Why McDonald's is serving late-night breakfast

Fast-food giants are eager to grab the after-hours crowd. But are Egg McMuffins what nocturnal diners crave?

By Kim Peterson Jun 6, 2013 2:49PM
A sign outside the fast-food chain McDonaldMcDonald's (MCD) is unveiling its After Midnight menu in its latest attempt to kick-start slumping sales.

The menu is being rolled out at an unspecified number of McDonald's 24-hour restaurants, The Associated Press reports. So what do people want between midnight and 4 a.m.? Dinner or breakfast? McDonald's says it will offer a little bit of both.

The menu is limited -- not everything will be available at that time -- but customers can get Big Macs, McNuggets and dessert. And in a new twist, they can now get Egg McMuffins and pancakes as well.

Why the push after midnight? Because McDonald's, like so many rivals, sees the late-night crowd as key to growing sales and profit. It wants to be the place people head to after the nightclubs close. It wants to grab tired workers on the way home from swing shifts.

Up to now, many fast-food restaurants have been content to leave the late-night diners to the likes of Denny's (DENN). Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands (YUM), has targeted this crowd for years with its FourthMeal campaign, referring to the meal between dinner and breakfast. Now McDonald's and other rivals are taking notice.

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30Comments
Jun 6, 2013 3:44PM
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I am going to bet that they will keep the doors locked (smart move on their part) and only have the drive-in open.  Most people after a night of partying want to go someplace where they can sit in a booth or table and have a sit-down meal with "lots of coffee" to sober and wake up.

In the South the Waffle House is the place to be.  Waffles, eggs (any style), grits, toast or steaks, burgers, chicken and hash browns.  Plus lots and lots of black coffee.

Just saying...
Jun 6, 2013 3:34PM
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Well, that's nice but I would be better served by McDonalds reinstating the original size of their food items and stop cheating the customer with higher costs and less portions.
Jun 6, 2013 3:34PM
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All they have to do is lower their prices and they'll start filling up again.  People just don't have the money.
Jun 6, 2013 3:30PM
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I'd like a waffle. Will they have waffles? I doubt it. I'll just have to keep going to Waffle House. They're waffles are the BEST!
Jun 6, 2013 3:22PM
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Mc Donalds sale's slumping?  Disneyland raising park entry rate's?  What is the world coming too?

Jun 6, 2013 4:09PM
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what is mickey d's not understanding?-if they want to be open 24/7 they should offer the full menu 24/7-what is hard to understand about this concept?-how many times have you go in wanting a burger only to be told-and usually not in a polite way were doing breakfast for 5 more minutes-ok-can i get a burger slapped on the grill now so it will be ready in 5 minutes?-oh no we dont do that-it takes them losing a huge amount of sales to rethink this policy??
Jun 6, 2013 4:51PM
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Yes, that is what "we" want, possible drunk people driving to McD's to pick-up food so they will be; drunk, trying to eat their food, and maybe texting or talking on their phones.  Just a thought.

 

Anyway, at that time we went to a restaurant    I vote for Denny's and Waffle House. Oh-yeah, have a designated driver.   

Jun 6, 2013 3:09PM
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I hope they have security guards and have asked for increased police patrols around the McDs.  Some of the worst crimes happen between midnight and 4am. 
Jun 6, 2013 4:15PM
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I agree. Give me a good Waffle House sit down and eat breakfast anytime.

Jun 7, 2013 8:43AM
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yes the doors locked... this only for drive up
Jun 6, 2013 2:55PM
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we want really good pecan pie.  that is what we want!!!!!
Jun 6, 2013 4:58PM
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I swing by for a McMuffin and some late night diarhhea.
Jun 6, 2013 4:25PM
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I would prefer the vending machines at work or as I lovingly call them the "Wheel of Death".
Jun 7, 2013 10:19AM
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i love food fast food mexican food gourmet food all food food is good
Jun 7, 2013 2:14AM
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Maybe McDonalds c should court people with tastebuds and make the food palatable instead of something that you eat just because you are drunk or too lazy to cook.
Jun 6, 2013 9:08PM
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"If"  McD did made to order... the concept may not be a bad idea.. However the way they are set up now, the food  may have prepared "hours" earlier and not sold right away and kept in a warmer.

 I only eat McD food when I know there is  peak patron volume , to assure the freshest untainted food.'

 

I have never gotten the trots, Hershey squirts, revenge of Montezuma from eating at waffle house.

I can't the same after  eating McD during a non peak food rush.

Jun 6, 2013 3:06PM
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Night owls??? I think you mean drinkers and dope smokers...
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