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Changing Breakfast to Survive COVID-19

This is a story about breakfast. Specifically, the former all-day breakfast at McDonalds. And, inspiration from a recent Inc article about how changing breakfast can give us insight into positioning our businesses to survive COVID-19.

Nearly five years ago, McDonald’s started serving breakfast all day, which its most loyal customers had requested for some time. Unfortunately, the change did not increase the total number of people eating at McDonald’s. In fact, some regular breakfast customers simply started coming in later.

And making maters worse, some afternoon customers were now buying the cheaper and lower margin breakfast items rather than lunch or dinner items.

Result: This week, McDonald’s discontinued serving breakfast all day.

For companies looking to survive COVID-19, there are some lessons to be found in that decision.

1. Simplify Your Resources

It took a lot of resources to deliver an all-day breakfast. More processes to be followed throughout the day. More ingredients to manage. More complicated orders at the drive-through.

If you’re thinking of ways to conserve cash (and maximize profit) at your business, are there product/service offerings that take up more than their share of resources? Those might be the ones to examine for adjustment or elimination.

2. Create Efficiency

Fewer menu choices should mean a faster customer experience at the McDonalds drive-through.

This should be a part of your thought process as well. Can you eliminate some of your customer’s options as a result of the pandemic without further hurting sales? Increased efficiency usually means more money to your bottom line.

3. Maximize margins

Breakfast items make less money.

When was the last time you examined the margins of your products or services? Can you position/price/offer your products or services differently to encourage higher margin purchases? Now may be a good time to start thinking about that.

4. Change Things That Aren’t Working

McDonald’s is a smart company. One wonders if they were waiting for a reason to make this change without alienating their customers. If so, the coronavirus outbreak gave McDonald’s the opportunity (or the excuse), to make that change.

Are there things your company does for customers or internally that you would like to change? This might be an opportunity to reflect on them and even make a decision you have been waiting to make.

5. Plan for Recovery

While everyone else is hunkering down to weather the storm, take this extra time to plan for when the crisis ends. Your competitive landscape will be changed when this crisis is over. Strategize now to take advantage of the new vista on the other side. You will be in a better position to recover as a result.

Use this time to make the decisions that you need
to survive today.

And, as importantly, make the decisions that will empower you
to thrive tomorrow.

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