Chances are every now and then, you enjoy a good sausage McMuffin, coffee, and hash brown for breakfast on the go in the morning. Or maybe you’re more of a hotcakes and sausages or big breakfast kind of person.
Whatever your fancy, McDonald’s has been serving up delicious breakfast for decades. And while the menu has expanded over the years, some staples still remain. It’s quick, easy, convenient, and cheap, so it’s no wonder that McDonald’s breakfast continues to be popular.
As you chow down on your bacon and egg McMuffin with added tomato and cheese to get you going for the day, here are 10 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about McDonald’s breakfast.
10 It Has Been Around Since 1970
While you might remember having McDonald’s breakfast as a kid, you might not realize just how long it has been around. The first McDonald’s to serve breakfast was a franchise that started to sell coffee and other items during the early morning hours in 1970. Coincidentally, it was owned by Jim Dellegatti, who is also the man credited with inventing the Big Mac.
But it was another franchisor, Herb Peterson from Santa Barbara, CA, who introduced former McDonald’s president Ray Kroc to a new egg sandwich creation he had made that included cheese and a slice of Canadian bacon. It was a hit, and McDonald’s implemented a full breakfast menu by 1976.
9 All-Day Breakfast Was In High Customer Demand
It was only recently that McDonald’s starting offering all-day breakfast, allowing you to order a Big Mac and Egg McMuffin all at once. And according to the restaurant, all-day breakfast was the most popular request it received from customers.
Launched in 2015, all-day breakfast saw customers able to order a McMuffin, hash brown, or other breakfast items any hour of the day or night that the restaurant was open. An NPD study found that most people who ordered breakfast at McDonald’s ordered during lunch hours, at which time the majority of them also ordered lunch items, too.
8 The Coffee Is Kind Of a Big Deal
While cafes like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Tim Hortons seem to have a strong foothold on the coffee game, McDonald’s takes its investment in coffee, a staple breakfast item (though it’s sold all day) pretty seriously.
In 2009, the McCafe line of drinks was introduced, including not only drip coffees but also lattes and frappes. Cheaper and available more quickly than in other establishments, not to mention that you could get one alongside a McChicken, large fries, or scrumptious McMuffin, McDonald’s quickly became a serious player in the coffee game. And the restaurant has committed to making 100% of its coffee beans sustainable by 2020.
7 It’s Not Exactly Healthy
Sure, McDonald’s breakfast items are really delicious, but they aren’t exactly healthy breakfasts on the go. They include a lot of fat, sodium, and calories, and many of the sandwiches are pretty greasy.
A sausage, egg, and cheese McGriddle, for example, which includes the fillings sandwiched between two maple-flavoured grilled pancakes, has 520 calories, 28 grams of fat, 47 grams of carbs, and a whopping 1,350 mg of sodium. Yikes! So while it’s a nice option every now and then, maybe stick to healthy breakfasts at home when you can.
6 They Promise To Source Cage-Free Eggs Exclusively by 2025
By 2025, McDonald’s says it is aiming to use only cage-free eggs in its restaurants in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., and Australia, in an effort to support farmers with livestock that's treated more ethically. Cage-free eggs have already been used in all European markets since 2011, with the exception of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.
Eggs, of course, are found in many McDonald’s breakfast items, including the sandwiches, Big Breakfast, and wraps. To date, McDonald’s says its egg supply chain is now 33% cage-free.
5 There Are Lots of Breakfast Hacks
While the McDonald’s breakfast menu is pretty abundant, there are ways you can reinvent it make your own special breakfast treats. For example, take a hotcake, the McDonald’s version of a pancake, pour a fruit and yogurt parfait inside, roll it up, and you have a McCrepe! Or simply pop a hash brown into your McMuffin for a faster, tastier way to finish a combo.
Wash everything down with a McAffogato, which includes a mix of espresso and a vanilla milkshake.
4 International Breakfast Options Are Very Different
If you visit a McDonald’s restaurant elsewhere in the world, you might find some pretty creative breakfast options that you don’t in North America. In the Netherlands, for example, they serve stroopwafels, which are pancakes with Nutella and syrup. An Australian favorite is an English Brekkie Wrap, which consists of a tortilla filled with eggs, bacon, and sausage smothered in BBQ sauce.
Halloumi Muffins in Sauda Arabia are halal and vegetarian, containing halloumi, lettuce, tomato, and olive paste. And in India, you can also go vegetarian with an English muffin containing a spinach and corn patty that’s topped with mayo, tomato, and onions.
3 The Egg McMuffin Was The First Nationally Available Fast Food Breakfast
When this delicious breakfast sandwich launched in 1972, it became the first fast food breakfast item to be nationally available in the U.S. The signature sandwich for the restaurant was originally designed to be a form of Eggs Benedict, with an English muffin, ham, eggs, and hollandaise sauce.
Today, the standard North American version includes a toasted and buttered English muffin with Canadian bacon, a griddle-fried egg, and a slice of American cheese. Even the original one was made using a device to keep its circular shape.
2 McDonald’s Breakfast Snagged a Big Piece of the Breakfast Pie
It seems that McDonald’s breakfast caught on pretty quick and has been a staple breakfast food for decades. By 1987, one-fourth of all breakfast that were consumed outside of the home in the U.S. were, that’s right, from McDonald’s. After introducing all-day breakfast, McDonald’s say sales rose significantly as well.
It makes sense, especially today with drive-thrus so commonplace that many folks can stop on their way to the office to grab a breakfast meal or a quick coffee and muffin or wrap and never even have to get out of the car.
1 The Big Breakfast is the 10th Highest Calorie Item On The Menu
Believe it or not, despite all of the juicy burgers on the menu, the McDonald’s Big Breakfast, actually clocks in as the 10th highest item on the McDonald’s menu when it comes to calories. It consists of scrambled eggs, a sausage patty, toasted English muffin, and hash brown.
It’s the only breakfast item to crack the top 10, not including drinks that might be served in the early morning breakfast hours as well, like a vanilla chai tea iced frappe (the large is 720 calories).