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All-Day Breakfast May Be in Our Future: McDonald's CEO

Friday, 26 Apr 2013 | 11:06 AM ET
Inside McDonald's Golden Arches
Friday, 26 Apr 2013 | 9:43 AM ET
"I think China still's a tremendous growth opportunity," said McDonald's CEO Don Thompson, talking with CNBC's Carl Quintanilla about whether the bird flu scare in China is impacting growth prospects in that country.

Consumers can expect one of the world's largest restaurant chains to look very different in the future, with new menu items, delivery services, loyalty programs, and maybe even all-day breakfast options. McDonald's President and CEO Don Thompson, in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" offered a peek into the future of the fast-food chain.

When asked whether there was potential for McDonald's to serve breakfast all day, Thompson replied: "Yes, we would consider it. We have the focus on our existing menu, but we have looked at breakfast across the day. We have it in some markets around the world."

He added that the McDonald's has looked at some "innovative ways" to expand breakfast hours for customers. "I think we'll be seeing some of those things in the near future," Thompson.

The company is also experimenting with delivery services in in some countries "in a big way," as well as in densely populated areas in the U.S. Thompson said that "delivery is a big, big opportunity, particularly in areas where you don't have drive-throughs."

Rival Burger King Worldwide began offering delivery in Washington, D.C., early last year, and has since expanded the service to Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and San Francisco.

Despite being "a little bit late" to embrace mobile services, Thompson sees this being a major component of McDonald's in the future. "We have tests already all around the world, making steps and strides to experiment both in mobile payments and consumer engagement with the company," he said.

On the potential of a customer "rewards loyalty program," Thompson said he "loves the idea," adding that "we might see something like that in the future."

Food Fight: McDonald's Takes on the Competition
CNBC's Carl Quintanilla talks with McDonald's CEO Don Thompson, about the company's initiatives to drive sales and improve growth.

With approximately 160 items on the global pipeline, Thompson said that this will help drive McDonald's growth, driving traffic and same store sales. Many of the new products seen by American consumers, such as the Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie or the Fish McBites were originally successful products abroad and were adapted for the U.S. market.

The company effectively uses these foreign markets to test new products to offer the global consumer a more diverse range of menu options.

One customer that McDonald's particularly focused on is millennials, the generation that is coming of age during the digital revolution. With taste preferences shifting towards healthier options and more complex flavors within this group, Thompson said that new items like the wraps and smoothies added to the new menu were key in meeting these new demands. "Tastes have been changing and it's just that we as McDonald's have continued to evolve," he said.

— By CNBC's Paul Toscano. Follow him on Twitter and get the latest stories from "Squawk on the Street" @ToscanoPaul

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