McDonald’s opens first CosMc’s cafe concept

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

McDonald's latest venture: CosMc's. Pic: McDonald's
McDonald's latest venture: CosMc's. Pic: McDonald's

Related tags Mcdonald's Fast food Coffee

McDonald’s is opening the first location for its new ‘small-format, beverage-led’ drinks and snacks concept in the US this month.

The first CosMc’s location has opened in Boligbrook, Illinois: with 10 pilot locations to follow in 2024 across the Dallas-Fort Worth and Antonio metro areas.

The spin-off restaurants are ‘inspired by nostalgia and powered by a menu of bold, refreshing beverages and tasty treats’.

CosMc’s is a new concept from the McDonald’s universe, with its own distinct brand and identity. The new venue 'looks, feels, and serves its customers differently than a traditional McDonald’s restaurant'.

What to eat and drink...

The menu is ‘rooted in beverage exploration, with bold and unexpected flavor combinations, vibrant colors and functional boosts’.

The stores will feature a range of specialty lemonades and teas, blended beverages and cold coffee (for example, Sour Cherry Energy Slush, Tropical Spiceade and S’mores Cold Brew.

CosMc will allow consumers to customize each beverage: with boba, flavor syrups, energy or even Vitamin C shots.

CosMc's beverage menu
Something to drink...

When it comes to snacks, the cafes will offer savory options such as Spicy Queso Sandwich, Savory Hash Brown Bites and Pretzel Bites served with dipping sauces. On the sweet side, there's a Blueberry Lemon Cookie Sundae and Caramel Fudge Brownies, to name a few. 

The cafes will also offer Egg McMuffin sandwiches and McFlurrys from the flagship McDonald’s stores.

cosmcs snacks
... and eat

The stores are also set to be the cutting edge of digitalization: with a ‘uniquely seamless digital’ and Drive Thru experience.

Menu boards and cashless payment devices promise to make ordering and collecting easier: as well as allowing for exploration and customization during the process.

'Boost your mood into the stratosphere!'

CosMc’s branding plays on the theme of space as a concept that’s ‘truly out of this world’.

Central to the story is a little six-handed alien called ‘CosMc’ from ‘CosMcland' who – so the story goes – stole food from McDonaldland and began experimenting with these menu items alongside some unique beverages – ‘ones that would not only complement the food, but stand alone as the perfect mood boost for all beings’. 

It may all sound a bit off-your-rocket, but there’s a clear move from marketers towards embracing outer space. Take, for example, Coca-Cola’s ‘intergalactic flavor’ Coca-Cola Starlight​: a product offering not only new flavors but also new experiences ‘to quench Gen Z’s thirst for discovery through a series of unexpected beverages and packaging designs’.

Why the fascination with space? Mintel, which already highlighted ‘cosmic comforts’ as a key trend for 2023, offers an explanation: ‘As Earth ensures more chaos, space will become a source of optimism, innovation and connection.’

CosMc is actually a long-lost McDonald's character who hasn't been seen since the 1990s, tapping into another trend experts expect to see more of: nostalgia. 

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