McDonald’s Opening A Spinoff Restaurant Chain

(Photo from McDonald's)

You’ve heard of spinoff TV shows, but what about spinoff restaurants?

Yesterday, McDoanld’s announced plans to open a “spinoff” restaurant chain called CosMc’s. While only a few details have been made public, McDonald’s executives reported in Thursday’s second-quarter earnings call that the burger chain expects to open a new, smaller line of restaurants under the name CosMc’s.

“CosMc’s is a small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald’s, but with its own unique personality,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said on the call.

Kempczinski intends on opening a “small handful of sites” in a “limited geography” beginning in 2024. If all goes well, CosMc’s will then expand further. Though test sites remain unnamed, Kempczinski said he will share more information at McDonald’s investors day in December.

Other than the name and the fact it will be “smaller” than McDonald’s (whatever that means), we really don’t have much information. However, one big thing we know is that the new chain will be based off of McDonald’s 1980’s character CosMc.

Unless you live under a rock, you are probably well aware of the Grimace Shake phenomenon. If you aren’t, get a life, but also basically it’s this TikTok trend where people try out McDonald’s limited-time (now sadly gone) purple shake and then pretend to have convulsions and die. It is quite hilarious.

Anyway, CosMc is a fellow vintage McDonald’s character who was around at the same time as Grimace. However, what’s surprising is while Grimace only got a limited-time shake, he was a way bigger part of McDonald’s image. CosMc, the new face of CosMc’s, lasted under a decade. First introduced in 1987 in a McDonald’s commercial, CosMc had vanished from advertisements by the mid 90s.

So who the hell is CosMc?

Well, for starters, he’s an alien. Hailing from outer space, CosMc first landed in McDonaldland in ‘87. After a brief misunderstanding where CosMc tried to swindle Ronald McDonald’s lunch in exchange for flowers, the six-legged alien and creepy clown eventually became friends. In the coming years, the two appeared in multiple commercials together which took place both in McDonaldland and CosMc’s spaceship.

Though details about the new chain are extremely limited, one would assume there will be some sort of space theme. Commercials in the past have depicted CosMc’s homeland, including an advertisement where CosMc and Ronald mix up each other’s habitats.

I could be way off, but I’d assume CosMc’s the restaurant will look something like the outer space world McDonald’s created back in the late 80s. In the announcement meeting, Kempczinski did emphasize the role nostalgia plays in McDonald’s current marketing strategy. It is clear that the success of the Grimace Shake promotion may have led to CosMc’s restoration. “This quarter, the theme is — well, if I’m being honest, the theme was Grimace,” Kempczinski said. “Grimace has been everywhere in the past few months … this viral phenomenon is yet another proof point of the power of marketing at McDonald’s today.”

McDonald’s chief marketing officer Tariq Hassan went on to say that Grimace as well as other past McDonald’s characters are “the perfect lovable icons to have McDonald’s meet our fans at the intersection of nostalgia and culture.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m excited. As a massive McDonald’s fan, I don’t even know who this CosMc guy is. Yet, if he is friends with Ronald, he’s friends with me. Let’s just hope he sells the Grimace Shake full time.

Alex Becker

Written by Alex Becker

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