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McDonald's Struggles; No Decision Yet On $1 Breakfast Menu

McDonald's, meanwhile, has not decided whether to pull the trigger on a national "Dollar Menu" for breakfast, U.S. president Don Thompson said yesterday. Chicago outlets that have tested the concept offer for six $1 items: two hot cakes, a fruit 'n' yogurt parfait, a sausage biscuit, a sausage McMuffin, two hash browns or medium coffee, Lisa Baertlein and Brad Dorfman report.

McDonald's reported this week that sales at U.S. stores that have been open at least 13 months were down 0.1% in October. The first decline since March 2008 prompts Business Week to ask, "What's Eating McDonald's?" It seems that rising unemployment, particularly among men 18-35, is the main culprit. Store traffic is off considerably during the morning commuter hours, when the chain makes 25% of its sales, Matthew Boyle reports.

And despite the hype, insiders tell Boyle that McCafé has not been the game-changer McDonald's had hoped it to be. "They're not lighting the world on fire," says one franchisee. Next summer, McCafés are expected to also sell smoothies.



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