Chicken for Breakfast at McDonald’s

February 24, 2020
Chicken for Breakfast at McDonald’s

McDonald’s wants to win breakfast.  The restaurant chain has struggled in the Chicken Sandwich War, as Chick-fil-A and Popeyes have taken market share.  McDonald’s hopes its new chicken sandwich will help, but what will really put them over the top, they believe, is chicken on the breakfast menu.

For a limited time, they’ll offer the McChicken Biscuit, and the Chicken McGriddle, for breakfast across the country.  Both breakfast sandwiches are already standard menu items in the south for McDonald’s, and have been very successful.  After the limited time, franchisees can continue offering these menu items if desired.

Part of the battle for quick service breakfast supremacy will focus on new entrants.  Wendy’s is again trying to offer breakfast.  One of its offerings is a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit.  Chick-fil-A already offers a Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit

Video Spotlight: McDonald’s adds new chicken sandwiches to morning menu – Jack Brewer joins Yahoo Finance

This post is based on the CNN article, McDonald’s Is Fighting the Breakfast War with Chicken Sandwiches, by Danielle Wiener-Bronner, January 28, 2020, and the YouTube video, McDonald’s adds new chicken sandwiches to morning menu – Jack Brewer joins Yahoo Finance, by Brewer Media, January 30, 2020. Image source: Tetra Images / Image Source

Discussion Questions:

1. What problems are introduced by the addition of the McChicken Biscuit and Chicken McGriddle to McDonald’s menu?

Guidance: The introduction of more items to the menu increases the complexity of operations for the restaurant and supply chain.  Potentially, new suppliers must be found to provide the chicken, and there are now additional items in the supply chain.  The added complexity on the breakfast menu makes filling orders more difficult, possibly slowing down the service time.  McDonald’s has been working to cut its service time.

Another potential difficulty is that the new offering could require new equipment.  The biscuit is already a part of its menu.  The question will be if the chicken patty is new or is currently being used in their chicken sandwich.  If it is the same chicken patty, this will help reduce the added complexity.

2. Why do a limited-time introduction of the McChicken Biscuit and Chicken McGriddle?

Guidance: Limited-time introductions allow the delivery of the new item.  You can check the recipes to make sure they appeal to your customers.  The supply chain can be tested to make sure ingredients are available and can be delivered in a timely basis.  If additional equipment is needed it can be added and process and procedures for handing and cooking the food can be tried.

If at any point, there is a failure, the product can be removed and re-introduced later.  Popeyes ran into this issue with the introduction of its chicken sandwich.  It was planned as a permanent item, but inventory quickly ran out due to unexpected demand.


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