Published 5:49 PM EDT Oct 23, 2018
When it comes to breakfast, McDonald's is lovin' it.
The burger chain plans to introduce new breakfast items for the first time in more than a decade, though didn't give any details during the company's third-quarter earnings call Tuesday morning about what the menu additions would be or when they'd be introduced.
However, according to a Business Insider report citing internal documents, the updated breakfast menu will include three new meatier breakfast sandwiches. The "Triple Breakfast Stacks," set to be served up for a limited time in November, are essentially beefed up versions of the McMuffin, McGriddle and biscuit with three times the meat – two sausage patties in addition to bacon – according to the report.
"Breakfast remains an opportunity," CEO Steve Easterbrook said.
Easterbrook also mentioned plans to launch a new meal deal that will include core menu offerings, so customers can get a "satisfying meal for an affordable price."
McDonald's, which launched its all-day breakfast menu in October 2015, continues to look for new ways to get customers in the door and spending more money.
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According to the company, 15,000 restaurants globally offer delivery and have self-ordering kiosks and 3,000 have been renovated globally – all part of its Experience of the Future initiative.
McDonald's reported net income of close to $1.64 billion or $2.10 per share on revenue of nearly $5.37 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30.
The burger chain beat analysts' expectations for the quarter. Refinitiv forecast net income of close to $1.56 billion, earnings per share of $1.99 and revenue of almost $5.32 billion.
"On the sales side, a lot comes down to menu innovation," said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. "McDonald's is not terrible at this but, in our view, rivals like Burger King still have an edge at putting out interesting and attention-grabbing seasonal selections. McDonald's needs to get better at this."
He said the kiosks and mobile ordering must roll out "further and faster" and more automation is needed in the McDonald's kitchens, especially now that the chain's menu options are more complex. Growth opportunities include delivery and sales of items, like coffee, though both already are competitive areas.
"The bottom line is that McDonald's has made some good strategic decisions and the company is much more future-proof that it was a few years back," Saunders said. "However, it now needs a clearer vision on both product and marketing."
The Chicago-based chain is coming off a quarter that has had its ups and downs.
McDonald's marked the 50th anniversary of its iconic Big Mac and in September, the chain announced that seven of its classic burgers sold in the U.S. – the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Big Mac – are now free from artificial preservatives, flavors and colors.
However, during the summer, a multi-state outbreak of cyclosporiasis illnesses likely linked to McDonald's salads sickened 511 people in 15 states and New York City, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Two dozen people were hospitalized; no one died. McDonald's voluntarily pulled the lettuce blends from approximately 3,000 of its restaurants.
And in September, hundreds of McDonald's workers held a #MeToo strike outside the company's headquarters in Chicago to highlight issues of sexual harassment in the workplace. Among the protesters' demands were more accountability and better manager education, though the chain said that it has strong anti-harassment policies and training in place.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer