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McDonald’s Trademarks ‘McBrunch’

Filed under breakfast, Marketing, Menu

McDonald’s needs something attention grabbing, innovative and appealing, as is clear from the -2.8% drop in U.S. same-store sales for August reported this week. That need for something fresh and different may be why has learned that McDonald’s Corp. in July filed a federal trademark registration (application #86345988) for the term “McBrunch.”

A McDonald’s spokesperson confirmed the application but cautioned, “We routinely file intent to use trademark applications as a regular course of business. We can’t share details at this time as to how the trademarks may or may not be used.”

The Massive McMuffin on McDonald's morning menu in New Zealand would be perfect for a McBrunch menu here.

The Massive McMuffin on McDonald’s morning menu in New Zealand would be perfect for a McBrunch menu here.

It’s possible the company could just keep the trademark inactive in its back pocket. It does that. In fact, it applied for a trademark on “McBrunch” in 2001 but abandoned that application. But the brunch idea may be back under consideration more seriously this time, in part because of the continuing poor sales performance. McDonald’s has been showing increased interest in upscale morning fare: Earlier this year it tested breakfast pastries in San Diego and mini bundt cakes in Boca Raton, Fla., and Nevada.

Four years ago, Burger King briefly tested a brunch menu in Massachusetts and Florida. The menu included nonalcoholic mimosas, a BK Ciabatta Breakfast Sandwich and its signature Whopper burger. The brunch idea didn’t work, but Burger King in May launched a “Burgers at Breakfast” program with Whoppers offered in the morning.

So how might McBrunch work at McDonald’s were it to be launched? One path would be the route it has chosen in Germany, where breakfast hours are extended beyond 10:30 a.m. on weekends and major holidays. Breakfast already has been extended “backwards” through the “McDonald’s After Midnight” hybrid breakfast/dinner menu from midnight to 4 a.m. Brunch could be a weekend-only event with a special menu.

Chains are working hard to develop distinctive breakfast menu items, as evidenced by Taco Bell’s new Biscuit Taco and IHOP’s new “Waffullicious Waffles” with ingredients such as bacon and cheese baked in. To compete with breakfast options such as that, McBrunch would need something more than the current McMuffins and McGriddles. McDonald’s is leery of expanding the menu with new items, but here are 10 breakfast foods already on its menus around the world that it should consider for a McBrunch menu in the U.S.:

Frukostmackan from Sweden

Frukostmackan from Sweden

 Massive McMuffin (on McDonald’s breakfast menu in New Zealand): Two sausage patties, bacon, a freshly cracked egg, a slice of cheese and ketchup on a hot toasted English Muffin. This says brunch.


Germany's McMuffin Fresh Chicken

Germany’s McMuffin Fresh Chicken

Frukostmackan (Sweden): Think outside the breakfast sandwich box. Sweden does. This morning sandwich has smoked ham, Wästgöta Abbey cheese, crispy lettuce, butter and sun-ripened tomato on freshly baked bread.


McMuffin Fresh Chicken (Germany): Dress up the McMuffin for brunch like the Germans do. Crispy breaded chicken, spicy cheese, crisp lettuce and tomatoes are topped off with a mild sauce on a toasted muffin.


The FIT Sandwich from Serbia

The FIT Sandwich from Serbia

FIT Sandwich (Serbia): For the health-conscious brunch eater. Ham, cheese, Bun, deluxe sauce, chopped w ham, cheese, arugula, tomato


BLT Bagel (Canada): You have the Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel already and it rocks. But brunch needs its own bagel creation. This couldn’t be simpler: Hickory-smoked bacon, sliced tomato and crisp lettuce, topped with creamy mayonnaise-style sauce served on a freshly baked regular or multigrain bagel.


Japan's Tsukimi Burger

Japan’s Tsukimi Burger

Tsukimi Burger (Japan): Brunch requires a breakfast burger so how about this one from Japan? Beef, smoky bacon, creamy tomato sauce and an egg on a sesame-seed bun. Burger King has introduced a Breakfast Whopper in New Zealand and it’s only a matter of time before that’s on the U.S. menu. McDonald’s should move fast.


Breakfast Roll (Ireland): A breakfast sandwich with a heartier profile. Sausage, Irish bacon and an Irish egg in a crispy roll served with ketchup or brown sauce.

Irish Breakfast Roll

Irish Breakfast Roll


McMorning (Croatia): Think of it as a morning McRib. Pork patties, rösti (potato fritters with onions), two slices of bacon, a slice of melted Cheddar, tomato, lettuce and a special sauce. Pork and bacon together? Brunch, baby.


Veg Pizza McPuff

Veg Pizza McPuff

Veg Pizza McPuff (India): Something for the vegetarians and the global-cuisine fans. Add a crisp brown crust with “a generous helping of rich tomato sauce mixed with carrots, bell peppers, beans, onions, peas and gooey mozzarella.” Not the traditional American breakfast food, maybe, but who doesn’t like leftover pizza on a weekend morning?

Sausage 'N' Egg Twisty Pasta

Sausage ‘N’ Egg Twisty Pasta

Sausage N’ Egg Twisty Pasta (Hong Kong): OK, this one might be a bit of a stretch: Twisty pasta, fresh eggs and sizzling sausage together with hot chicken or tonkotsu (pork) broth and greens. But let’s see Taco Bell match this!


McDonald’s could pick just two of these items—they’re all better ideas than biscuit tacos—and have the beginnings of a delightful McBrunch program.

3 Responses to McDonald’s Trademarks ‘McBrunch’

  1. Chuck N

    Excellent job Burger Business on showing what innovation and change could bring to a stagnant Don Thompson McDonalds team stuck on Marketing 101 principles that show no promise as absolutely every restaurant is customer focused.

  2. Any combination of breakfast and lunch at McDonald’s in the USA would be a disaster. The restaurants cannot handle the lunch menu they have now. This kind of thing makes franchisees very nervous because so few decision makers at McDonald’s headquarters have ever run a restaurant or worked in a McDonald’s. This is why there has been a string of clumsy operational changes and failed new-product introductions.

    As for weekends – In the typical free standing neighborhood McDonald’s Saturday is the 1st or 2nd highest volume day of the week and often the highest volume breakfast of the week. Brunch would crash the system and sales would suffer. Sundays are typically lower volume than Saturdays but still a good day. There are few McDonald’s where Sundays are pretty sleepy and a brunch might work. But, then the restaurant staff will have to spend the rest of the week explaining to customers why they can’t buy a McGriddle for lunch on M/T/W/Th/F/S.

  3. Carl

    Some McDonald’s already have extended breakfast hours on weekends. In Wichita, KS at least two McD’s offer breakfast until 11 AM; since the line of cars at each seems greater then than at any other time, extending breakfast hours on weekends seems like a good idea. But then, McD’s breakfasts are mostly the only thing I get there, so I would like them 24/7. :)