Things are finally looking up for the Golden Arches. Yes, the number of things McDonald’s has done recently to try and attract customers back to their restaurants is kind of astonishing and a little bit sad. A recap, if you really need it:
- They replaced the Dollar Menu with the McPick Two.
- They put mozzarella sticks and mac and cheese on the menu.
- They tested out table service.
- They gave their international franchises all sorts of crazy options, like 48-piece nugget buckets and McChoco Potatoes in Japan, Snoopy buns and concrete-colored Modern China burgers in China, and super fancy McDonald’s Next in Hong Kong.
- They started offering all-day breakfast.
Take note of that last effort. All-day breakfast. When news of it hit back in September, it was received by consumers with joy. Afternoon McGriddles for those days you can’t quite manage to haul yourself out of bed before noon? Yes, please!
Or, well, actually no—because as we all quickly discovered, the All-Day Breakfast menu turned out to be limited to specific menu items. But in spite of the mini-controversies surrounding the menu and the fact that franchise owners didn’t take well to the change in operations, all-day breakfast appears to have been the comeback McDonald’s needed.
While the preliminary news of its success broke back in December, McDonald’s fourth-quarter earnings report, released today, backs that news up: Sales are up 5.7% in the U.S. and up 5% globally. It may not seem like much, but this is big news after two solid years of steady declines.
And it’s not just all-day breakfast. A lot of McDonald’s “Look at me, I’m still the cool kid in the fast-food room!” moves seem to have contributed to its fourth-quarter success. As Business Insider points out, the new CEO and his turnaround strategy, the revamped quarter pounder, the menu cuts, and the Create Your Taste menu all helped boost its numbers. Oh, and not to mention the fact that they started frying the McMuffins in real butter, rather than margarine.
Not all the news is shiny and happy, though. As AP writer Candice Choi pointed out on Twitter today, McDonald’s still has a “tough climb” ahead:
A humble suggestion from this author? Maybe get McGriddles on that All Day breakfast menu. And for the love of Steve Buscemi, offer the all-day biscuit sandwiches and McMuffins nationwide.