Later this week, McDonald’s is to open a first branch of its new CosMc’s concept. With that compact concept, which will serve mainly hot and cold drinks and snacks, McDonald’s wants to find out if it can compete with Starbucks in that highly lucrative market.
The new – retro-style – concept is named after a McDonald’s mascot from the 1980s, that was something of a combination of an alien, a robot and a surfer. The fast-food giant wants to use it to test whether it can play a significant role in the growing and highly lucrative coffee and drinks market. Adding a wide drinks range to existing restaurants would make operations too complex, hence a separate chain.
The newcomer mainly targets post-afternoon consumption occasions: CEO Chris Kempczinski hopes to lure in people who need their three o’clock caffeine boost. He aims this to be a market of up to a hundred billion dollars, growing faster than the rest of the casual restaurant segment and with superior margins. However, McDonald’s is currently limiting itself to a small-scale pilot project with limited impact.
The first branch will open in Bolingbrook (Illinois), with nine additional locations in Texas scheduled to open next year. McDonald’s wants to test the concept extensively before moving on to a wider roll-out. In doing so, the fast-food chain will try out different compact designs, including with different drive-in lanes for quick service.
CosMc’s customers can expect drinks with “bold and unexpected flavour combinations, vibrant colours and functional boosts”, the press release says. Special lemonades and teas, as well as cold coffee, for example. The menu lists names like Sour Cherry Energy Slush, Tropical Spiceade and S’mores Cold Brew.
On the snacks menu, customers will find some familiar classics from McDonald’s restaurants, notably the McFlurry and Egg McMuffin, alongside brownies, cookies, pretzels and savoury sandwiches, such as a Creamy Avocado Tomatillo or Spicy Queso Sandwich.