McDonald's new retro coffeehouse venture set to topple Starbucks - Hindustan Times
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McDonald's new retro coffeehouse venture, CosMc's aims to topple Starbucks

Dec 08, 2023 12:23 PM IST

McDonald’s retro concept, CosMc’s, set to revolutionize fast-food with nostalgic vibes and modern treats.

McDonald’s is set to revolutionize the fast-food industry with the launch of its new restaurant concept, CosMc’s. This innovative venture is a nod to nostalgia, offering a retro-style ambiance paired with a modern twist on treats and customizable drinks. The lineup includes unique offerings such as ‘s’mores cold brew,’ ‘churro frappes,’ and ‘turmeric latte,’ positioning CosMc’s as a potential rival to established coffeehouse chains like Starbucks.

McDonald's, a novelty restaurant concept to challenge Starbucks dominance(McDonald's)
McDonald's, a novelty restaurant concept to challenge Starbucks dominance(McDonald's)

The first pilot site is slated to open in a Chicago suburb close to McDonald’s headquarters this month. This strategic move aims to address the mid-afternoon sales dip, commonly referred to as the “3pm slump,” which occurs between the traditional lunch and dinner rushes.

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CosMc’s proposed menu is a kaleidoscope of flavors, featuring specialty lemonades, blended drinks, and teas. Customers can indulge in ‘popping pear slush’ and ‘tropical spiceade,’ among other flavors, and personalize their beverages with tapioca pearls, flavored syrups, and boosts like energy or vitamin C shots.

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In addition to the beverage selection, CosMc’s will offer a curated food menu. This includes McDonald’s staple egg McMuffin sandwiches, alongside new snackable items such as hash brown and pretzel bites, doughnuts, cookies, and ice creams. Notably, the menu will also feature innovative sandwich creations like spicy queso and avocado tomatillo.

Looking ahead, the Amercian fast-food chain has ambitious plans to establish approximately 10 CosMc locations in Texas by the end of the following year. These sites will serve as a testing ground, with the company monitoring the trial’s success for at least a year before considering further expansion.

Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s President and CEO, expressed confidence in the CosMc’s concept, highlighting its potential to capture a significant share of the $100 billion casual dining category.

“This is a space that we believe we have the right to win,” Kempczinski stated, emphasizing the category’s rapid growth and attractive profit margins.

The CosMc’s name pays homage to a character from McDonald’s advertising past—a part-space alien, part-robot figure known as CosMc. This character, complete with antennae, multiple arms, and a round silver space suit, graced television screens in a series of ads from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.

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The unveiling of the CosMc’s pilot coincided with McDonald’s announcement at an investor conference on Wednesday. The fast-food giant disclosed plans to open nearly 10,000 new restaurants globally over the next four years, an unprecedented expansion that will increase its total store count to 50,000.

This growth trajectory positions McDonald’s in direct competition with Starbucks, which recently announced its intention to expand to 55,000 stores worldwide by 2030, up from its current count of 38,000.

McDonald’s has 900 new stores in the US and 1,900 in international markets with company-operated and franchised restaurants, such as Canada, Germany, the UK, and Australia. Plus, the company plans to add another 7,000 stores in international markets operated by licensees, with over half of these planned for China.

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