McDonald’s reveals menu, first test locations for new restaurant concept

CHICAGO, Ill. (KTVI/NEXSTAR) – CosMc’s, the new restaurant concept from McDonald’s, is seemingly aiming to attract coffee-drinkers and beverage enthusiasts who might otherwise spend their money at Starbucks or Dunkin’.

On Wednesday, McDonald’s formally announced the menu at its CosMc’s test locations, with offerings ranging from coffee and tea drinks to frappes and slushies. There’s also a line of “Signature Galactic Boosts,” or fruity drinks that appear to feature either a caffeinated element, kombucha powder, or a vitamin “shot,” among other ingredients.

The menu also includes breakfast sandwiches, savory and sweet snacks, and ice cream.

McDonald’s, however, is pushing its more fanciful CosMc’s beverages — which, like other national beverage shops, will be customizable.

“You’ll see a range of specialty lemonades and teas, indulgent blended beverages and cold coffee – think Sour Cherry Energy Slush, Tropical Spiceade and S’mores Cold Brew,” reads a McDonald’s news release. “Make it yours with customizations at every turn: popping boba, flavor syrups, energy or Vitamin C shots, and so much more.”

At an investors conference on Wednesday, McDonald’s President and CEO Chris Kempczinski said CosMc’s was launched, in part, to boost afternoon sales. Focusing on a beverage concept, he said, has proven to be a lucrative solution.

“This is a $100 billion category that’s growing faster than the rest of (casual dining) and with superior margins. And it’s a space that we believe we have the right to win,” said Kempczinski, as reported by the Associated Press.

The first CosMc’s, a new beverage concept from McDonald’s, is scheduled to open by the end of 2023 in Illinois. (McDonald’s via AP)

In its press release, McDonald’s confirmed plans to open 10 CosMc’s locations by the end of 2024, with the first to debut in Bolingbrook, Illinois, by the end of 2023, and more to follow in the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio metro areas.

The first location, in Bolingbrook, has already been the subject of speculation, with fans sharing photos of the under-construction restaurant on social media in recent months. One even took a photo of the drive-thru menu, which some commenters compared to that of Panera Bread or Dutch Bros.

In addition to Wednesday’s press release, McDonald’s also launched an official CosMc’s website, which elaborated on the mythos behind “CosMc,” a former McDonaldland character for whom the new restaurants are named.

As the story goes, CosMc — a part-alien, part-vehicle character that appeared in McDonald’s advertisements from the late 1980s — visited Earth “to steal food and take it back to CosMcland.” In the following decades, the alien worked to create complementary beverages, which were then tested on the planet’s fellow residents.

“After millions and millions of aliens served, CosMc decided it was time to bring this menu down to Earth,” the site reads.

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