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Something McDonald’s is considering as part of it’s retooling in order to reboot profitable growth is serving breakfast all day. I think this is a good idea for a couple of reasons.

The most important is that it’s in response to what customers want. McDonald’s does a tremendous breakfast business, and there have been ongoing requests from customers for the availability of a breakfast menu all day. When you get multiple requests for something you know you can profitably offer, that’s really all the market research you need.

The second reason is that it looks to me like a lower-risk, lower-maintenance way to grow. They’re not gambling on the introduction of a new product, but are instead growing share-of-customer by getting more business from those customers who are already fans and want to consume more. There is also the possibility that there are potential customers who aren’t crazy about McDonald’s’ other menu items but might be attracted to the breakfast offerings, or that there are customers who would prefer breakfast foods during different times of the day. It’s business they are currently missing because it’s simply not offered.

My informal conversations with McDonald’s managers tells me this may not be such a great idea, though, simply because they say each store location lacks the space to accommodate the extra inventory that would be required to stock an “all day” breakfast menu. Good to know, and also a good lesson in how as we’re “cooking up” (yeah, thanks, I thought that one was clever too!) a strategy at the corporate levels, it’s a good idea to think about how they will be implemented at the business-unit and operational levels of the business.

Anyhow, I like how McDonald’s is thinking, in that regard, and I’m overall optimistic about what the future holds for them despite the number of obstacles they face. That’s not to say I don’t have some very big concerns, including something inexcusable McDonald’s needs to fix, and fix pronto, and that’ll be the discussion of next week’s entry.

But here’s a hint: “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean.” – Ray Kroc


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