The Reason People Think A Big Change Is Coming To McDonald's Breakfast In 2021

All things considered, McDonald's has had a pretty good 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic kept the fast-food chain's indoor seating areas closed in most of the U.S. for much of the year, but despite these limitations, individual McDonald's restaurants saw increased sales in the third quarter of 2020 (July, August, and September) compared to the same months a year ago (via CNBC). 

McDonald's has actually been attracting more customers during dinner in recent months, according to CNBC, but The Wall Street Journal reports that breakfast sales are weak. That's simply because a lot of people get their Egg McMuffins on the way to school or work — only now, many people are doing school and work from home.

Despite persistently slow sales during the early part of the day, stock-market advisors are signaling that breakfast at McDonald's should improve in 2021, now that there's a vaccine available to immunize people against COVID-19. These breakfast improvements market analysts speak of aren't all about changes to the menu, though. They simply expect breakfast sales to improve at McDonald's next year on their own, which should add to the chain's already-growing sales trend (via MarketWatch).

Improved coffee and more bakery items coming to McDonald's in 2021

While no big changes are planned for McDonald's breakfast menu, the fast-food giant isn't standing pat with its morning offerings, either. The market analysts at UBS, who announced the good news for McDonald's financial future, said they expect to see improvements to McDonald's coffee, along with new pastry items in 2021. McDonald's already introduced three new items to its McCafe Bakery lineup in late October of this year: an apple fritter, a blueberry muffin, and a cinnamon roll.

UBS also expects McDonald's to focus its marketing efforts on breakfast in 2021. That could mean a new slate of TV advertisements touting its breakfast selection, or special offers on breakfast items available through the chain's app. McDonald's has been luring people to its app this year by offering special deals you can get only by ordering through your mobile device. The current app deal is a different giveaway every day leading up to Christmas, with any $1 purchase.

McDonald's suspended its all-day breakfast at the beginning of the pandemic, to allow restaurants to operate more smoothly (via Business Insider). Many McDonald's restaurants have relied exclusively on drive-thru business during much of the pandemic, and eliminating all-day breakfast helped speed up drive-thru times. No word yet on whether McDonald's will bring the all-day breakfast back.