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McDonald's eyes extending breakfast hours

McDonald's Sales

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) - McDonald's is in the early stages of looking at whether it can make breakfast available later in the day.

Fans of the Egg McMuffin and Sausage Biscuit have long wanted the option to get breakfast at McDonald's after 10:30 a.m. But offering both the breakfast and lunch menu was considered logistically impossible, given the tight kitchen spaces of the restaurants.

Still, it's an option the chain is eyeing more seriously at a time when people's eating habits are changing - particularly those coveted customers in their 20s and 30s known as Millennials.

"We know, as an example, that breakfast on the weekend cut off at 10:30 doesn't go very well," Jeff Stratton, head of McDonald's USA, said in an interview.

Stratton declined to provide any details on how McDonald's would adjust kitchen operations to make breakfast later in the day.

"Well, we're just beginning. ... We're just taking a look at it," he said.

A representative for McDonald's, Lisa McComb, said after the interview that there are no tests currently in place for the extended breakfast hours.

McDonald's has long entertained the idea of serving breakfast throughout the day. But the chain has been inching closer to making the idea a reality as it faces heightened competition and slumping sales. Last year, for example, the company began offering an "After Midnight" menu at select locations. The menu, available from midnight to 4 a.m., consisted of a limited mix of breakfast and lunch items so kitchen operations wouldn't be overwhelmed.

The push to make breakfast outside normal hours also reflects how McDonald's is working to keep pace with shifting habits. In particular, executives have noted that customers increasingly want foods personalized to their tastes and schedules.

To cater to evolving tastes, the chain is also offering newer items such as chicken McWraps and the option to substitute egg whites in any breakfast sandwich.

As for extending its breakfast hours, McDonald's is known for treading extremely carefully when discussing any tests or potential changes. Such matters are considered sensitive in large part because they would require the support of the company's network of franchisees.

In the U.S., about 90 percent of the company's more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants are run by franchisees, who bear the responsibility of training employees and buying new equipment to accommodate any changes.

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ELVISANDMEATLOAF February 25 2014 at 5:03 AM

Everytime Mcd's needs publicity they tell us they are going to have breakfast served for more hours. Too late. We have moved on. Who cares.

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oujoou February 25 2014 at 4:31 AM

'Logistically impossible?' Wow. Not saying much about the work staff. If they want a salary. 9 bucks an hour. Give them something challenging to do. People are only as dumb as you allow them to BE. :(

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aztekboy4321 February 25 2014 at 4:18 AM

****..... this is the last t make changes... all the rest offer breakfast all dat long

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dave4nando February 25 2014 at 4:12 AM

their breakfast are the only items that taste good...

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rb February 25 2014 at 3:39 AM

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but as I undersand it McDonald's doesn't even cook burgers, eggs, sausage pattys, etc. Don't they come pre-cooked and frozen? Then placed in a warming oven before serving?

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arvig February 25 2014 at 4:46 AM

To the best of my knowledge they do have a griddle for cooking burgers. They may come in frozen, but they still need cooked or at least reheated on the griddle. I've never worked in one though, and it's been literally decades since I was in the kitchen area of one so my memory is pretty fuzzy on that point.

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OUT FOX EM February 25 2014 at 3:13 AM

Breakfast is about the only thing I eat at McDonald's, but most of the time I don't have time in the morning to go there on my way to work.

So in other words, I never eat at McDonald's. If they served breakfast all day, I'd actually go fairly often.

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chris36m February 25 2014 at 2:32 AM

Around here, breakfast on weekends is to 11am, weekdays it's 10:30am, been that way for decades

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biged2u February 25 2014 at 2:29 AM

Love the idea. More than once I've wanted an Egg McMuffin at 10 PM.

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harrytaft February 25 2014 at 2:21 AM

I hope Mc Donalds extends the time for breakfast. If they did, I would be more than likely eating breakfast more often at the Rome, Ga stores

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Hi Puff Al February 25 2014 at 1:47 AM

McDonald's theme song "Pusher Man" by Curtis Mayfield. A pusher man on every street corner.

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