McDonald’s New CosMc’s Beverage-Shop Pilot Looks a Lot Like a Starbucks

McDonald’s New CosMc’s Beverage-Shop Pilot Looks a Lot Like a Starbucks

McDonald’s New CosMc’s Beverage-Shop Pilot Looks a Lot Like a Starbucks

(Bloomberg) — McDonald’s Corp.’s new “small-format beverage-led concept,” named CosMc’s, will offer customizable beverages such as Churro Frappés and Tropical Spiceades, plus the Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich and a few other food items.

The pilot project, with a first location opening this month near Chicago and nine more coming next year in Texas, will feature drive-thrus and mobile orders to speed sales. Its menu is “rooted in beverage exploration,” including “specialty lemonades and teas, indulgent blended beverages and cold coffee,” McDonald’s said Wednesday. 

It’s a model that sounds a lot like Starbucks Corp.’s.

The Seattle-based coffee giant has grown in recent years in part through the appeal of a vast array of customizable beverages, which it says is a key driver of repeat visits from customers. Like CosMc’s, Starbucks complements its core beverage items with a limited food selection. 

Speaking to investors on Wednesday about the concept, Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said they shouldn’t get too excited about CosMc’s given its small initial footprint. He said the customizable beverages to be offered there are too complicated to make at a regular McDonald’s location.

“We’ll see, based on what we learn, how it does or doesn’t work with the master brand,” Kempczinski said.

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