McDonald's is set to launch coffee bars with "baristas" serving cappuccinos and lattes, moving into direct competition with global coffee chain Starbucks, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
McDonald's will install coffee bars at its 14,000 U.S. stores, incorporating theatrics similar to Starbucks' counters, displaying espresso machines and having baristas prepare drinks, the report said.
The report, citing internal documents from 2007, said the move will add $1 billion to McDonald's annual sales of $21.6 billion. McDonald's will also sell smoothies and bottled beverages, it said.
McDonald's Coffee Bars to Take on Starbucks: WSJ (Reuters via CNBC)
For WSJ subscribers (oh, man, I can't wait for Murdoch to take down the paywall), the original article is here.
Very pertinent excerpt from the WSJ article:
Hailing from very different corners of the restaurant world, the two chains have gradually encroached on each other's turf. McDonald's upgraded its drip coffee and its interiors, while Starbucks added drive-through windows and hot breakfast sandwiches.And MSNBC wins "best headline" on this story: "Coffee Clash." Heh.
The growing overlap between the chains shows how convenience has become the dominant force shaping the food-service industry. Consumers who are unwilling to cross the street to get coffee or make a left turn to grab lunch have pushed all food purveyors to adapt the strategies of fast-food chains.
For what it's worth, the "upgraded" coffee at McDonald's is pretty good these days... when I'm on the road, I'm quite happy to have a cup of McDonald's coffee.
The fries are the only other thing on their entire menu that I'll consume.