McDonald’s, the global fast-food giant, is renowned for its Big Macs, Happy Meals, and, of course, its breakfast menu. The Egg McMuffin, Hotcakes, and Sausage Biscuits have become iconic breakfast items for millions of people worldwide. But when did McDonald’s start serving breakfast? This article will delve into the history of McDonald’s breakfast menu, its evolution over the years, and its impact on the fast-food industry.

The Birth of McDonald’s Breakfast

In 1971, Herb Peterson, a McDonald’s franchise owner in Santa Barbara, California, invented the Egg McMuffin. Peterson wanted to create a quick-service breakfast item that could be eaten on the go, similar to Eggs Benedict. The Egg McMuffin, a simple combination of egg, Canadian bacon, and cheese on an English muffin, was an instant hit. In 1972, McDonald’s officially added the Egg McMuffin to its menu, marking the birth of McDonald’s breakfast.

Expansion of the Breakfast Menu

Following the success of the Egg McMuffin, McDonald’s expanded its breakfast offerings. In 1977, the company introduced the full breakfast menu, which included Hotcakes, Sausage Biscuits, and Hash Browns. The expanded menu was well-received by customers, further solidifying McDonald’s position in the fast-food breakfast market.

The Impact on the Fast-Food Industry

McDonald’s introduction of a breakfast menu revolutionized the fast-food industry. Before McDonald’s, fast-food chains primarily served lunch and dinner. McDonald’s success with breakfast prompted other chains, such as Burger King and Wendy’s, to introduce their own breakfast menus. Today, breakfast is a significant revenue driver for many fast-food chains.

Breakfast All Day: A Game Changer

In 2015, McDonald’s made a groundbreaking move by introducing the All-Day Breakfast menu in the United States. This meant that customers could order their favorite breakfast items, like the Egg McMuffin and Hotcakes, at any time of the day. The All-Day Breakfast was a huge success and led to a significant increase in McDonald’s sales.

The Future of McDonald’s Breakfast

McDonald’s continues to innovate its breakfast menu to meet changing consumer preferences. In recent years, the company has introduced healthier options, like the Egg White Delight McMuffin and Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait. McDonald’s has also experimented with regional breakfast items, such as the Chicken McGriddles in the Southern U.S. and the Bacon Roll in the U.K.


McDonald’s breakfast menu, which started with the humble Egg McMuffin in 1972, has grown into a global phenomenon. The company’s innovative approach to breakfast has not only transformed its own business but also reshaped the entire fast-food industry. As McDonald’s continues to evolve its breakfast offerings, one thing is certain: McDonald’s breakfast is here to stay.

Whether you’re a fan of the classic Egg McMuffin or prefer the newer options, McDonald’s breakfast menu offers something for everyone. So, the next time you’re craving a quick and tasty breakfast, remember the rich history behind that delicious meal.


Alex likes to write about anything related to technology, marketing and gadgets. He sometimes reviews the latest tech and also writes on other blogs.