McDonald's earnings report on Monday covers the first quarter with all-day breakfast every day.
McDonald's earnings report on Monday covers the first quarter with all-day breakfast every day. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

In October, McDonald's reported that sales in the U.S. rose for the first time in two years. On Monday the company reports earnings for this quarter, the first in which its breakfast-all-day strategy has been fully in place.

Let’s be clear — struggling sales over the last few years weren't going to bankrupt McDonald's. Kevin Burke, managing director at Trinity Capital, said that may have been part of the problem.

“I think this company was snoozing a little bit over the last five or six years,” Burke said. "Because as gen X, Y, and Z have decisively moved to different brands, they’ve been kind of slow to adopt to the things that they want.”

Burke said the things young Americans want are hipper marketing strategies. They don't want to see commercials with Ronald McDonald.

But what about the menu?

Alex Susskind, professor of food and beverage management at Cornell University, said McDonald's doesn't need to get too cute with the food. 

“You want broccoli? You can have broccoli at home," he said. "They just needed to get back to the basics.”

Basics like burgers and fries and now breakfast all day, which was a move that angered some franchisees.

Nicole Miller Regan, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, said even that was strategic. 

"Easterbrook, the current CEO, has done a great job of getting back kind of a healthy tension in the relationship between corporate and the franchisees,” she said.

 A healthy tension investors hope will bring more sales to the golden arches. 

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Andy Uhler at @AU_Marketplace