McDonald’s adds first new breakfast sandwich in 5 years

Posted at 7:11 AM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 09:31:04-04

McDonald’s is hoping a big new breakfast sandwich will help bring in more customers.

Triple Breakfast Stacks will hit menus on November 1. They’re modified versions of McDonald’s popular Egg McMuffin — they will include two slices of American cheese, two sausage patties, bacon and an egg, The sandwiches are available on a McMuffin, biscuit, or McGriddles cakes.

The new items are designed to help McDonald’s solve a problem: Fewer Americans are eating at the fast food chain. A new breakfast could help bring them back.

In a statement on Tuesday, the company said that the items are inspired by customized orders made by McDonald’s (MCD) customers.

“People have been hacking our menu for years,” said Mike Haracz, manager of culinary innovation. The triple stacks were inspired by those orders, he said. Linda VanGosen, vice president of menu innovation, said that customers have been requesting bigger sandwiches for breakfast.

McDonald’s teased the announcement earlier on Tuesday during a call discussing its third quarter earnings.

Breakfast has been particularly challenging for McDonald’s.

“It’s very competitive out there at breakfast,” said CEO Stephen Easterbrook on Tuesday. “We’re still losing a little share … it continues to be a battleground,” he said. “We want to do better at breakfast.”

Meanwhile, competitors have been stepping up their game.

Taco Bell started serving breakfast in 2014 and now sells items like the naked egg taco, which has a fried egg for a shell. Dunkin’ (DNKN), which offers a two-sandwich deal for breakfast, has also done well in the morning.

Competitors have upped their game and McDonald’s may have “lost a little bit of ground” on breakfast over the past few years, said Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy.

McDonald’s has already made some changes that may entice new US customers. It added $1 coffee and $1 breakfast sandwiches at some locations. Easterbrook said it’s too soon to tell whether those efforts are paying off.

Hottovy thinks that McDonald’s has a good shot at turning around its fortune.

“With a little bit of focus,” he said, McDonald’s “can get right back in.”

Over the past couple of years, McDonald’s has tried a number of different strategies to boost its US business. It put self-order kiosks in restaurants, added new menu items, and focused on delivery as part of a massive effort to modernize US restaurants.