day. McDonald's drive-thru business is crucial, as most of the chain's dining rooms in the US remain closed.
The National Owners Association, an independent group that represents roughly 80% of McDonald's US franchisees, has pushed back against All Day Breakfast ever returning to menus. In June, the NOA board voted to drop All Day Breakfast for good, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time.