McDonald's tries out a new after-midnight menu that mixes burgers… (Bloomberg )
Stumbling around in the wee hours after an evening out on the town? If you’re hankering for some fast food between midnight and 4 a.m., McDonald’s wants your business.
The Golden Arches are making a grab for what may be the only unsaturated horizon left in the quick service industry: the night owl demographic that gets a craving for burgers past dinnertime and yearns for a breakfast sandwich far before most people are out of bed.
McDonald’s new After Midnight menu will roll out this month in participating 24-hour restaurants in certain U.S. markets, the company said in a statement.
Items offered will include a smattering of breakfast and dinner options along with McCafe drinks and dessert treats, with a choice of either French fries or hash browns as a side.
“Our customers want convenience around the clock,” the statement said.
The strategy is already in place in northern Delaware and in Bryan and College Station, Texas.
Last summer the chain also tried out a more restricted menu, offering Breakfast After Midnight for customers it called “nocturnivores,” according to Columbus Business First in Ohio. The menu is also offered in Southern California.
Pre-dawn snacking -- a habit most popular in the millennial generation -- is barely explored territory for the industry, though Taco Bell has run its late night Fourth Meal campaign for years.
Recently, research group NPD found that morning meals were the only restaurant category that increased traffic in the first quarter of the year, improving 2%. Lunch visits were stagnant, supper slid 1% and the so-called PM Snack category declined 2%.
McDonald's, which has been struggling with disappointing sales for months, may need the boost.
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