The Unique Reason Inflation Is Saving McDonald's Breakfast

After almost two years, fears about the COVID-19 pandemic have finally started to quell. While the majority of the population was forced to spend the better part of 2020 and 2021 indoors, the food sector experienced rapid changes that both helped and hindered various areas of the industry (via Quartz). Even though fast-food restaurants initially experienced financial losses in the early part of the pandemic, profits eventually saw a slow rise as lockdown mandates were eased and diners once again sought the familiar convenience of fast food (via BBC). 

The rising trend has had such an impact on the Golden Arches' bottom line that the fast-food giant reported profit increases of almost 40% by April 2021. These promising margins seem to be a global trend for McDonald's with branches in the U.K., Canada, and Australia reporting similar levels of post-pandemic success. And one pandemic feature that has rescinded in many places is driving McDonald's breakfast back into the limelight.

McDonald's breakfast is making a comeback

With the age of working from home coming to a gradual end for many, more Americans are opting for a quick McDonald's breakfast option as they make their early morning commute to the office (via Quartz). The growth of the fast-food breakfast market is just one of the ways the restaurant giant has seen consumer trends edge closer to pre-pandemic norms. 

Beyond breakfast, the recent economic slump that has hit many countries around the world may actually be helping the chain's bottom line. Even though the McDonald's menu has seen an 8% price increase over the past year, CEO Kevin Ozan explained why this increase could spell even greater financial success for the world's largest fast-food chain (via Business Insider). "Food at home has been increasing even more than food away from home, so that's probably been a little benefit to us also," he said. 

Past recessions have shown that trying financial times usually do little to harm fast-food as consumers turn to restaurants like McDonald's to indulge in dining out. While it may take months before we see the true effects of the coming recession on the restaurant industry, it's clear that for the time being, McDonald's is showing no signs of slowing down.