I’m Lovin’ It (with extra bacon)

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The number of mornings I’ve rolled out of bed at noon on a Sunday craving an Egg White Delight McMuffin ranges in the teens, at least. And yet, such a desire has yet to have been fulfilled due to the very limited availability of McDonald’s breakfast menu items. In McDonald’s terms, “morning” ends at 10:30 a.m. on a weekday and 11:00 a.m. on weekends. So, if you’re craving an Egg McMuffin on your lunch break, tough luck.

But, a Chicago Tribune article published on March 30 reports that McDonald’s restaurants in San Diego will begin a “trial run” of all-day breakfast. This trial run will allow access to select breakfast foods later in the day. If the trial yields a positive outcome, McDonald’s could consider making this a permanent change to their menu.

I think that this is wonderful news, and McDonald’s should most definitely consider allowing workers and patrons alike 24-hour Egg McMuffin access. I speak to you now as a student, a former employee of McDonald’s and a semi-regular presence of the 2:00-a.m.-on-a-Saturday Green St. Scene: This menu change will garner great results for the fast food chain.

According to the Chicago Tribune, breakfast “accounts for about 25 percent of sales at McDonald’s and is the strongest part of the day for the chain.”

As a McDonald’s employee, I can say with the utmost passion that breakfast was my least favorite time to work: Between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., the line of cars in the drive-thru simply refuses to yield. Cars of workers on their way to the morning shift generally die down around 6:30 a.m., but then you have a steady flow of cars and in-house diners trickle in throughout mid- to late-morning.

The main problem I’ve experienced with the McDonald’s breakfast hours is the uncertainty over when, exactly, breakfast stops and lunch begins. If you’re Ron Swanson, you’ll scoff and act as if anybody who eats anything but breakfast, ever, is a complete luddite.

The general philosophy of McDonald’s is to provide accurate, efficient service (with a smile!) to as many people as possible, in as short a time as possible. Having breakfast end just as lunch starts disrupts this process and leads to a decrease in efficiency.

I’ll describe in short to you how this happens: Shortly before breakfast ends, McDonald’s has to prepare for lunch. So they begin to drop more baskets of fries into the fryer and less hash browns. But it’s still “breakfast,” so people still want hash browns, even if there aren’t as many being made. This makes the ordering process take longer.

Having breakfast all day will eliminate this extra inefficiency and allow for students short on time to grab their hash browns quickly and dash to class.

McDonald’s also needs all-day breakfast in order to stay competitive as a fast food chain. The Chicago Tribune reported the breakfast expansion is McDonald’s “latest move” to increase revenue and customer satisfaction after “several months of disappointing sales.”

Although the article does not specifically allude to what in particular has led to a decrease in sales, I would imagine that the unhealthy rap McDonald’s so often gets might have something to do with it. If this is the case, having breakfast available all day can certainly be a solution.

It’s possible to order “healthy” options for lunch and dinner, of course (salads and … salads). But the breakfast menu inarguably has far better and far more options for the health-conscious McDonald’s goer. In addition to the menu items one might assume offer health benefits — yogurt parfaits and oatmeal — many of the egg sandwiches are actually made with fresh eggs. I’ll utilize my status of authority on this position and say, I know. I’ve been on the other side of the counter.

The (comparative) health benefits of McDonald’s breakfast menu items will extend to University students as well; more breakfast items near the quad will help students with a heavy schedule grab a quick bite on their way to class.

My last talking point is perhaps a bit frivolous. But I think most University students will agree: The ability to order pancakes and bacon late at night in the heart of the Green Street social scene will definitely be a welcomed opportunity. Sometimes, walking all the way across campus to the Oregon Street Merry Ann’s is too much of a hassle in the dead of night.

Carly is a junior in FAA.

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