The battle over breakfast is starting to heat up. This morning's Wall Street Journal details how McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) is hoping to expand its breakfast business as a way to grow its per-unit revenue by 20%, to $2.4 million, over the next two years.

One initiative is to have all of its restaurants open by no later than 5 a.m. Roughly 75% of Mickey D's restaurants do that already, but the world's largest fast-food chain wants to send a clear message that early wakers can count on the Golden Arches for predawn eats.

In an effort to add healthier morning alternatives, McDonald's is looking to add fruit and grain items like oatmeal. Oatmeal at McDonald's? Don't laugh. I've had cinnamon-topped oatmeal at McDonald's locations in Puerto Rico, and it's been a regional hit for years. Adding it to the stateside breakfast menu would be a victory for franchisee operator David Peterson, the son of the Egg McMuffin's inventor, who has been lobbying for the addition.

The emphasis is intriguing. If anything, it will become harder to draw the morning crowd in the future. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has ordered TurboChef (NASDAQ:OVEN) high-speed convection ovens to expand into baked breakfast treats. If folks are already strolling in for their caffeine fixes, setting them up with breakfast sandwiches is a natural move. Wendy's (NYSE:WEN) is entering the breakfast fray this year, and Burger King (NYSE:BKC) has been pricing its morning eats aggressively.

So color me skeptical on the company's ability to squeeze another $400,000 out of the typical restaurant through morning enhancements. That's a lot of oatmeal! It's also not realistic when you're talking about a meal replacement that's all too convenient to have at home, and a market where maintaining market share in the future will be a challenge in and of itself.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz lives in Burger King's hometown of Miami, but would welcome the opportunity to dig into McOatmeal without having to fly out to Puerto Rico. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.