'I think I speak for the world when I say we’d rather not spend much time reflecting on 2016, so let’s focus on the one thing that makes us all happy: breakfast. Fast food breakfast had quite a ride these past twelve months. Chick-Fil-A introduced a new breakfast sandwich for the first time in six years (much to customers’ chagrin), Starbucks began testing a brunch menu, and Doughnut Plant birthed a seasonal monster called The Ripple. Butthe biggest story came from McDonald’s, which launched its long-awaited all-day breakfast menu and the most unexpected “new” fast food breakfast item of 2016: the McGriddle.
If you’re a McDonalds aficionado you’re probably thinking, “What? Celebrating the McGriddle in 2016?” I see why this may give you pause, but bear with me. Although the McGriddle was first released in 2003, you could say it never truly lived until this year—or even, these past few months. That’s because, like any good bildungsroman, no one becomes anything without a little bit of drama. For too long, the McGriddle, the perfect breakfast sandwich consisting of sausage, egg, and cheese bookended by two pancakes, was confined to the early hours before 10:30 a.m. So when McDonalds rolled out their all day breakfast, fans were sure this beacon of syrupy love,this indulgent sandwich of goodness, would be the first thing on the menu.
But no. In addition to some of their other breakfast sandwiches,the McDonald’s McGriddle was left in the dust. According to the chain, it was a space issue. "It comes down to the sheer size of kitchen grills," read the website. "They simply don't have the room for all of our menu options at one time—especially considering we use our grill to prepare many items on our breakfast menu."
However, this is what free speech is for. Much like their ancestors, hungry over-sleepers stood up for what was right.“What can a girl do to get a Mcgriddle after 11??” one customer tweeted. “I was excited when they first introduced breakfast all day but when I learned no mcgriddle I was like.. What's the point?” another added. Others went for the ultimatum: “If they really wanted my businesses, they would make the McGriddle all day,” tweeted user @UncleGrummy. “Until then, I'm sticking to Checkers.”
Like any good movement, there was even a hashtag. #FreeTheMcGriddles took over feeds until, finally, someone listened. Ronald McDonald rolled up his sleeves, went into the kitchen, and made some space on that grill. Suddenly, the internet (and the world) was all smiles.
“Shoutout to @McDonalds for deciding to listen to me and putMcGriddle's on the all day breakfast menu,” wrote user @kelsey_jordaan. “I love you.”
McDonald’s even went as far as to hunt down dissatisfied tweets to promote their all day BOGO McGriddle promotion to celebrate this new era.
If there’s one thing we can get behind, it’s that breakfast shouldn’t have a time limit, and good food shouldn’t come at the expense of sleep. So, yes. It might be crazy. It might be unconventional! But it’s definitely undeniable: the McGriddle was 2016’s best breakfast—especially when enjoyed at 10 o’clock at night.