Good news, breakfast fiends. Depending on where you live, your favorite meal is now available even earlier.
McDonald's new Breakfast After Midnight menu -- available in locations across the state of Ohio, Denver and Boston -- offers limited breakfast offerings from 12 a.m. onward. Included are popular items like Egg McMuffins, Sausage McMuffins, hotcakes with sausage, breakfast burritos, fruit and maple oatmeal, hash browns, juice and coffee. The menu will be available in all 24-hour McDonald's stores in featured markets.
Columbus, Ohio publication Business First writes that the move is in keeping with breakfast's continuing popularity, which apparently accounts for about a quarter of all fast food sales. Other chains are taking note, with Wendy's, Subway and Taco Bell getting into the breakfast business in past years.
McDonald's first tested Breakfast After Midnight's potential in 127 Ohio locations, where it apparently proved successful enough to roll out to the other two markets.
The Chicago Tribune spoke with McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud, who explained the move was a response to blurred timelines for when people eat breakfast, lunch and dinner:
"Customers are commuting longer, people are out at different hours of the day," she said. "This is a good opportunity to meet the needs of those customers."
Despite this, Proud admitted the company currently has no plans to roll the menu out nationally. But could that change in the future? BurgerBusiness.com reported in April that the McDonald's trademarked its 24-hour-operation logo as more of its locations adopt the 24-hour model. By the end of 2011, U.S. McDonald's stores open around the clock increased to 40 percent, up from 36 percent a year before. Restaurants open by 5 a.m. make up 89 percent of the chain's stores.
America's Drive-In rounds out the top 10 with U.S. revenues of $3.6 billion.
KFC, the biggest chicken vendor in America, comes in ninth with revenues of $4.7 billion, though there were 107 fewer outposts in August 2011 than there were the year before.
8. Pizza Hut
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/pizza-hut-ads_n_911106.html" target="_hplink">Good ads</a> equal big revenues for the biggest pizza chain in America. Pizza Hut took in a solid $5.4 billion in 2010.
7. Dunkin Donuts
America runs on Dunkin' to the tune of $6 billion a year -- that's almost $20 for each and every person in the country.
6. Taco Bell
2010 U.S. revenues of $6.9 billion make Taco Bell the biggest Mexican restaurant chain in the country.
Starbucks may have had a few hiccups <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/13/starbucks-bistro-boxes_n_897768.html" target="_hplink">when it comes to introducing food</a>. But its success in beverages has propelled American's biggest coffee purveyor into fifth place among fast food chains, with 2010 revenues of $7.6 billion.
Wendy's fries may be <a href="http://www.slashfood.com/2011/04/20/wendys-fries-vs-mcdonalds-fries-taste-test/" target="_hplink">number one</a>, but its revenues aren't there quite yet.
3. Burger King
Number two burger chain Burger King was sold for $3.26 billion to 3G Capital in 2009. 2010 revenues of $8.6 billion make that sound like a deal to us! (We know, we know, there's a difference between revenues and profits...)
Subway has the most outlets of any fast food brand; it expanded that total by 816 in the past year alone. But because each store is relatively small, revenues, at $10 billion, pale in comparison with those at the number one chain.
With revenues standing at a whopping $32.4 billion in 2010, the Golden Arches aren't being dethroned any time soon. What's surprising about its success is that per store sales at McDonald's are bigger than those even cult-ish brands with fewer outlets. With $2.4 million <em>per store</em>, they're second only to Chick Fil-A, which fans travel miles to visit.