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COMPETITIVE WATCH: McDonald's Expands $1 Breakfast Menu

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's Corp. will add to its already popular Dollar Menu by selling a variety of breakfast items for $1 beginning early next month -- a move that comes as the chain tries to fight a decline in U.S. sales., the Associated Press reported, citing a company spokeswoman.

On tap to be added to the menu, which already includes eight items for lunch and dinnertime, are the company's Sausage McMuffin, a sausage burrito, a sausage biscuit, a small coffee and a hash brown. Some of these items are already sold for $1 or less at some locations, although prices vary, according to the AP report.

McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said some restaurants selling the items for less than $1 will likely make substitutions, allowing a restaurant already selling a small coffee for 89 cents to substitute a larger beverage for its Dollar Menu, she said.

Most fast-food restaurants, which spent recent years expanding their early-morning business, have seen a decline in breakfast diners as unemployment climbs, and fewer workers stop in for coffee and a breakfast sandwich on their way to the office.

But at McDonald's, breakfast business is continuing to increase, although growth has slowed this year. "We have continued to grow, just not at the growth we've experienced in the past," Proud noted.

The company has not publicly provided specific figures on its breakfast sales.

McDonald's dollar breakfast menu also will put pressure on its competitors, many of which are also rushing to slash menu prices to keep customers -- and their wallets -- happy. For instance, Dunkin' Donuts is trying out a 99-cent breakfast menu in Chicago, while Burger King's nationwide breakfast value menu includes hash browns, a ham omelet sandwich and three French toast sticks for $1 each, the Associated Press reported.

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Dunkin' Donuts Debuts Dollar Menu in Chicago
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