McDonald's is considering serving breakfast all day, offering rewards to frequent eaters and even delivering the golden arches to your door, the company's chief said Friday.
In an interview with CNBC, President and CEO Don Thompson said the world's largest fast-food chain "has looked at breakfast across the day" and "innovative ways" to expand hours in the United States, noting that it's already happened in other countries.
"I think we'll be seeing some of those things in the near future," he said.
Going mobile is a major nugget of McDonald's plans, so it's testing delivery overseas and in some U.S. cities, which were not named. Burger King already delivers in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and San Francisco.
Thompson admitted the company had been "a little bit late" to the growing desire for take-out, and he sees "big, big opportunity" for delivery, especially where drive-throughs don't exist.
About 20% of McDonald's outlets offer delivery service, and nearly 50% are open 24 hours, the financial blog Seeking Alpha said.
McDonald's has teased consumers with the prospect of all-day breakfast before. In 2006, then-CEO Jim Skinner said the restaurant chain was making operating changes that would make it possible to offer the breakfast menu 24 hours a day.
Like all retailers, McDonald's is adapting to the tastes and preferences of the millennial generation, and the shift toward healthier choices.
Seeking Alpha offered a peek at the menu of the near future:
New products will be introduced in the United States in the following growth categories: chicken, premium beef, breakfast, and beverages. Some of the specific new products include: Egg White Delight, a lower calorie breakfast item; Premium McWraps, an innovation from Europe that is being introduced globally; and Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothies, which originated in Canada.
Last week, McDonald's reported an increase in its first-quarter profit, but weaker than expected U.S. and European sales disappointed Wall Street.
Thompson told CNBC that the "challenging retail environment" resulting from "the starts and stops of a recovery" may ease some later in the year. McDonald's has increased hiring for breakfast and late night.
"We always plan for the environment we're in," he said. "Right now, we don't expect to get the benefit of a resurgent economy."
Michael Winter, USA TODAY