McDonald's Offspring CosMc's Generates Buzz

It’s not every day a fast food behemoth births an offspring, so it’s no shock that McDonald’s prodigy CosMc’s is generating some buzz. 

So far there’s only one, just outside of Chicago. Marketing Daily hopes to visit over the holidays and will check back in with a story if we do, but that’s if we can handle the hours-long wait that's being reported by customers. 

It took The Wall Street Journal an hour and forty minutes to get through the drive-thru line a few days after the restaurant first opened. 

“The restaurant has no doors for the public and no dining room,” according to the WSJ's photo story. (Note to self: hit a restroom at a nearby restaurant like Panera before getting in the queue at CosMc’s.)



One woman waited in the drive-thru line for four hours on the Dec. 11 opening day and ordered a Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sandwich and Citrus and Cream Shake.

"The food was delicious," she told FOX Business. "The wait was worth it — not only for the delicious food, but also because there was so much anticipation around the new concept. I loved seeing the employees decked out in CosMc’s colors, and everyone with whom I interacted seemed happy to share the new menu items." 

Not everyone agrees. The New York Postreports that “the bizarre drive-thru-only concept that McDonald’s launched late last week, does not come close to eclipsing the original.”

“Overall, my multi-generational family of longtime McDonald’s eaters was not lovin’ it: the sugary sojourn was a time-consuming, palate-shocking trek that simply wasn’t worth it,” according to Tracy Swartz, who wrote the review for the Post

Some have reported that the beverage-centric spinoff brand is meant to compete with Starbuck’s. But not so, according to Morningstar Equity Analyst Sean Dunlop. 

“I would say their niche is that sort of three p.m. day part so that's typically when high school students are getting out of class,” Dunlop tells MediaPost’s QSR Insider. “It's really pretty quiet in the restaurant industry then.”

The younger consumer theory aligns with what Braden Douglas, founding partner at Crew Marketing Partners, told Marketing Brew.

“McDonald’s use of the CosMc character instead of an already popular character like Grimace may stand to help the new brand appeal to a younger demographic,” according to Marketing Brew. “The value of the CosMc character, he said, lies in its backstory, which McDonald’s can use to build its brand identity. But one thing that could set this spin-off brand apart is its ability to employ the brand reputation of McDonald’s, Douglas said.”

It's been more than 30 years since CosMc was seen on earth, according to the company website. The alien would often drop by McDonaldland on “trade missions” to steal food and take it home to CosMcland. But during one mission in the late '80s, CosMc got all six hands on McDonald's menu items -- and never returned.

As reported by Eater, the restaurant features just a single golden arch in its logo, a subtle nod to its parent company. There is some menu overlap including breakfast sandwiches, but drinks make up the majority of offerings. 

McDonald’s plans to open “approximately 10” more CosMc’s locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio, Texas markets by the end of 2024, according to Food & Wine

“After millions and millions of aliens served, CosMc decided it was time to bring this menu down to Earth,” according to CosMc's. “To let humans order exactly what they crave with their own unique spin. To lift them up, just like the aliens. And to provide a momentary escape for anyone on their way through the galaxy.”

Just make sure you use the restroom elsewhere before getting into the drive-thru line. 

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