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McDonald's Corp. plans to start selling all- day breakfast across the country on Oct. 6, aiming to reinvigorate sluggish sales by fulfilling a longstanding customer request.
The company's franchisees have voted to approve the plan and it's being implemented nationwide, according to a statement from McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb. The move -- the company's biggest menu change in years -- follows months of testing the idea at various locations. In July, Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said the all-day breakfast trials were going well, fueling speculation that a national rollout was near.
Easterbrook, who took over in March, has been trying to pull the company out of its worst sales slump in more than a decade. Selling its signature Egg McMuffin sandwich all day could increase sales by as much as 2.5 percent a year, according to an internal company presentation.
Under the plan approved by franchisees, the full morning lineup won't be available all day. Restaurants will sell either muffin- or biscuit-based sandwiches, along with hot cakes, sausage burritos, fruit-and-yogurt parfaits, oatmeal and hash browns. McDonald's may get rid of other items to make room for breakfast, McComb said.
"Our rest-of-day core menu items will stay intact, such as the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, McNuggets, fries, etc.," she said in an email. "But regions can determine what items need removing based on local customer preferences."
Franchisees own about 90 percent of the company's roughly 14,350 domestic restaurants.
The move may help McDonald's better compete with chains that already sell morning items throughout the day. Dunkin' Donuts serves its breakfast sandwiches, as well as egg wraps and bagels, beyond the morning. And Starbucks Corp. offers muffins and scones at all hours.
McDonald's 250-calorie Egg White Delight McMuffin, rolled out with much fanfare in 2013 as a push toward health and nutrition, won't be sold all day.
Daniel Delligatti, the chain's national advertising fund chairman, told franchisees last month that the company was planning a marketing push to promote the move.
"Based on preliminary test results, all-day breakfast is a significant business opportunity and a marketer's dream that leverages our strengths and will generate positive media news and social media energy," he said in an email.