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February 21, 2010

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Where Have All The McMuffins Gone?

Posted by Henry Alderfer, IDS Columnist

Breakfast appears to be the latest victim of the economic downturn. According to a fascinating article by Washington Post writer Ylan Mui, polls have shown that Americans are either cutting back or skipping breakfast altogether when faced with economic turmoil.

Two fast food companies, Wendy’s and McDonald’s, have made changes to their operating strategy regarding the breakfast bust. Wendy’s recently cut their breakfast menu due to shaky sales, while McDonald’s started offering a dollar breakfast menu last month.

I would go with McDonald’s strategy over Wendy’s. Eggs are cheaper than beef, and coffee is almost entirely water; breakfast is easily the most profitable meal to sell. While breakfast meals account for only 25% of McDonald’s revenue, it makes up 35% of its profit.

Personally, I haven’t willingly woken up to eat an actual breakfast since Christmas morning. However, I am a little disappointed to hear that the productive part of America isn’t choosing to eat the most important meal of the day, as bacon lobbyists and concerned mothers everywhere claim.

The long-term effects of skimping out on Eggo waffles and coffee are unbeknownst to the author at the time of this writing, but I can only imagine American metabolisms are slowing down at a macro level. On the other hand, spring break is right around the corner. Maybe America just wants to lose those stubborn love handles.



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