McDonald’s opens the first CosMc’s spin-off restaurant this week

  • McDonald’s plans to open 10 locations of CosMc’s, a new spinoff brand, to test whether the concept could work in the U.S. and other markets.
  • The burger chain positions CosMc’s as a quick and convenient way to grab a pick-me-up snack or coffee.
  • The new brand’s name comes from CosMc, a McDonaldland mascot that appeared in commercials in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

McDonald’s CosMc’s Restaurant.

Courtesy: McDonald’s

McDonald’s will open the first location of its new spin-off brand CosMc’s in Bolingbrook, Illinois, this week.

The fast food giant plans to test open 10 CosMc’s locations by the end of 2024, including nine restaurants in Texas. McDonald’s will then spend a year analyzing data to decide whether to expand the small-format chain.

The new brand’s name comes from CosMc, a McDonaldland mascot that appeared in commercials in the late 1980s and early 1990s. CosMc is an alien from outer space who craves McDonald’s food. The company has focused more on marketing its mascots after finding success with the Grimace Birthday Dinner earlier this year.

The burger chain first announced in July that it would create CosMc’s as a spinoff, but withheld further details about its plans. Photos of the Bolingbrook location surfaced on X, formerly known as Twitter, earlier this week.

With a menu that includes old favorites like Egg McMuffins and M&M McFlurries as well as new items like Churro Frappes and Pretzel Bites, McDonald’s is positioning CosMc’s as a quick and convenient way to grab a pick-me-up snack or coffee.

“If it’s 3 p.m. and you need a boost, take a trip to CosMc’s,” a narrator said in a video shown to investors Wednesday.

Screenshot of a 1980s McDonald’s commercial featuring CosMc.

Source: McDonald’s | Youtube

McDonald’s specifically aimed to create a brand that could sell customizable drinks and coffee popular in the afternoon segment.

“This is a $100 billion category that is growing faster than the rest.” [informal eating-out segment] And with superior margins,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski told investors.

CosMc’s restaurants will have a smaller footprint than a typical McDonald’s location, but the new locations are testing a range of layouts, including multiple drive-thru lanes. Customers using credit cards can also pay at the drive-thru, reducing service times.

The announcement was part of the company’s investor day. Executives outlined long-term goals for developing the new restaurant, plans to recruit 100 million new loyalty program members and a strategic partnership with Google.

However, Kempczinski emphasized that investors shouldn’t get too excited about CosMc’s just yet.

“Let me emphasize again, we are talking about 10 deals,” he told investors on Wednesday. “…The big story isn’t about CosMc’s per se. The big story is what it says about McDonald’s and our potential. This was an idea a little over a year ago, and this week we are opening the first testing site.”

But if the test If it works, CosMc’s could open worldwide.

“It’s not worth our time to develop an idea that only works in one market,” Kempczinski said, explaining why McDonald’s created the brand.

Still, McDonald’s previous efforts to expand beyond its core business have been unsuccessful. In the late 1990s, the company bought Donatos Pizza and Boston Market, as well as a stake in a fledgling Chipotle Mexican Grill. Less than a decade later, the company had divested itself of all three companies, creating distractions when McDonald’s struggled.


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