McDonald’s have recently announced that they will now be trialling barista made coffee service at selected restaurants around London. While fast food chains all over the world have been gradually improving their coffee offerings over the last few years, this recent trial makes McDonald’s the first big brand to make real moves into the coffee shop market in the UK. Barista made coffee not only gives McDonald’s an advantage over their fast food competitors, but it also opens up an entirely new market to compete with big high street coffee chains like Costa and Starbucks.
McDonald’s the coffee shop?
Coffee isn’t anything new for McDonald’s, having been a drink option for many many years, however this has been primarily marketed towards the breakfast market. McDonald’s have found great success with their McCafé range, utilising the versatile WMF 9000 S+ which can make a wide variety of great quality drinks, with an output of up to 350 cups per hour. As leaders in the fast food breakfast arena, it’s only natural that they would be the first ones to take on a new challenge.
Coffee shops tend to have the same breakfast and lunch time rushes that restaurants experience, but they also do a steady trade throughout the whole morning and afternoon. This could provide McDonald’s with both increased coffee sales, and also an uplift in food sales from the additional footfall. Plus, this could attract an entirely new range of clientele that may never have considered coming to McDonald’s to eat but appreciate the great quality coffee at a much lower price than traditional coffee shops.
What about the competition?
McDonald’s aren’t the only fast food chain expanding their coffee options here in the UK, and they may find some of their competitors are hot at their heels. Brands like Subway, Burger King and Tim Horton's have all been improving their coffee drinks over the last couple of years by adding high quality bean-to-cup machines , from our small WMF 1100 S to the WMF 5000 S, which are able to keep up with the pace of a fast food restaurant without compromising on quality. Tim Horton’s focuses on Baristas made coffee as well and utilises the WMF Espresso to offer Barista made coffee upon their own requirements.
None of these other brands have put quite the same degree of emphasis on marketing their coffee options though (such as the recent flat white advertising campaigns), so it may be challenging for them to catch up.
How they’re doing it
McDonald’s are known all over the world both for their iconic products, and for their efficiency. Adding barista made coffee to their menu actually posed a substantial risk to that reputation, as a finely crafted flat white can take some time to prepare by hand, particularly for a new barista. The solution that they have found is to simplify this process using the WMF Espresso. This allows their staff to focus on frothing and preparing the milk, while the WMF Espresso automatically grinds and tamps the coffee to produce incredible tasting espresso drinks every single time. By combining modern automation technology with handmade coffee, you can minimise queues to maximise profits, without compromising on quality.
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Image credits: ITV: http://www.itv.com/news/2018-07-26/mcdonalds-trialling-barista-coffee-service/