McDonald's is testing an expanded all-day breakfast menu that includes McGriddle sandwiches, Candice Choi of the Associated Press reports. Adding to the all-day menu's offerings would fix customers' No. 1 complaint about the expanded breakfast hours: that the menu is too limited outside typical breakfast time.
"Many customers are frustrated about the limited menu," one franchisee wrote in response to a recent survey by Nomura analyst Mark Kalinowski. "I am in a McMuffin market that was almost evenly split, and I have customers furious that they cannot get biscuits. They feel that it is a sham or false advertising."
Another franchisee wrote: "Advertising ... leads consumers to believe that we have all breakfast items all day, and disappoints them when they cannot get all items when they come in. Customers say they are being misled." A third complained about "explaining to irate customers why the breakfast menu is so limited."
Expanding the menu has the potential to make a big impact on the chain's sales. McDonald's executives said all-day breakfast was a major driver behind the company's 5.7 percent uptick in U.S. same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, in the most recent quarter.
But it also has the potential to complicate kitchen operations. Several franchisees complained that it was slowing down service during lunchtime hours.
One franchisee wrote in the survey by Kalinowski that all-day breakfast was "killing service and causing chaos in the kitchens during the non-breakfast times." The person added: "It has also caused management turnover, and crew turnover out of frustration. Employee morale is down because of it."
So far, the all-day menu—which launched in October—has been limited to a couple of breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, and sides.
Restaurants serve either McMuffin or biscuit sandwiches — not both — depending on local preferences. McGriddles and bagels aren't served, and hash browns, a McDonald's breakfast staple, aren't available at 10% of restaurants because they are made with the same fryers as the french fries.