Turns out Americans are still lovin’ McDonald’s (MCD) All-Day Breakfast.
The fast-food chain on Tuesday reported surprisingly strong first-quarter U.S. same-restaurant sales, boosted by customers’ enduring interest in ordering Egg McMuffins throughout the day. Sales at existing U.S. McDonald’s restaurants rose 1.7% in the first three months of 2017, well above the 0.8% decline Wall Street had forecast, according to Consensus Metrix. Globally, same-restaurant sales rose 4% in the quarter.
The results sentMcDonald’s (MCD) shares up 3.8% to $138.77 in early trading to an all-time high.
Sales soared in 2016 following the restaurant’s introduction of All-Day Breakfast, but there were concerns its pace of growth wouldn’t hold after the first-year anniversary of the launch. But McDonald’s expanded the menu, keeping the momentum last quarter. And business thrived last quarter thanks to the introduction of a bigger version of its Big Mac called the “Grand Mac,” along with a smaller version called “Mac Jr.” as well as $1 and $2 deals.
“There’s a sense of urgency across the business as we take actions to retain existing customers, regain lapsed customers and convert casual customers to committed customers,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.
As part of that reinvention of McDonald’s, Easterbrook has pledged to turn the chain into a “modern, progressive burger company” and recently said it would start using fresh instead of frozen beef for its Quarter Pounders in 2018.
Still, for all the benefit McDonald’s continues to reap from its All-Day Breakfasts, traffic remains challenging, continuing a multi-year trend that has seen fewer people come to stores. Without quantifying the issue, McDonald’s said it “continues to focus its efforts on driving guest count growth” in what it called an “increasingly competitive” fast-food market.