A sci-fi McDonald’s appears in Illinois

The new McDonald’s spinoff, CosMc’s, has been spotted in the wild. It seems to focus on speed and breakfast.

McDonald’s is apparently preparing to test a new sci-fi restaurant concept. Yeah, you heard us correctly.

A silver-blue flying saucer with a stream of McDonald’s fries underneath hovers near a McDonald’s sign.

A fresh CosMc’s has appeared in Bolingbrook, Illinois — and its menu lists a churro latte.

Wait, who is CosMc?

Glad you asked, because we also forgot. CosMc is an orange extraterrestrial who, in a 1987 commercial, arrived on a “trade” mission to McDonaldland.

He appeared in commercials through the early ‘90s, once showing Ronald a “fly-thru” in space, and in the 1992 Nintendo game “M.C. Kids.”

Then, he faded away.

Until now…

During a Q2 earnings call, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski described CosMc’s as a “small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald’s but its own unique personality.”

It’s unclear what that has to do with aliens, but, despite the slim details, some sleuths have sussed out more.

  • The Bolingbrook CosMc’s is next to an existing McDonald’s where a Boston Market used to be and has four drive-thru lanes.
  • X user Iman Jalali’s photos of its menu board reveal several tea and coffee drinks, breakfast sandwiches, and snacks.

But why?

In addition to beefing up its robust real estate portfolio? Kempczinski said that McDonald’s no longer needs big dining rooms given the growth of new online ordering and delivery options.

A breakfast-focused, drive-thru- and delivery-centric spinoff could help it better compete with Starbucks and Panera. And while McDonald’s could have just called it “Little McDonald’s” or “McCafe,” it does well with nostalgia:

  • Its adult Happy Meals with Cactus Plant Flea Market toys quickly sold out.
  • People were pumped when the Halloween Boo Buckets returned in 2022.
  • Grimace Shakes went viral after people started making mini horror movies, a trend McDonald’s did not anticipate but embraced.
  • It just announced the return of its McNugget Buddies toys in partnership with artist Kerwin Frost.

CosMc’s is no Alien Fresh Jerky, but we’ll check it out.

Fun fact: A fast-food spinoff that didn’t work? KFC’s Kentucky Roast Beef and Ham. Despite a successful 1968 Vegas pilot, roast beef was more expensive than chicken for both KFC and consumers, and they all shuttered after two years.

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Topics: Food Restaurants

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