McDonald’s Corporation is set to debut its new spinoff brand, CosMc’s, with the opening of the first location in Bolingbrook, Illinois, this week.
The fast-food giant aims to assess the viability of CosMc’s concept with the launch of 10 test locations, including nine in Texas, by the close of 2024, reported CNBC.
CosMc’s, inspired by the McDonaldland character CosMc from late 1980s and early 1990s advertisements, is positioned as a convenient destination for on-the-go snacks and coffee. The company, seeking to diversify its offerings, plans to evaluate data gathered from the test locations over the next year to determine potential expansion.
The decision to introduce CosMc’s was unveiled in July, and the Bolingbrook location's images surfaced on social media platform X earlier this week. The spinoff’s menu features a mix of familiar items like Egg McMuffins and M&M McFlurries, along with new offerings such as Churro Frappes and pretzel bites, catering to the afternoon snack and coffee market.
McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski emphasized the company’s strategic move to tap into the $100 billion customizable drinks and afternoon coffee segment. The CosMc’s brand boasts smaller real-estate footprints compared to standard McDonald’s locations, experimenting with various layouts, including multiple drive-thru lanes. In a bid to expedite service, customers using credit cards can pay at the drive-thru speaker.
During an investor day presentation, McDonald’s executives outlined long-term targets for restaurant development, plans to enroll 100 million new loyalty program members, and a strategic partnership with Google. Kempczinski, while discussing CosMc’s, cautioned investors against premature excitement, emphasizing that the current focus remains on the initial 10-store test phase.
"Let me emphasize again, we’re talking about 10 stores. The big story isn’t about CosMc’s, per se. The big story is what it says about McDonald’s and our potential. To think a little over a year ago, this was an idea, and this week, we’re opening the first test site," Kempczinski told investors.
While expressing optimism about CosMc’s potential global expansion, Kempczinski highlighted the company's commitment to developing ideas with broad market appeal. McDonald’s, however, faced challenges in past attempts to diversify beyond its core business, divesting from ventures like Donatos Pizza, Boston Market, and a stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill in the late 1990s.
The opening of the inaugural CosMc’s location marks a crucial step in McDonald’s strategic exploration of new market segments as the company navigates potential avenues for growth beyond its traditional offerings.
Jim Thomas ✉
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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