For Canadians who dare to dream of ordering a coffee and Egg McMuffin in the hours after 11 a.m., dream on.
McDonald’s Canada confirmed on Wednesday the fast-food chain doesn’t currently have plans to trial all-day breakfast at any of its 1,400 restaurants.
McDonald’s said this week it will begin rolling out the option to order breakfast any time of day at its more than 14,300 U.S. locations – the chain’s biggest initiative in more than half a decade.
“We’re excited to hear the news out of the U.S. but we currently have no plans to launch all-day breakfast in Canada,” Michelle Yao, a spokesperson for McDonald’s Canada, said.
The world’s largest fast food operator began trialing all-day breakfast at select U.S. locations in April as part of a broader effort to reverse a slide in sales amid stiffer competition from the likes of Burger King and so-called “fast casual” chains. U.S. franchisees approved the initiative in a vote last week.
It’s biggest rejigging of the menu since McDonald’s introduced its McCafe lineup of coffee and espresso menu items in 2009, company officials said.
Part of the problem is that the grill simply doesn’t have room to prepare Egg McMuffins alongside Big Macs. New procedures — and costs — are required, such as separate grills to ensure that raw eggs don’t come into contact with burgers.
However, Yao left open the idea that the option could come to Canadian restaurants at some point.
“We will always evaluate our offerings to meet the needs and wants of our customers, and look forward to the learnings from the U.S,” she said in an email.
Sales have been slumping for the past two years in the United States, prompting the company’s former leader to step down in January.
Customers have long requested that McDonald’s extend breakfast past its traditional end-point of 11 a.m., when the majority of locations switch to making lunch fare only.
Sales at Canadian locations are performing better than U.S. restaurants, experts say. But with industry-wide growth of only about 1 per cent, according to research from NPD Group, fast-food chains risk stagnating as smaller, fresher rivals pile into the market place.
Fast-casual chains like Five Guys and Hero Certified Burger are pulling traditional sales away from McDonald’s Canada, experts say.
Chief Canadian rival Tim Hortons is also eating into McDonald’s lunchtime and post-lunch sales, experts say, introducing menu items are attracting customers across multiple “day parts.”
Tim Hortons’ new management has openly touted menu changes that have resulted in Tims’ ability to attract customers around the clock – the chain is no longer seen by patrons as predominantly a morning destination.