Would you like an espresso to go with that?
Fast-food giant McDonald’s has just brought its McCafe concept to Bellevue, where lattes are now being served by trained baristas.
“We’re able to offer a premium product without the premium price,” said Alan Finkelstein, who owns two McDonald’s in Maple Valley and one in Sammamish and Kent. “Our customers can come in and know they’re going to get served a latte quickly and move on. They don’t have time to be waiting in a drive through.”
McCafe espresso drinks were launched in 112 Western Washington McDonald’s last Monday, including the Eastgate, Crossroads and Northup locations in Bellevue.
Ground as drink orders are taken, the gourmet dark-roast beans come from South America and Indonesia and are brewed in a state-of-the art machine imported from Europe. Customers can choose from mochas, lattes, americanos and cappuccinos made with non-fat or whole milk. There also is a variety of flavors: vanilla, sugar-free vanilla, hazelnut, caramel along with iced versions.
And customers can save a pretty penny, Finkelstein said.
Prices range, depending on size, from $1.59-$3.29 – less than Starbuck’s beverages. A venti latte, Starbuck’s largest size, sells for $3.40.
At the McCafe patrons do not have to be familiar with the “funny” ordering lingo, Finkelstein said. It’s simply small, medium or large, which is equivalent to 12, 16 or 20 ounces.
“It’s really a great tasting product,” said Kelly Hoyman, McDonald’s
Northwest marketing director.
The McCafe was first introduced in Australia in 1993 and has since caught on to the United States, which currently has more than 800 participating locations.
“We are always listening to our customers,” Hoyman said. “Based on the feedback we’ve received with the successful iced coffee we launched last year, we decided to add espresso to the line-up because we know it’s something customers want.”
Finkelstein urges customers to give it a try.
For the next three Fridays, McDonald’s is offering a free latte to patrons who come in during breakfast hours at participating locations.
Carrie Wood can be reached at email@example.com or 425-453-4290.