McCafé

I have tons of reasons to like McDonald’s. McCafé is one more. There isn’t any information about it on the web site, so it must be a limited test in the Chicago area. The idea is that McDonald’s is rolling out the espresso machines to compete with Starbucks.

I was jonesing for fries today, so I went to my local McDonald’s and had lunch. I thought I would bring the new coffee home for my mother to try. Incidentally, my McDonald’s is two doors down from the Starbucks.

I did some people watching while I ate. A couple of families eating quietly with young children. Some older folks having coffee and talking football. It was very low key. I thought that compared to Starbucks, this was a much nicer place to read a book and drink hot chocolate. If the hot chocolate is any good.

I like hot chocolate from Starbucks because it isn’t as sweet as the stuff that comes from the machines. I order it with skim milk and no whipped cream. Will McDonald’s let me go all high maintenance like that? The answer is Yes.

I wondered because McDonald’s has made a science of reducing the “time to served”. The sign on the wall of my store said Target: 34, which I presume means 34 seconds from the end of the order to the time the food is delivered. How does McCafé factor in to that?

So I ordered the drinks – a hot chocolate for me and a mocha for my mother. They took a bit longer than Starbucks to make, but not much. I wonder how that works out during the lunch rush.

Cost: The medium hot chocolate was $2.39 and the medium mocha was $2.79. Compared to $3.00 and $3.50 or so from Starbucks.

The Verdict: The mocha had more chocolate syrup than seemed necessary, but the coffee was strong. The hot chocolate was sweeter than I prefer. It occurs to me that the staff is probably still learning how to prepare this stuff. But to have a quiet place to have a drink and read…and give the business to McDonald’s? I am perfectly happy.

3 Comments on “McCafé

  1. McDs have been advertising their coffee a lot here, as an alternative to Starbucks because you don’t have to appear to be intellectual or speak French. Which seems funny because Starbucks near me are always full of random people in track suits and whatnot. The cheaper price sounds nice.

  2. From a marketing perspective alot of people assume McCafe was launched to take on other coffeehouses.This is not the case, in a nutshell McDonalds was in real trouble in early 2000. i.e. revenue was reducing significantly due to competition, health awareness, etc…One of the ideas to save McDonalds became McCafe. Although this was launched by Charles Bell in 2003, it took off in Asia and Australia. This was later adapted globally due to its popularity and probability.This is called a blue ocean strategy.Regards,Upeshwww.gurkhafc.com

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