Concept Focused on New Drinks, Treats To Debut Alongside Broader Company Expansion
McDonald’s plans to open several CosMc’s restaurants by the end of next year, including one not far from the company’s Chicago headquarters, in a drink and treat spinoff that comes amid a planned aggressive expansion by the fast-food giant.
As part of the company’s strategy to add nearly 9,000 locations by 2027, the company this week unveiled details of its previously teased CosMc’s concept.
That comes more than four months after CEO Chris Kempczinski first publicly mentioned the brand, which is pronounced “cosmic’s” and is named for an alien character that appeared in McDonald’s ads in the 1980s and ’90s.
At that time, he hinted that “CosMc’s is a small-format concept with all the DNA of McDonald’s, but with its own unique personality.”
The whimsical concept will debut this month in Bolingbrook, Illinois, southwest of Chicago, the company disclosed this week, saying in a statement that “CosMc’s is landing earthside for us humans to enjoy.”
The Bolingbrook building on Weber Road previously was a traditional McDonald’s.
McDonald’s said it plans to open about 10 restaurants by the end of 2024, with other CosMc’s locations coming to the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio areas of Texas. A spokeswoman declined to provide specific locations for those spaces.
CosMc’s will have some regular McDonald’s menu items along with new drinks such as S’mores Cold Brew, Sour Cherry Energy Slush, Tropical Spiceade and Turmeric Spiced Lattes. Featured treats include pretzel and hash brown bites, cookies, brownies and new sandwiches.
Although McDonald’s is known for uniformly designed spaces and consistent experiences throughout the world, the company also has made innovations such as its Speedee Service System launched in 1948, which created operating efficiencies that led to a major global expansion.
McDonald’s also has invested in other restaurant companies, including taking a stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill when it had less than 20 total locations. McDonald’s also has invested in Pret A Manger, Boston Market and Donatos Pizza.
McDonald’s is headquartered in Chicago’s Fulton Market district, where it moved from west suburban Oak Brook, Illinois, in 2018.
In September 2022, McDonald’s announced it was expanding its space at 110 N. Carpenter St. to create an innovation center, with plans to move innovation workers from Romeoville, Illinois. That suburb is adjacent to Bolingbrook along Interstate 55.
At the time, McDonald’s said the new innovation center in the city would create “more opportunities for collaboration and end-to-end development of restaurant solutions and technologies.”