For generations of children, breakfast has been the least “happy” meal of the day—at least at McDonald’s. Despite Happy Meals having been a huge success for the fast food giant since their introduction back in 1979, the toy-embellished boxed kids’ meals have primarily remained the province of lunch and dinner, stocked with a hamburger, cheeseburger, or McNuggets. But thanks to all the big bucks the burger chain has been hauling in by offering all-day breakfast, Ronald and Co. have come up with a new idea: breakfast Happy Meals. McDonald’s has announced that it will begin testing an all-day breakfast Happy Meal starting this coming Monday at 73 McDonald’s locations in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area. (Keep your fingers crossed, Bixby!) Kids will have two new options for their morning main: either two McGriddle cakes or a new kid-friendly Egg & Cheese McMuffin without Canadian bacon. As a side, they’ll be offered apples slices or yogurt, as well as hash browns at some restaurants. And of course, the meal will come with a toy.
But here’s the real news: Since these new breakfast Happy Meals will be included as part of the brand’s extremely successful all-day-breakfast campaign, during lunch and dinner hours kids’ French fries will also be available as a breakfast Happy Meal side. Yup, your nine-year-old can finally live every stoner’s dream: a box full of McGriddles and French fries at 9 p.m.
If things prove successful with the Tulsa experiment (kind of like a Manhattan Project for breakfast), McDonald’s says it plans to make breakfast Happy Meals a national offering in 2017. It would be the first time McDonald’s has added a new entree option to the Happy Meal in over three decades. For the record, a company spokesperson confirmed that breakfast Happy Meals have popped up in the past on the sly, but the new campaign is the first time the brand has advertised them.
If the announcement leaves you asking, “Wait, kids can get all-day McGriddles, but I can’t?” then you missed McDonald’s other big change this week. As of Wednesday, the company officially changed its all-day breakfast options to include McGriddle sandwiches—as well as both McMuffin and biscuit sandwiches—at all locations. Previously, locations were choosing between either McMuffin or biscuit sandwiches, and McGriddles were only offered in select stores.
So, to recap, McDonald’s has gone absolutely bonkers for breakfast. And why wouldn’t they? According to USA Today, 79 percent of the 122 million breakfast sandwiches served at McDonald’s from April through June of this year were sold during lunch of dinner hours. “All day breakfast has really been a big hit with our customers, and that started from our customers telling us this is what they wanted,” Pam Williams, a director of innovation at McDonald’s USA, told the paper. “Since the launch of all day breakfast, more of our customers have been reaching out to us and asking us for these choices for their kids in the Happy Meals.”
Turns out listening to your customers is a good idea. Who’d of thought?!