Mary MeisenzahlMay 21, 2022, 17:37 IST
On a recent trip to Canada, I tried McDonald’s to sample the menu items we don’t have in the US.
McCafe and breakfast seem to be a much bigger deal in Canadian McDonald’s locations.
Baked goods including muffins and donuts get highlighted in a display case right near the register, so they’re impossible to miss when you order.
The most surprising breakfast item was definitely the bagels, which I haven’t seen at McDonald’s in the states since they were taken off the menu in 2020.
First I tried the egg and sausage on a plain bagel.
It wasn’t the best bagel I’ve ever had, but I like the idea of having bagels as an option.
I also tried a sandwich on an everything bagel.
Bacon and cheese definitely make this sandwich more flavorful than the other, but not as good as McDonald’s staple breakfasts.
I also tested out the other breakfast sandwich that was new to me, the spicy habanero bacon egg McMuffin.
It was the standard sandwich, which is available in the US.
It came with a container of spicy habanero sauce.
The sauce was delicious, though I wish it came on the sandwich.
With the habanero sauce, I think it might be the best McDonald’s breakfast I’ve ever had.
There are about 1,400 McDonald’s locations in Canada, compared to over 13,000 in the US.
The fast-food landscape in Canada is dominated by Tim Hortons, which has nearly three times as many locations as McDonald’s.
Canadian McDonald’s menus and restaurant displays have a much bigger focus on breakfast and McCafe items than in the US, which could be a way of competing with Tim Horton’s.
Because the fast food industry is different in Canada, McDonald’s has adapted with a different menu.
Tim Horton’s is a beloved Canadian icon with an extensive coffee menu, so it makes sense that McDonald’s would emphasize its breakfast offerings to compete with local staples.
Canadian customers likely have slightly different expectations and tastes than Americans when it comes to fast food, and McDonald’s changes menus to reflect that.