Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

McDonald’s Breakfast Hours Should Be a Lot Longer [OPINION]

Love it or hate it, McDonald’s is going to be around for quite some time. I’ve pretty much accepted that. One thing I won’t accept, however, is the fact that Ronald still refuses to sell breakfast after 10:30 AM, sharp! Why can’t he serve breakfast a little longer, or even a lot longer?

Seriously, what the hell is your problem, Ronald?!

The Problem

Like so many frustrated fast-food junkies out there, I’ve kept my feelings on McD’s breakfast policy mostly to myself for several years now, never letting my discontent get the better of my self-control. Well guess what: it’s 2011, and enough is enough! I’m sick and tired of that has-been clown telling me that I can’t have an Egg McMuffin and a Hash Brown at 10:31. It’s unfair, and un-American—well, it’s unfair.

A McDonald’s customer — at 10:31 AM.

Now, don’t go thinking that I’m just “hating” for the sake of “hating” or that I’m running low on blog ideas this week, because I can assure you that neither is the case. I’m fully aware that McDonald’s has made some tweaks to this policy in recent years and that many locations now serve breakfast until 11:00 AM on weekends. While this may be true, it doesn’t change the fact that they can do better, and I know I’m not alone in that feeling.

The Solution

The way I see it, there are a few things that Ronald and the rest of the execs could do to improve on this unfortunate company policy. Naturally, they should be extending their breakfast hours, but there’s always the question of what constitutes a reasonable cut-off time.

To me, there are three sensible times that Ronald should end breakfast:

1) 11:00 AM

Breakfast already lasts until 11:00 AM on the friggin’ weekends. Would it really hurt to make it a week-long procedure? I think not! All kidding aside, McD’s should seriously consider making the jump to an 11:00 AM end-time for breakfast.

2) NOON!

It’s a bit of a stretch, but I see it as the sensible thing to do. As far as I’m concerned (and I’m sure that others will agree), if the time of day is succeeded by the letters “AM”, then it’s still morning! And morning means breakfast! C’mon Ronald, get with the program!

3) NEVER!!!

A healthy snack any time of the day!

If that clown really wanted people to back his brand, then he’d go the extra mile for them. A world where McDonald’s breakfast lasts all day is exactly the kind of world we should be praying to live in. Imagine being able to order a Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle at 6 o’clock in the evening on a semi-regular basis. Doesn’t that sound like absolute heaven? Doesn’t it?! Seeing as how this is really more of a “perfect world” scenario, maybe there’s a different route Ronald can take, like only serving “select” breakfast menu items throughout the day! It’s not ideal, but it would suffice. Certain key items would easily be big sellers later in the day (Hash Browns and McMuffins, to name a few).


Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Ronald may be inconsiderate, but he’s not stupid. He probably ran the numbers and determined that the cost per minute of maintaining the availability of breakfast items beyond 10:30 was a bit more than he was willing to pony up—and the healthier the profit margin, the better. After all…

…his daughter’s Ivy League tuition isn’t gonna pay for itself.

Someone should tell that clown that it’s not about the bottom line—it’s about the brand image! Sure, people love McD’s, and they’ll probably continue to love it, but they’d love it more if that delicious Oatmeal became an all-day menu option.

McDonald’s breakfast menu is a big part of their brand identity, ranking right up alongside Happy Meals as one of their defining attributes. The company needs to be doing something more with their breakfast items, pure and simple. There’s room for improvement, and McD’s needs to recognize that.

How do you feel about McDonald’s breakfast? Would you agree that the 10:30 AM on weekdays and 11:00 AM on weekends is too soon to stop serving it?

Images by: clayirving and bvalium


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  1. Jana Quinn

    I had to double check the byline to make sure Jeff wasn’t writing this. 😉

    I wonder WHY McDonald’s decides to cut off breakfast at 10:30AM during the week. Are there risks associated with having the breakfast food prepared in the same place as the lunch food? Is there an equipment transition that needs to take place before the lunch rush? Has McDonald’s experimented with a few different time slots to decide on 10:30AM as the time where enough people stop ordering breakfast and starting ordering lunch that priorities need to change?

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Yeah, I took a page from the “Porretto Book of Blogging” for this one. 😀

      I’d imagine that McD’s has done its homework in determining that 10:30 is the most cost-effective time to make the transition from breakfast to lunch. Each of the things you mention probably factor into their decision in some way. Still, I don’t see why they can’t at least serve “select” breakfast items past 10:30. I’d order Egg McMuffins all day, every day!

      • JPorretto

        HA! That’s a good book if you ask me.

  2. JPorretto

    I’ve been wanting this for as long as I can remember. All day McD’s breakfast = Eutopia. That is all.

    Preach on Brother Joe!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      You and me both, brother! Perhaps one day we’ll live in such a world.

      Oh, and by the way, thank you for providing the inspiration for this blog/rant! 🙂

      • JPorretto

        It was me?! I do not recall this! But I go on a lot of rants sooo…. that could be why. Anywho, glad I could help!

  3. Mandy Kilinskis

    That would be awesome if they could offer select breakfast items all day. I understand that it’s probably financially and spatially impractical for them to serve breakfast all day, but man it would rock to be able to get hash browns with a Quarter Pounder.

    Oh man, and what if they offered you a choice between fries or hash browns! Some kind of “Make Your Own Brunch” thing. I’m hungry…

    • Joseph Giorgi


      Hash Browns would be a HUGE seller for McD’s if they offered them past 10:30. I’d grab ’em on the way home from work every friggin’ day, as would many like-minded people.

      “Make Your Own Brunch” = Amazing Idea!

      McDonald’s is definitely missing out on an opportunity here!

    • Amanda

      Great idea Mandy! I think serving hash browns as a value meal french fry alternative would work. Arby’s offers “potato pancakes” as an option, and seem to sell a lot of them. After all, it’s all just deep fried potatoes–you could probably cook them all together. 😉

  4. Cybernetic SAM

    Wow Joe, we really get to see your passion in this blog. I had no idea that micky-D’s breakfast was so important to you. If having breakfast later is this important to you, I one see one solution you have to become president (at least of the McDonald’s Corp.) and change history forever. Also that last picture is terrifying.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Yeah, Ronald’s daughter is pretty creepy.

  5. amy

    Awesome post Joe!

    I don’t drive past a McD’s on my way to work, but I do crave their hash browns on an almost regular basis. I also have no idea why they couldn’t extend the time, do customers seriously come in at 10:31 AM for a Big Mac and fries? I would think there would be a weird lag time between breakfast and lunch that they could increase their profits by still serving breakfast until a more reasonable lunch time, like noon!

    I love reading these food-related blogs, especially when they’re a rant 🙂 Great job!

    • Sonny Chapelle

      do customers seriously come in at 10:31 AM for a Big Mac and fries?

      Yes they do.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I concur. To me, noon seems like a logical cutoff time for breakfast. If the clock says “A.M.,” it’s still breakfast time!

      • Amanda

        Agreed Joe! =) That does make a lot of sense.

  6. Sonny Chapelle

    I think this has something to do with health issues, and the fact u like Mcdonalds a lot.

    Why would you need a breakfast at 11.31?
    Why dont’t you have breakfast at home at 11.31?
    Why can’t you go shopping for own breakfast at 11.30?
    Why can’t you accept McDonalds’s restaurant menu?
    Do you realy think Mcdonald coffee and croisants is a breakfast?
    Do you realy think Mcdonalds bake’s your croisants in the morning?
    Why don’t you complain about Mcdonald’s unhealthy fried products?
    Why do you think the name of a Mcdonalds menu explains all you need to know?
    Don’t you know, other restaurants have a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu?
    Why would you go to MCdonald’s anyway?

    Please tell me now 🙂

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Hey Sonny,

      Thanks for visiting! Not sure if I can fully answer each question, but here’s a few:

      “Why would you need a breakfast at 11.31?”

      Because, like many, I enjoy eating my breakfast shortly after I wake up. On weekends, this is sometimes around 10 or 11 o’clock. It’d be nice to have more of a window to catch McD’s breakfast.

      “Why don’t you complain about Mcdonald’s unhealthy fried products?”

      There are already lots of bloggers doing that. The nutritional value of McDonald’s menu items—or lack thereof—gets plenty of publicity these days. I may in fact write an article on that subject somewhere down the road, but for the time being, it just doesn’t appeal to me.

      “Don’t you know, other restaurants have a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu?”

      I honestly had no idea. I was under the impression that EVERY other restaurant had a strict “dinner only” policy. Thank you for clarifying. 😉

      “Why would you go to McDonald’s anyway?”

      Because their breakfast is amazing!

      I think that pretty much brings us full circle. Hope I was able to help. Thank you for your comment! 😀

  7. Amanda

    I love this blog post Joe! Rants are refreshing on a Friday. Plus, who doesn’t love to discuss and rant away about McDonalds!?

    Personally, I would love to be able to order their breakfast and lunch/dinner food all hours of the day–I love big selections like that! But I bet the reason they don’t do it is because it’d be super hard or impossible to do both at once. I’ve never worked at McDonald’s, but I’m thinking that they have to switch all their equipment and stuff before the lunch rush hits. But I just thought of something, they could set up two different food prep areas in back, one for breakfast and one for lunch/dinner, and keep them both running all the time. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like breakfast at night once in a while. And I bet this frustrates people who work odd hours and such too.

    We can only wish and plead my friend. Hopefully one day this will happen! =)

    • Joseph Giorgi

      “I just thought of something, they could set up two different food prep areas in back, one for breakfast and one for lunch/dinner, and keep them both running all the time.”

      That’s kind of what I was thinking. It may cost them a teensy bit to keep certain equipment running all day, but if they were only selling “select” breakfast items after 10:30, then I can’t imagine it would be too detrimental to their bottom line.

      And trust me, I “wish and plead” every day for McD’s to reconsider their breakfast policy. I’m about ready to send a strongly worded letter to corporate.

      Thanks, Amanda! 🙂

  8. Jill Tooley

    Honestly, I don’t go to McDonald’s often so their breakfast menu doesn’t concern me directly; however, I do agree that 10:30 is a little bit early to stop serving those hash browns and egg muffins. 11:00 is a small extension but it makes more sense to me! I obviously don’t work at McD’s so I’m not sure how their kitchens work, but it seems like a good plan to offer BOTH lunch and breakfast items for that last half an hour (or until noon, if you had your way). Who knows, maybe this is something they’ll revamp once their restaurant redesign takes effect! 😉

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I can only pray that an extension of breakfast hours is something that McD’s is considering as part of their brand image overhaul. Oh, what a perfect world that would be! 🙂

  9. Laura

    I love the sausage mcmuffins. I generally don’t go to McDonald’s unless it’s breakfast. If Jack in the Box can do it, so can they.

    I can (and often do) have “breakfast” at other mealtimes. Who cares what anyone else thinks? Pizza is a totally viable breakfast item, by the way.

    McDonald’s would get more business from me if they served breakfast longer.

  10. Kim

    One thing I havnt seen mentioned is… The trouble to be able to cook breakfast and lunch at the same time shouldn’t be that big of a deal…bojangles does it and if they can cook Mac and cheese and fried chicken at the same time as a sausage egg and cheese biscuit at the same time McDonald should be able to cook hashbrowns. And fries all dayyyy long

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Couldn’t agree more! I really don’t think it’s asking too much to be able to order a hash brown or two in the mid-afternoon or early evening.

      C’mon McD’s!

  11. twoirrisistable

    I think it’s horrible. Especially the fact that breakfast on the weekends ends at 11. I really think they should consider extending it until noon. It’s not just about the bottom line, it’s about giving people what they want and most people that I know want breakfast until noon on the weekends. Or maybe even until 11:30

  12. Brandon

    It a space concern. The prep item for breakfast and lunch being out at the same time take to much space. Since they won’t have both at the same time I am glad they stop breakfast at 10:30. My lunch time is dictated by clients needs, the last thing I want is to be stuck eating that egg mix poured of a milk carton monstrosity that they call breakfast. So in this case the needs of the many out way your craving for biscuits.

  13. Jerome

    I luv Breakfast, why ain’t that mine at 10:34 in da AM. They wants the mons, but they no get my money cuz I want brekkie.

  14. Bonk

    I dont wake up til about 12 or 1 pm everyday cuz of my work hours so it would be nice to eat some breakfast at noon.. The only time I can eat the breakfast is if I stay up all night.. Some people work odd hours and so an extension in breakfast hours is recommended. It would definitely benefit both the customers and the work place.

  15. John

    11am would be agood cut off time. But my problem is the start time..I get off 2:30-3am and don’t want burgers at that time and I’m not going home then come back for there great breakfast I drive a half mile pasty house to go to jack n the box..thamks Ronald.

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