McDonald's latest experiment: Steak for breakfast

It keeps trying for a new hit. In addition to the new morning item, it's testing multiperson meal boxes.

By Jonathan Berr Sep 10, 2013 3:43PM
McDonald's Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel (© McDonald's)McDonald's (MCD) CEO Don Thompson could teach Bill Nye the Science Guy a thing or two about experimentation.

Frustrated by lackluster same-store U.S. sales, which fell 0.2% in August while the fast-food giant's overall existing locations posted a 1.9% gain, Thompson has been willing to try practically anything to attract customers. On Tuesday came news that the Oakbrook, Ill., chain is planning to add steak to its breakfast menu and is test-marketing a multiperson meal box.

These moves are clearly not designed for the health-conscious. Bloomberg News, which first reported the steak news, noted that the steak, egg and cheese biscuit with grilled onions packs a whopping 540 calories, roughly 30 more than the Quarter Pounder with Cheese and only 10 less than a Big Mac.

Timed with the start of the NFL season, McDonald's Blitz Box, which is available in the Kansas City area, includes two Quarter Pounders, a 20-piece Chicken McNuggets serving (840 calories) and two medium fries (374 calories each).

Whether these experiments will yield benefits for McDonald's is hard to say. Its recent new menu offerings such as the Premium McWrap and Mighty Wings haven't captured the public's imagination. This strategy also has a familiar ring to it.

Bloomberg News notes that Panera Bread (PNRA) and Cosi (COSI) have both sold steak at breakfast for a while. Breakfast, though, offers restaurants the biggest potential for growth, and McDonald's is eager to expand its foothold in the market. Earlier this year, it unveiled a new version of its Egg McMuffin made with egg whites. As for meal boxes, Yum Brands  (YUM) has offered them through its KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains.

Wall Street has been pressuring McDonald's to bolster growth after it posted disappointing earnings for two quarters in a row. Investors reacted positively to today's news, sending McDonald's shares, which have underperformed peers, up slightly in late-afternoon trading. Analysts think the stock has more room to run. Their average 52-week price target on it is $105.15, about 9% higher than where it currently trades.

Jonathan Berr owns a small position in McDonald's. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

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Sep 10, 2013 4:33PM
Where has this guy been??? Steak, egg, and cheese bagel has been a breakfast value meal item in many places for over a decade.
Sep 10, 2013 4:28PM

Steak..............................I'm sure they use that term loosely.

Sep 10, 2013 4:44PM
The steak, egg, and cheese bagel has been at McDs for years. 
Sep 10, 2013 4:35PM
these steak sandwiches are not new. they have them in the western New York McDonalds. It's rib eye steak. Not bad either.
Sep 10, 2013 4:41PM
That's not a new sandwich its been around sine 1998
Sep 10, 2013 4:41PM
I always loved the steak, egg, and cheese bagels.  This is my favorite McDonald's menu item.
Sep 10, 2013 5:59PM
If they want to gain customers, they should serve their breakfast menu all day.
Sep 10, 2013 5:23PM
Tell this guy I have insider information Mc Donalds is secretly working on something called a Big Mac.
Sep 10, 2013 4:48PM
great article..LOL there is nothing new about this...FAIL
Sep 10, 2013 5:12PM
Most important changes Mc D's could ever make would be to serve breakfast all day, and also use 100% beef.  They are losing market share because they don't do these simple things.
Sep 10, 2013 4:59PM
Hey, Jonathan.  Have you been living at Burger King for the past decade?  McDonald's has had the steak, egg and cheese bagel for the past 10 years or so.  And they"re GRAAAAATE!!

Wake up fool and try one.

Just saying....
Sep 10, 2013 5:00PM
The McDonald's Steak Egg & Cheese Bagel (yummy grilled onions optional),  is not a brand new item on the menu for the fast-food giant. Personally, I've been ordering & consuming the breakfast item off the breakfast menu, for at least the last 8 - 10 years!
Sep 10, 2013 5:07PM
They already have a steak egg and cheese bagel with grilled onions, their addition is a biscuit, big freaking whoop!!!
Sep 10, 2013 4:48PM
Steak at MC donalds is today April 1st?????????
Sep 10, 2013 6:31PM
Whoever is writing these articles must be from the 7th to 9th grade... very unprofessional... they seem very uneducated... or maybe flunked out of high school...
Sep 10, 2013 7:27PM
McDonalds should try something really innovative, like paying their employees a living wage.
Sep 10, 2013 4:42PM
They've been here in Tucson for a while - they taste good, but it's definitely steak for the geriatric set as the texture is less dense and would be easy to get your dentures thru.
Sep 10, 2013 7:13PM
mc d's been selling it, but the steak mn has no taste been cooked till its plain
Sep 10, 2013 6:01PM

"Steak"?? Like the "McRib" ground up mystery meat pressed to look like some kind of pork?


The ONLY time you ever eat at McD's is if you are "Locked up" and haven't taken a dump in a few days!!!!! That garbage will clean you out!!!!!!!!!!

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