One of the big reasons for McDonald’s breakfast and beverage growth is convenience. McDonald’s restaurants are opening earlier â€” 77 percent are open at 5 a.m. â€” and staying open later or not closing at all. Additionally, part of that convenience is the wireless connection that 9,000 of McDonald’s 13,700 U.S. restaurants now offer.
McDonald’s Premium Roast “coffee customization,” in which employees add sweeteners and cream to the customer’s specification, also has resonated well with clientele, especially its Drive-Thru customers, Fields said. McDonald’s serves 25 million U.S. customers a day, with two-thirds of the patrons going through the Drive-Thru.
McDonald’s convenience factor and new product offerings, including bottled sweet tea and specialty iced coffee drinks in some markets, are setting the company up for a major beverage expansion. The Associated Press reported that Don Thompson, president of McDonald’s USA, said in a recent meeting, “We want to move from beverages as an accompaniment to being a beverage destination.
As a “beverage destination,” McDonald’s will offer specialty lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and espressos. The AP reported the drinks will cost about 50 cents less than at Starbucks.
Still, the high-margin coffee drinks are not without their setbacks at McDonald’s. Franchisees are cringing at the estimated $100,000 price tag to cover renovations and new equipment, the AP reported. Next year’s sales definitely should be interesting with the addition of new bottled drinks, smoothies and other beverages to the restaurants.