A McDonald’s Corp. sausage McMuffin with egg is displayed for a photograph (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

McDonald's Hunts for Egg Eaters Amid Intense U.S. Competition

(Bloomberg) -- Scrambled, fried or in a burrito. McDonald’s Corp. is cooking up more eggs to bring in breakfast customers.

While McDonald’s posted same-store sales gains that topped analysts’ estimates in its most recent quarter, guest counts were still negative in the U.S. -- an issue that’s plagued the world’s biggest restaurant chain in the past. The problem: Steep breakfast competition, including from Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King. McDonald’s solution: Pushing more Egg McMuffins, pancakes and hashbrowns.

After introducing all-day breakfast in 2015, the chain backed off advertising the so-called morning daypart to focus on a new dollar menu and other promotions like fresh beef. But that may have been a mistake.

“Breakfast was competitive,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said on a conference call Monday after earnings were announced. “It’s just a market-share fight.”

Recently, the company promoted a 2-for-$4 breakfast sandwich deal showing that it’s trying to lure the morning crowd. It’s also pushing a new turtle flavor of its McCafe coffee drinks, combining chocolate, caramel and nut flavors.

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