Has the all-day breakfast menu trend jumped the shark?

(Photo illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) /

Looking at restaurant trends, has the all-day breakfast menu trend become a memory?

Pancakes for dinner? For a while, the all-day breakfast menu trend seemed to be everywhere. From McDonald’s leading the charge to various other restaurants, it seemed that diners wanted breakfast foods morning, noon and night. Given the current state of the restaurant industry, many changes have and will continue to be implemented. Have diners seen the end of breakfast for dinner?

When McDonald’s first revealed its all-day breakfast menu, many people were quite excited. After a long roll-out period, the iconic brand was able to bring Egg McMuffins to guests all day long. For the past five years, many people happily gobbled up eggs, bacon and pancakes at all hours of the day.

While this change gave diners options, it takes a lot of effort on a restaurant’s part. Being able to switch from a Big Mac to a Big Breakfast at the drop of the hat is difficult.

If you have ever watched a restaurant makeover show, menus with too many options can spell kitchen disaster. From the food cost to the difficulty for the cooks, those 50+ menu options can be a kitchen nightmare.

Often, a smaller, pared down menu ensures a more successful restaurant business plan. Even though diners might like to have a plethora of options, the food cost, and potential food waste, isn’t beneficial for restaurants.

Recently, McDonald’s decided not to bring back the all-day breakfast menu. While some menu items returned, those breakfast items did not and may not return again. It seems that restaurant owners are happy with the change. That simpler menu is preferred by them.

Although diners might want all-day breakfast to return, the trends seem to be otherwise. More people are looking to plant-based foods. Additionally, there are many protein packed, non-breakfast alternatives that fit into people’s lifestyles. Given the options, the breakfast menu isn’t as necessary.

Since many restaurants follow McDonald’s lead, other quick service restaurants could see their breakfast menus scaled back. Only time will tell if pancakes are back just for breakfast, again.

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Do you think that the all-day breakfast menu trend is over? What do you think that the next restaurant trends will be?