When Did Fast Food Restaurants Turn Into Cafes...And Why?

Canada
May 31, 2009 12:20am CST
I've noticed an interesting trend, over the past year. All these fast-food restaurants like McDonalds, Sonic, Wendys... are starting to serve coffee drinks, with McDonalds going so far as to call them McCafe drinks, or something like that. My husband and I loved the mocha java chillers they had at Sonic, when we were in the USA. Today, we saw enough commercials for the Wendy's Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty, that we finally went up the street and ordered a couple. They were delicious! Haven't tried the McDonalds ones yet. I love cafe drinks, and tend to hang out in a lot of coffee shops. Second Cup (Canadian chain, a millions time better than Starbucks) is one of my alltime favourite places to go. What do you all think of these new cafe drinks in Fast Food drinks? How do you think this trend started?
3 people like this
14 responses
• United States
9 Jun 09
i think it might be them trying to shake their image as something serving crappy food to non sophisticated people.. i mean everyone seems to think fast food as a job is a joke and a lot of people refuse to eat there because of the stigma.. so im guessing they are trying to establish that they arent crappy quality for ignorant people
@bluescat (104)
• Philippines
9 Jun 09
all I can remember is when people started to meet and do business deals there other than dining,like mcDonalds,Burger King,etc.,now some establishments offer free wifi.
• United States
3 Jun 09
My guess is that it is because of the economy and the failing of Starbucks. back in the day when everyone could afford a 4 dollar cup of coffee, everyone acquired a taste for these coffees. Now that 4 dollars is far too expensive, all the fast food chains are trying to fill the void.When you get to try Mc donalds cafe.lease tell me which one you like the best. I don't drink coffee and I am curious who is the best.
@carpenter5 (6786)
• United States
1 Jun 09
Probably to keep up with the starbucks crowd. Give them something similiar for half the price, and you enable more to enjoy, and take away some of their customers as well. I haven't tried the ones from Wendy's. I love McDonald's iced Coffees, and Sonic's Java Chillers.
@amylan (191)
• France
31 May 09
I've just eaten up my breakfast this morning in a Mcdanold in Germany with a cup of McCafe. It's so cheap and tasted fairly good and at least meant that I didn't need to buy burgers here then go to grab a coffee in another coffee shop.Time-saving and convinient. However, fast food chains are just fastfood chains and I would never hang out with friends to a fast chain coffee shop as there're too many great coffee shops here in Europe, each have their own traits and specialties and drinking coffee is more or less something cultural so obviously fast food restaurants lack the proper 'atmosphere'. But still, it's not a bad choice for breakfast or a simple meal.
@dreamr802 (987)
• United States
31 May 09
I think fast food places offering coffee drinks is great. A lot of coffee shops aren't open 24 hours or really late. I love getting frozen coffee and the new McCafe drinks at McDonalds are really really good. I haven't tried the sonic or wendys one yet. These fast food places are now trying to cater to everyone...that's the only way they are going stay in business.
@sweetdesign (5152)
• United States
31 May 09
I have been wanting to try the wendy versions. I also want to try the mccafe's my daughter found a coupon on the net for a free one on tuesdays so going to use that. I have always loved Arby's Jamocha shake since I was a teenager!!
@winterose (39916)
• Canada
31 May 09
this has been happening for a few years now, here in montreal, some mcdonald's have a bakery and serves the more fancier drinks, I think they are trying to bring in more people, rather than just families, they want a corner on every market.
• United States
31 May 09
Because places like Fivebucks (Starbucks) and other coffee houses were pulling business from the other fast food chains, now they've taken a page of profit from the places who don't bother with fast food and now they've turned a trend into a profit. Pretty soon hospitals will be boasting about their medical blend and people will start going there, I'm kidding about that last one.
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
31 May 09
I'd say it is just a change with the times... coffee is in right now.. so why not jump on the band wagon? Fat and calories are out.. and most think coffee isn't that caloric or fattening...and coffee isn't.. it is all the "extras" that bring those two guys to the table! Or should I say ... on the hips! I think the dollar value menus were the last thing that hit the fast food that everyone raved about and all the places made one. I just hope that they will upgrade their atmospheres - some of the fast food places..even the name brand ones... I hate eating in there cause they are just so junky and crummy looking. They need a make-over - and some need it extreme!
@whyaskq (7553)
• Singapore
31 May 09
Fast food restaurants provide a good place for hanging out. Most of us hang continue to hang around after having our meal. That deprives others of a seat. With a cafe that serves light and coffee, it gives us a better reason to stay around. Sometimes, after a meal, we move on to the cafe.
@ElicBxn (59537)
• United States
31 May 09
Well, they started when the coffee shops actually started hurting the fast food joint's business. I mean, McDonald's put in WiFi a few years back and the nearby Wendy's actually made the seating some what comfortable. Used to be they catered to the under 10 crowd, but those kids and their parents, were eat and run, sit around and buy more stuff was a whole other dream. I think they still have a way to go, but I think they are realizing that the boomers are now over 50, and if they are going to get some of this greying population, they have to offer them what they are looking for now - and hanging out and drinking their less expensive coffee drinks is one way to do it.
@stephcjh (32387)
• United States
31 May 09
I'm not really sure how it all got started. I do think they lost alot of business to other cafes so they started having more cafe style things to offer at their own restaurants.
@russso (1701)
• Philippines
31 May 09
Establishments need to reinvent themselves to keep up with the changing times and changing tastes & behaviors of customers. It is important they always come up with something new, something fresh, maybe something out-of-the-box. People like seeing new things. Change is good.