Went to the nearby McDonald (NYSE: MCD) yesterday afternoon, and tried out the Iced Latte. Personal opinion: the latte at MCD is not as good as Starbucks ( Nasdaq: SBUX). Two things:
1) McDonald makes this mostly by machine, while in Starbucks the barista used some hand;
2) McDonald serves the latte not in a full cup, this never happened to me in Starbucks.
So in summary the latte McDonald (McCafe) looks cheap, although they can argue in “blind test” their coffee tastes better. As to the regular brewed coffee in MCD, it depends: it tastes better when it was fresh brewed. The coffee beans in those stores are similar, except SBUX are usually overly roasted (looks darker and tastes bitter).
Last week I had the opportunity to try the latte at a new McDonald restaurant near my home, it was good. The middle size iced carmel latte cost $2.79 ($2.99 after tax), slightly cheaper than Starbucks. One caveats (as I understand), not many McDonald stores offer those espresso at this time, the new ones offering those are called McCafe.
in Japan. I read this news from MSN that McDonald is going to open McCafe stores in Japan. Quote the news:
“The Japan unit of U.S.-based McDonald’s Corp. will launch 15 pilot “McCafe” stores in the Tokyo area on August 29, according to a company release. The stores, the burger chain’s first foray into the coffee shop business, will offer low-priced beverages to lure more families, the release said. McDonald’s said it will consider opening McCafes across Japan in the next fiscal year.
The cafe business in Japan has been shrinking and stood at 1.052 trillion yen ($8.61 billion) in 2006, down 5 percent from the previous year. Still, sales at specialty coffee shops like Starbucks have soared. The Seattle-based coffee chain, which first opened a store in Japan in 1997, has almost 700 stores across the country and saw sales jump 16 percent last year to 78.9 billion yen ($646 million).”