McDonald’s franchisees voted last week to approve a move to all-day breakfast at its 14,300 U.S. restaurants on October 6. The company has been test marketing the all-day breakfast and the results have encouraged the nation’s largest restaurant chain to serve breakfast items all day. McDonald’s reports that breakfast currently makes up 25 percent of the chains total sales now and the company expects breakfast items to increase to 29 percent of total sales when the all-day breakfast goes nationwide. Assuming that egg-based items maintain the same percentage of breakfast item sales as they do now when breakfast items are offered all-day, then egg sales to McDonald’s would be expected to increase by 16 percent.

The timing of the move is interesting given that egg and egg product prices in the U.S. are at record-high levels now as a result of avian influenza caused hen losses. Hen numbers are recovering somewhat, but the U.S. egg supply should still be tight in October. A 16 percent increase in egg sales by the chain that is already the country’s largest user of eggs will certainly help to maintain egg prices at profitable levels. I know that McDonald’s has to consider availability anytime it makes a change to its menu, anyone poultry person over the age of 50 remembers what happened to chicken prices when McDonald’s introduced the McNugget, so I am surprised, but pleased, that McDonald’s would make the all-day breakfast move now.

 The Egg McMuffin is my favorite quick service restaurant menu item. I look forward to having a McMuffin, or two, any time of day during my next O’Hare airport layover in Chicago.