McDonald’s new trendy beverage-led spinoff CosMc’s is pulling in younger customers at a faster clip than a typical Mickey D’s with Big Macs and fries, according to one early traffic estimate.
McDonald’s unveiled its CosMc’s specialty drinks cafe spinoff in December, with the first location opened in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Another nine locations are set to open this year.
That first CosMc’s location saw more than double the number of visits that a typical McDonald’s saw chainwide in the same month, despite only being open since Dec.7, according to a report from Placer.ai, which uses location data from mobile devices to estimate visits to specific locations.
But it’s not just about the total number of people coming in. It’s also a more efficient use of space for the company. CosMc’s generated triple the number of visits per square foot than an average McDonald’s restaurant (CosMc’s has a roughly 2,500 square feet footprint compared to 4,000 to 4,500 square feet for the average McDonald’s location), the firm said.
RJ Hottovy, head of analytical research with Placer.ai, said that the one CosMc’s location sometimes has to accommodate spillover traffic in a separate parking lot because the drive-thru lanes were often at full capacity.
Which means the potential for even more sales revenue.
“We saw quite a bit of demand,” he said. “There were so many people in the drive-thru lane that if they had more capacity, the traffic numbers would have been a lot higher.”
The report also said that CosMc’s is mostly skewed to young adults 22 to 29 years old.
CosMc’s is named after CosMc, a little-known McDonald’s character from the 1980s that McDonald’s has described as “part alien, part surfer, part robot.”
The whole purpose of CosMc’s seems to be going after Starbucks, but better worded to showcase trendy, social media and Gen Z-approved drink concoctions, such as Churro Frappe, S’mores Cold Brew, Turmeric Spiced Latte and Popping Pear Slush, and then delivered the way GenZers prefer – quick and contactless through a drive-thru only option.
“I think this really is a test and learn concept, one to track younger audience and test menu innovations,” Hottovy. “If nothing else, CosMc’s is creating a tremendous amount of buzz and attracting new customers. It’s just one location for now so doesn’t look like it’s cannibalizing McDonald’s at this point but bringing in incremental visitors, the group that wasn’t coming into McDonald’s as much.”
McDonald’s currently has about 41,000 locations in total and has targeted 50,000 locations globally by 2027. In its last quarter, the burger chain reported US comparable sales up 8.1%, while traffic to its restaurants dipped.
–CNN’s Danielle Wiener-Bronner contributed to this report
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