A breakfast meal at McDonald's.

A&W, McDonald’s Breakfast To Be Available All-Day In Canada Starting In Feburary

Over recent months, both McDonald’s Canada and A&W Canada have been experimenting with all-day breakfast at a number of restaurants. A&W test marketed all-day breakfast at 40 locations in 2016. McDonald’s tested all-day breakfast through 2016 and then announced that it would be available at 17 restaurants in British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario starting earlier this month, as reported by Global News.

Response, particularly from millennials, born after 1980, has been reported as “tremendous” by Susan Senecal with A&W, the chain’s president and chief operating officer.

Beginning on February 21, a pared-down breakfast menu will be available all day at 1,100 of McDonald’s Canada’s 1,450 locations. A&W Canada will begin rolling out all-day breakfast on February 27, with a stated goal of offering the option at 95 percent of its 879 restaurants before the end of June.

The exterior of a McDonald's restaurant in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
[Image by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine | Wikimedia Commons | Cropped & Resized | CC0 Public Domain]

“We know we’re going to do well with it,” John Betts, the chief executive officer of McDonald’s Canada stated.

According to Rob Carter, with the research firm NDP Group, Canadian restaurants experienced breakfast-visit growth of 6.3 percent, to 1.24 billion, during the December 2015 to November 2016 period, compared to the same period the prior year. Five-hundred-and-thirty-six million breakfast sandwiches were sold during the 12-month period, growing by 49 million versus previous years.

“When you look at where the growth in the marketplace has come from for the quick-service segment, it’s all about the breakfast day part,” Carter was quoted by the CBC.

Tim Horton’s and Burger King Canada, both owned by Restaurant Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: QSR, TSE: QSR), have no plans to expand the hours of their breakfast offerings, according to the conglomerate’s chief executive officer, Daniel Schwartz.

Explaining the he is “unaware” of any unsatisfied demand from consumers for extended or all-day breakfast hours at Burger King or Tim Horton’s, the CEO stated “We don’t shift our agenda based on what our competitors are doing.”

Tim Horton’s introduced its breakfast sandwich in 2006 and made it available until noon, one hour later than McDonald’s. That same year, Tim Horton’s offered stock publicly for the first time. The company was eventually merged with Burger King in 2014, to form the new corporate entity, Restaurant Brands. Instead of extending breakfast hours, Tim Horton’s is said be focused on expanding coffee and lunch-menu offerings.

McDonald's Egg McMuffin and hash browns.
McDonald’s Canada plans to offer all-day breakfast at the majority of its restaurants, starting on February 21. [Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

In 2002, Tim Horton’s surpassed then-Canadian-industry-leading McDonald’s with revenues of $2.5 billion that year, compared to McDonald’s revenues of $2.28 billion, as reported by Marketing, hosted with Archive.org. In 2016, McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD), the parent corporation of McDonald’s Canada, reported gross sales of $24.62 billion and earnings per share of $5.71, as reported by Yahoo! Finance.

The full breakfast menu, available during morning hours, is planned to be scaled back after 11 a.m. at both A&W and McDonald’s locations, though the success of the initiative and the companies’ ability to identify additional demand markers may result in additions to the menu. McDonald’s hash browns, McMuffin sandwiches, sausages, and hotcakes are expected to be among the first all-day offerings. A&W restaurants are expected to be serving hash browns and Egger wraps and sandwiches.

A&W Canada separated from A&W in the United States in 1972, after operations were sold to Unilever PLC (NYSE: UL). Today, the U.S. A&W chain is operated by A Great American Brand LLC. In 2015, A&W Canada reported gross sales of $117.63 million, as reported by the firm’s financial statements. Starbucks Canada introduced all-day breakfast that it has offered throughout its operating hours, since 2008.

“Meeting customers’ needs throughout the whole day,” was the reason given by Starbucks spokesperson Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick behind the chain’s decision.

[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]