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McD may be eying rollout of premium breakfast burritos

KANSAS CITY Mo. At least one of the McDonald’s franchisees that have been test-marketing two McSkillet Burritos as premium breakfast items is gearing up to make them permanent menu additions.

John Jelinek, a Kansas City franchisee, has ordered new equipment and scheduled “seed store” staff training for later this month to learn how to use it. Although McDonald’s corporate office has not told Jelinek what the equipment will be used to produce, he said it appears that it is intended for making burritos.

Jelinek’s three stores have been testing two breakfast burritos during the past year, in addition to offering an egg and cheese version that has been on the menu for about eight years. The newest McSkillet Burrito, which sells for $3.19, combines steak, scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, and red and green bell peppers. Another variety features sausage instead of steak and sells for $2.69. Both have been advertised on local television stations and have been selling well, Jelinek said.

The addition of the McSkillet Burritos also was mentioned by an unnamed franchisee who participated in a survey conducted by analyst and investor Mark Kalinowski, who acknowledges that his holdings could include McDonald’s stock. The franchisee cited the addition of the premium breakfast items as a reason for the year-over-year increase in his September and October sales. Because the source was anonymous, there was no indication as to whether that respondent was Jelinek.

Other quick-service chains, including Taco Bell and Del Taco, already offer steak-and-egg breakfast burritos.

McDonald’s interest in premium breakfast burritos comes as many quick-service chains are identifying the morning meal as a major sales growth opportunity. McDonald’s, which is based in Oak Brook., Ill., has cited breakfast as a major reason for its strong financial performance during recent quarters.

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