McDonald's Wants to Be Your New Starbucks

If Starbucks took fancy Euro-esque coffee options to main-street America, and Dunkin’ Donuts, with its 59 cent espresso shots and two-buck-and-change cappuccinos and macchiattos, brought them to the dollar-doughnut-loving masses, who will bring them to the Big Mac-and-fry eaters of the world?

I guess the answer to that question is kind of obvious. But the point is that McDonald’s is upping its coffee game with plans to re-launch its standalone McCafe coffee shops — complete with pastries made on premises — and higher-caliber coffee in all its outlets. The effort is set to cost $4 billion overall, Bloomberg reports, so clearly McD’s is getting serious about its coffee.

The chain rolled out a new standalone McCafe in Toronto last year, and it offers Americanos and espresso shots in McDonald’s restaurants across Canada. In October, it announced an emphasis on a more robust palette of sustainably sourced coffee drinks in its regular fast-food outlets in the United States as well. Now the chain is investing in new $12,000 espresso machines with “better milk-steaming technology” capable of creating a “wider variety” of “more consistent-tasting” coffee beverages, according to Bloomberg.

So why do we need a McDonald’s McCafe McCappucino, or whatever they’ll call it, when we already have a Starbucks on every corner and in every strip mall and hotel lobby across the land? Check your tall, skinny wallets. McDonald’s is aiming to undercut Starbucks on price — with $1 drip coffee and $2 small specialty beverages — in early 2017, the fast-food giant’s U.S. senior vice president of strategy and insights, Kristy Cunningham, told Bloomberg.

Get ‘em while they’re McHot?

Related Links:

A Thirst for Good Coffee Transforms Paris Cafe Culture

7 Tips for Making the Best Coffee Ever

Coffee Talk: Where to Find Great Cups Across the Country

Photo courtesy of @mccafecanada

Next Up

Food News: McDonald's Opening Vegetarian-Only Locations

McDonald's is opening two vegetarian-only locations in India. Would you eat vegetarian fast food from this chain?

Food News: McDonald's Giving Out Apples on Halloween

A few McDonald's locations in California are handing out apple slices instead of candy this year. Is this a trick or a real treat?

5 Smoothies Inspired by Starbucks' New Kale Creation

Make our favorite smoothies just in time for spring.

Is the CSL the New PSL at Starbucks?

The coffee chain’s new seasonal beverage, a Cinnamon Shortbread Latte, aims to scratch your cookie itch and deliver your caffeine buzz.

The New McDonald’s Breakfast Sandwich Is No Small Thing

It's called the Triple Breakfast Stack, and it was inspired by hungry menu hackers.

Food News: McDonald's Makes Changes to the Happy Meal

Are McDonald’s Happy Meals getting healthier? The fast food chain is making changes to the items in its kids’ meal as part of a long-term menu evolution. But are their changes enough?

Nutrition News: Nutritionists’ Breakfasts, Vitamin C Benefits, McDonald’s Cage-Free Eggs  

Nutrition experts share breakfast picks, vitamin C offers exercise-like benefits, McDonald’s promises only cage-free eggs by 2025.