For food lovers, the McDonald’s Breakfast Menu is the equivalent of diamond. Everyone wants it, but not everyone can have it. Hard to come by and unique, those lucky enough to wake up for it savor each bite, while those who are not so lucky ask the question “Why not serve it all day?”
Starting with the Egg McMuffin in 1972, McDonald’s pioneered breakfast fast food by providing a quick and easy way for consumers to have the ‘most important meal of the day.’ In the United States, most McDonald locations stop serving the McMuffin and their breakfast menu at 10:30AM, with a few stopping at 11:00AM on weekends.
While many fast food and QSR chains have expanded their breakfast menu hours to run all day, most notably Jack in the Box, McDonald’s remains one of the few chain restaurants to serve breakfast only during morning hours, and for good reason. While there are obvious economic reasons in play, such as the differing cooking temperatures for breakfast items vs. lunch items (ie: hamburger patties vs. eggs) and extra staffing requirements, from a marketing and branding standpoint, McDonald’s is an excellent example of Gamification and how not serving it all day has it’s benefits.
The Law of Scarcity
The Law of Scarcity states that when a person perceives that something or someone that they want is in limited quantity that the value of the object will be greater than if it were to be abundant and available.
To clearly understand this, we will use shoes as an example, specifically the Nike Air Jordan brand.
Often the most sought out pairs of shoes when released, the Nike Air Jordan brand was fueled not only by an iconic brand in Michael Jordan, but by a marketing strategy built to drive demand. Rather than produce pairs of shoes based on the demand of the market, Nike often produces a set number of Air Jordans. Regardless of demand for them, Nike brands Air Jordan’s as “get them while you can” products. No matter the outcry and consumer demand, the scarcity and difficulty in acquiring a pair of Air Jordans is what makes it so appealing.
Circle back now to McDonald’s and wee see the same sort of effect. Yes, McDonald’s may sell more by changing the hours during which they offer their breakfast menu, but just how Air Jordan’s have branded themselves as the exclusive shoe for basketball enthusiasts, so has McDonald’s in becoming the go-to fast food destination for breakfast.
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Jack in the Box serves breakfast all day.