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McDonald's Is Launching a New Restaurant Brand Next Year

Named after a decades-old McDonald's mascot.

McDonald's fans, rejoice! The fast-food giant has a brand-new restaurant concept in the pipeline. But unlike the classic Golden Arches that customers know and love, these new eateries will take inspiration from a decades-old alien mascot.

The new concept is named after CosMc, a fictional, six-armed McDonald's alien character that appeared in ads in the 1980s and 1990s, CNBC reported. McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski told investors during an earnings call yesterday that CosMc's will be a "small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald's but its own unique personality." The company plans to test the new restaurant brand "in a small handful of sites in a limited geography beginning early next year," Kempczinski added.

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McDonald's CosMc
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Unfortunately, customers will have to wait for more details on CosMc's. Kempczinski said more information will be provided at McDonald's investors day in December.

The CosMc's concept is only one part of McDonald's ambitious expansion and innovation goals for the future. The company beat earnings and revenue expectations in the second quarter of 2023 thanks to the viral Grimace Shake promotion, strong guest traffic, and price increases. Kempczinski said during Thursday's earnings call that McDonald's continued popularity with customers "has earned us the right to begin accelerating the pace of restaurant openings in our major markets over the next several years."

He didn't reveal exactly how many new locations McDonald's plans to open in the coming years and where. However, he did mention that the company saw a lot of potential for expanding in areas like the South and Southeast, where the number of restaurants hasn't kept pace with population growth.

"Our footprint reflects what the population looked like probably 20 or 30 years ago," Kempczinski said. "So you end up finding there's a number of places around the U.S. where we are significantly underdeveloped relative to where the population exists today, that opens up for us a whole bunch of development opportunities for us to go after."

Even though McDonald's main focus right now is traditional restaurant openings, the company is also testing out nontraditional locations, Kempczinski said.

These include a smaller, takeout-only restaurant that opened in Fort Worth, Tex., last year and several restaurants in China with food lockers that allow delivery drivers to grab a customer's order without even entering the restaurant. Increases in digital and delivery orders are what allowed McDonald's to start considering these nontraditional units, Kempczinski said.

"A big reason that we can now look at those is because of the growth that's happened with the digital and delivery where you don't necessarily need the big dining rooms that you needed in our traditional restaurants," he said. "So you're now able to look at real estate sites that previously would have been sort of off limits to us those become opportunities. So we're taking all of those things together and rolling that up to get a perspective of what we think the new unit potential is going to be over the next four or five years."

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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