CosMc’s: McDonald’s Shot At the Coffee World 

by Peter Candia

McDonald’s is the most recognizable fast food restaurant in the world with over 13,400 restaurants in the US and over 40,000 restaurants across the globe. McDonald’s place in the food world has never been to serve top-quality food or to be the titan of culinary skill—McDonald’s place in the food world is to be consistent and comfortable. For fans of the fast food giant, McDonald’s is an unbeatable meal, not because of the exceptional quality, but because…well, it’s McDonald’s. 

What’s more than being consistent and accessible, McDonald’s goal as a company has always been monetarily driven. Don’t change what isn’t broken (hello? Snack wrap?) and capitalize on anything that can bring in the big bucks. This is the reason for the increase in Celebrity-sponsored meals over the years. And it just so happens that McDonald’s has identified a new stream of revenue, inspiring a spin off restaurant that will be entirely separate from the flagship. 

Get ready for CosMc’s—McDonald’s first (real) shot at the growing world of fast-access coffee. 

@austinmakesads McDonalds vs. Starbucks? #mcdonalds #starbucks #business #news #grimmace #marketing #entrepreneur ♬ original sound – austin

Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Horton’s—sure—they’re coffee shops, but when you stop to take a closer look and break down their business models, they’re really just fast food restaurants disguised as coffee shops. Seriously, the drive-thru windows, the TurboChef-cooked food items—in fact, I would venture to say that Starbucks and McDonald’s are actually closer in concept than Starbucks is to an independent, craft coffee shop

Knowing this, it makes perfect sense for McDonald’s to try their hand at the coffee world. The company has not announced anything yet (other than a coming soon page on the CosMc’s website) but Illinois locals have spotted the bones of the coming store—complete with signage and branding—in Bolingbrook, Illinois. McDonalds began in Illinois, so it makes sense for the first CosMc’s to open there as well. The cafe will feature a drive-thru window and a small dining room. 

Jaya Saxena of Eater reported that the name, CosMc’s, is actually an homage to a character that was unveiled in the “McDonald’s Universe” back in 1987 for a commercial. CosMc was an orange alien who also appeared in a McDonald’s videogame years later. 

CosMc’s seems to be CEO Chris Kempczinski’s way of directly competing with Starbucks—who currently own the fast-food coffee sphere in the US. CosMc’s will be drive-thru focused and feature an array of colorful, sweet drinks, which Starbucks also has shifted focus to over the last half decade (what even is a “pink drink?”). 

The food menu will also feature McDonald’s staples such as the Egg McMuffin, plus new creations like a blueberry lemon cookie and hash brown bites. 

In any event, the building in Bolingbrook appears close to completion and knowing how McDonald’s expands, it probably won’t be long until we see our very own CosMc’s locations up and down the Garden State Parkway.

About the Author/s

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Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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