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McDonald's bets on Spain's late breakfasts

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The fast food giant has changed its breakfast business plan to woo Spanish customers. Photo: Samuel Aranda/AFP
10:20 CET+01:00
McDonald's has a problem in Spain: despite huge brand recognition, it is struggling to get late-eating Spaniards into its restaurants at breakfast time. But a new multi-million dollar campaign could change all that.

Breakfast is serious business at McDonald's.

Customers in the United States, Italy, the UK and northern Europe have made breakfast one of the most profitable parts of the day for the fast food giant, responsible for 30.5 per cent of its turnover according to estimates from Crest Consumer Panel.

But Spain is different.

The country's late dinners are famous enough to be hot topics of debate in the US in recent days and its moved-back mealtimes also include breakfast.

Most Spaniards forego a breakfast at home in favour of a later break mid-morning in a local bar.

Doughnuts, churros con chocolate (fried dough sticks and hot chocolate dipping sauce), and chorizo (a Spanish salami) sandwiches are popular choices, often washed down with a café con leche (milk coffee) or even a beer.

In response, McDonalds has announced a €4 million ($5.5 million) assault on the Spanish mid-morning market, which began this week.

Breakfasts in its Spanish restaurants will be served until 1pm, an hour later than in other countries, according to Spanish daily El Mundo.

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The Spanish menu has been adapted to local tastes and includes traditional favourites such as toasted bread with tomato and a wider range of coffee, as well as international McDonalds breakfast offerings like the Egg McMuffin.

The publicity campaign, which began this week,  includes getting its 23,000 Spanish employees to sing a song and will highlight the fact that 40 per cent of the suppliers of the company's breakfast products in the national market are Spanish.

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