McDonald’s is piloting a new cafe concept called CosMc’s, which will primarily sell indulgent, highly customizable caffeinated beverages with some food. The first CosMc’s location is now open in Illinois, and nine more are planned in Texas in the coming months. The company is interested in selling sugary coffee drinks, as they have performed better this year than specialty coffee. However, adding customizable coffee drinks to the menu at existing McDonald’s locations would slow down kitchens and service times, and could confuse customers. To break into the market without messing up its regular business, McDonald’s is giving something totally new a shot. The profit margin on a beverage is humongous, and when people visit a cafe for a drink, they often end up buying something to eat as well. McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said that one area of focus has been identifying ways for McDonald’s to participate in attractive and fast-growing categories, such as specialty beverages and coffee. CosMc’s menu is full of customizable options, such as the chai frappe burst, which can be customized with toffee, black pepper, caramel, or chocolate.
McDonald’s is experimenting with a new concept called CosMc’s, named after an obscure McDonald’s character from the 1980s. The concept is affiliated with but separate from McDonald’s, allowing the company to experiment without risking disappointing customers or frustrating workers. The name CosMc’s is named after CosMc, a little-known character from the 1980s described as “part alien, part surfer, part robot.” While CosMc doesn’t have the cachet of other McDonald’s characters, it has a neutral response for customers. McDonald’s is using the golden arch, terminologies, logo colors, and some of the food will be familiar to customers. Starting a business is risky, but for McDonald’s, there’s not much actual risk. The value of CosMc’s is not necessarily in creating a new concept, but in learning and being free to experiment, fail, and try again. McDonald’s could learn about real money to be made, scale up the business, take on competitors, or learn from CosMc’s layout or marketing.
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