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McDonald’s tests expanded McCafé in California

Chain looks to bolster beverage business

McDonald’s Corp. is testing a trio of new McCafé drinks in Northern California starting this week as the chain continues its efforts to bolster its beverage business. 

The new drinks include hot and iced Caramel Macchiato, French Vanilla Cappuccino and Americano. They are available in the Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto areas. There are 170 McDonald’s locations in those areas.

The restaurants are adding new McCafé equipment to kitchens to enhance all of the beverages, including mochas, lattes and hot chocolate.

“Coffee remains a significant opportunity for us,” Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s USA, said in a presentations to analysts in February. “There’s so much more we can do with this.”

McDonald’s is focused on increasing sales of beverages. This year, the company has offered $1 coffee and $1 fountain beverages to bolster budget offers.

The quick-service chain also wants to increase the presence of McCafé inside restaurants in a bid to get a larger slice of the beverage pie. The company says that coffee is a $30 billion opportunity and is growing annually.

Coffee chains have generally outperformed the rest of the industry; coffee chains’ same-store sales in the U.S. averaged 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, far higher than the 0.7 percent decline on average for publicly traded restaurants in the period, according to Nation’s Restaurant News research.

Quick-service chains, by comparison, averaged a 1.2 percent increase and McDonald’s same-store sales declined by 1.3 percent in the company’s fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. 

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze

Photo courtesy of McDonald's 

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