McDonald's New Drive-Thru Concept CosMc's Skyrockets in Popularity — Particularly Among One Age Group Explore the unique strategy behind CosMc's, where McDonald's is merging its time-honored, iconic brand with a fresh, modern twist.

By Carl Stoffers

Key Takeaways

  • CosMc's has successfully captured the attention of the 22- to 29-year-old age group, a demographic that tends to frequent McDonald's less often.
  • With a smaller footprint and drive-thru-only concept, CosMc's differentiates itself from traditional McDonald's outlets.
  • CosMc's combines the core essence of McDonald's with a unique personality, evident in its modern logo and distinctive menu offerings.
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McDonald's latest spinoff venture, CosMc's, is quickly becoming a popular destination for younger customers, with its first location in Bolingbrook, Illinois, drawing more than double the visits of a standard McDonald's since its opening in December, according to a new report published by research firm Placer.ai.

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CosMc's has particularly resonated with the 22- to 29-year-old age group, according to the report, a demographic that usually visits McDonald's with less frequency.

Using the DNA of McDonald's

The CosMc's concept, which McDonald's is piloting as a "limited test" run, has a smaller footprint than a traditional McDonald's, occupying approximately 2,800 square feet compared to the 4,000-4,500 square feet of a typical McDonald's restaurant. The drive-thru-only concept combines the essence of McDonald's with a distinctive feel. "CosMc's is a small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald's, but with its own unique personality," said McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski, according to CNN Business.

This is in line with the vision McDonald's execs had for CosMc's when speaking about it in July 2023 — it will be a distinct entity while maintaining the essence of the iconic McDonald's brand. Accordingly, CosMc's logo isn't the Golden Arches but a more modern navy blue and yellow palette.

The popularity of CosMc's is not just in the sheer number of visitors. The location has proved to use space efficiently, generating three times the number of visits per square foot than an average McDonald's, according to Placer.ai's report.

Related: McDonald's to Launch New Spinoff Chain, CosMc's

The CosMc name

The space-themed menu and name are a tribute to CosMc, a part alien, part surfer and part robot character that McDonald's briefly experimented with in the 1980s. CosMc last appeared in the 1992 McDonald's video game M.C. Kids, released on Nintendo and Commodore 64 consoles.

CosMc's menu

The menu at CosMc's is predominantly beverage-centric, featuring an array of space-themed drinks and flavors, such as the "Signature Galactic Boosts," including flavors such as Berry Hibiscus Sour-ade. Other offerings include iced teas, lemonades, slushes, frappes and nearly two dozen coffee- and tea-based products.

Additionally, the menu caters to breakfast and snack cravings with unique items like a Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sandwich and McPops (filled doughnuts) alongside traditional McDonald's staples like the Egg McMuffin.

Related: Is This What the New McDonald's Spinoff, CosMc's, Will Look Like?

More locations for McDonald's and CosMc's

With nine more locations planned to open this year, CosMc's is poised for significant growth and could represent a new direction for McDonald's as it seeks to innovate and adapt to changing consumer preferences.

McDonald's currently has nearly 41,000 locations open worldwide and recently announced plans to have 50,000 restaurants open by 2027.

Related: See the 2024 Franchise 500 Ranking

Carl Stoffers

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Business Editor

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