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Are McDonald's Plans for All-Day Breakfast a Moot Point?

Why investors might not give a damn about 24-hour Egg McMuffins.

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Much ado has been made about the impending arrival of all-day McDonald's breakfast — finally, no more rolling up to the drive-thru at 10:31 only to be punched in the heart with a sad, Egg McMuffinless reality. But will offering customers round-the-clock hashbrowns have any real impact on McDonald's slumping sales? A new report by The Motley Fool says no, it won't.

The finance site makes a compelling argument, composed of three tenets:

  • People probably won't actually eat breakfast all day: While all-day breakfast may sound awesome after been denied it for so long, the Fool argues that "not many Americans are likely to want an Egg McMuffin at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday."
  • The per-check average might go down: With a Big Mac combo coming in around six bucks and an Egg McMuffin meal costing a mere $3.99, "the company runs the risk of sales falling as consumers trade down to cheaper breakfast items."
  • It goes against the chain's recent efforts to simplify the menu: The McD's menu board has gotten awfully bloated over the years, and franchisees have been pushing recently installed CEO Steve Easterbrook to simplify it. As part of a new plan to slim it down, the drive-thru menu is now more limited, "but adding all-day breakfast achieves the opposite effect."

All-day breakfast was first tested in San Diego and rolled out last month in Mississippi and Tennessee. Look for it to hit a McDonald's near you soon — maybe: The Motley Fool notes that "the nationwide roll-out is not guaranteed," as franchise owners "will take an initial vote on August 14 on whether to approve all-day breakfast."

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