Speaking of Breakfast

It’s looking like soon, you’ll be able to get breakfast all day at McDonald’s. Let’s be honest, okay? Can we talk here? McDonald’s burgers are only so-so compared to the competition, thin and not juicy. Their much-vaunted fries haven’t ever been the same since they switched to vegan oil (although that was the right thing for them to do for other reasons).

But breakfast at McDonald’s is really about as good as you have any right to expect from fast food. Plus, the cost-of-food margin for eggs, muffins, coffee, and pretty much everything else sold for breakfast other than the meats are super-low. So now that I get to eat moderate amounts of carbohydrates again, I say, bring on the breakfast for lunch. I’m supposed to watch calorie intake, not cholesterol!

 

Burt LikkoBurt Likko is the pseudonym of an attorney in Southern California and the managing editor of Ordinary Times. His interests include Constitutional law with a special interest in law relating to the concept of separation of church and state, cooking, good wine, and bad science fiction movies. Follow his sporadic Tweets at @burtlikko, and his Flipboard at Burt Likko.

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15 thoughts on “Speaking of Breakfast

  1. I suspect that the quality of their breakfast will decline.

    Even if it doesn’t, you will THINK it did, because it no longer need be a rare event for you.

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  2. Like Glyph, I suspect the quality of the breakfast might decline, especially if you get it in the afternoon or evening, because the biscuits or sausages (or whatever) might not be as fresh.

    I do hope the people in charge of McDonalds have a plan for making sure that the breakfast can be served alongside the non-breakfast items. It seems that lately the company has made a lot of changes in its offerings without taking into account the workflow at the shop-level.

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    • Regarding your first point, as a former worker, I can tell you that if you forget to throw out the biscuits at the end of breakfast, they are hockey pucks by noon. They also take a monumental amount of time to cook, by McD’s standards, something like 30-40 minutes to get them from frozen to edible (which means if you have the standard 10:30 switchover time and run out after 10:00, there’s no point in making more). They will probably need to tweak the biscuit prep method so they can be ready to serve more quickly.

      Regarding your second point, this decision still has to be approved by the franchisees, since it *will* require additional grill space. Increasingly McD’s customers are less the people who eat their food and more their franchise owners.

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  3. The breakfast is the only thing McDonalds sells that I will eat. Seriously. I have skipped meals when it was too late for breakfast and there were no other options. And I’m not a meal-skipping kind of guy.

    I have always assumed that the restricted hours are because we are accustomed to paying less for breakfast than for later meals. They would have to either raise the prices later in the day, which would provoke backlash, or risk cannibalizing from their more profitable sales. The claim that it was physically impractical to sell their breakfast items later in the day was always obvious bullshit.

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    • Cooking breakfast and lunch on the same grill isn’t feasible with McD’s system: they have clamshell style grills that are set to the thickness of the patty (sausage has the same thickness as the regular hamburger patties).

      The store I worked in only had two grills; after 10:30, one was devoted to regular hamburger patties and one to 1/4 lb patties. Cooking sausage would have required cleaning the grill afterwards, and probably beforehand as well. During busy times this would really only work if the store had at least 3 grills, and it would only make economic sense if that third grill was kept as busy with sausage as the other 2.

      That said, it’s been a while since I was there and McD’s trend in breakfast at the time was towards pre-cooked*, so maybe there’s no longer a need for a grill to prepare sausage. I kinda hope there is, though.

      *For example, during the time I worked there, they went from making biscuits from a dry mix to the previously mentioned frozen par-baked biscuits, from raw bacon to cooked and from fresh eggs for the folded eggs (on biscuit sandwiches) to some horrid looking stuff in a milk carton.

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      • That’s kind of what I thought. I used to work at a place (not McDonalds, but very similar) that did breakfast and while I never actually worked the breakfast shift, I saw a lot of the prep work that had to be done the night before. At my location, which wasn’t a street store but in a student center, we had only one grill. It would’ve been really hard (but perhaps not impossible) to manage breakfast at the same time.

        Slightly off topic: I don’t know if McDonalds was like this, but at the place I’m referring to,* we had a two-sided sandwich prep table (people could stand on either side of the table) but there was a big overhanging apparatus (where the cooked chicken and the wrapping for the various sandwiches were located), and to make the sandwiches we had to duck in order to get at the sandwich table. (By the way, I’m only 5’8″ or so, so it’s not like I was exceptionally tall.) That made sandwich making much more cumbersome than need be.

        I say that because I worked at another fast food place (again, not a McDonalds)** where the sandwich station was much easier to work with. However, that was a long time ago, and I know that restaurant’s menu has changed to add more stuff, so maybe they’ve ruined that advantage they had.

        *I’ll call it “H’s”
        **I’ll call this one “W’s.”

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  4. I can only await the new combos amateur food scientists will be creating. The Big MacMcMuffin Sandwich!!…It’s an egg mcmuffin in a big mac.

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  5. Haven’t we already been over how wrong Burt is about McD’s breakfast? Jeez. Glutton for punishment much?

    And while I noticed McD’s fries not tasting like they used to, I thought I was romanticizing the past. Glad to know there was an actual change afoot!

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  6. Conversation this morning with the owner of the Inn (in Wisconsin) where we’re staying turned to Egg McMuffins. Went on for some time, before I realized that she was talking about homemade stuff; a round of sausage, cheese, and fried egg on an English Muffin.

    Surprised, call me.

    On another note, there is a distinct lack of coffee shops here. Have not seen a Dunkin Donuts since leaving Maine on a jet plane, and only a couple of Starbucks around Milwaukee. Also of note: we drove a different-than usual route out of Milwaukee; one that went through some of its lower-income neighborhoods. Though we’ve never been here before, it had this strangely familiar feel — finally realized it reminded both of us of Guatemala; neighborhood churches battling it out for congregants, businesses shuttered, and buildings rotting even before the construction on them is complete. (Family member gasped and grew quiet when they realized we’d driven that way.)

    But the McDonald’s breakfast lexicon has spread to the home cooked meal. Don’t quite know what I think of that, but I’ve never actually had an Egg McMuffin, either.

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    • I’m not a big fan of egg mcmuffins, or I don’t think I would be as I’ve never tried them (I do like english muffins, though.)

      As for dunkin donuts, in Danvar and Cibolia generally, they’re a rarity (or they were…..I grew up there but don’t live there now). Because they were a rarity, they were almost exotic, something to be gotten if you happened upon the one lonely dunkin in an odd place.

      In Big City, however, (which is VERY close to Milwaukee), Dunkin’s are almost everywhere. There’s one a couple blocks from my apartment, and another about a mile way. And there’s one across the street from my wife’s work. And there’s one in the student center at the university I work at.

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