McCafe: Chennai Has A Brand New Beverage Destination That Is Unlike Any Other
Three years after the Indian launch of McCafe – the beverage side of the McDonald’s brand – the cafe finally arrives in Chennai. First opened in 1993 in Melbourne, Australia, McCafe came as a nice change from the usual options at McDonald’s. As a coffee shop part of the restaurant they already had running, McCafe provided regular and new customers with the chance to enjoy a burger with a cup of coffee or a something different from what they’d get with their McDonald’s meals. While McDonald’s serves aerated drinks with their burgers and sandwiches, McCafe offers freshly brewed coffees and other hot and cold beverage options to give people something to look forward to.
Opened in Mumbai’s SOBO Central in 2013 as the first Indian McCafe outlet, the chain has spread out all over West India. With 93 McCafe outlets around the country, McDonald’s has finally brought its beverage vertical to Chennai. McCafe is the third in brand extensions, after McDelivery and Dessert Kiosks. One of the things that makes McCafes unique from other coffee shops is that it’s not a stand-alone and is always part of a McDonald’s existing restaurant. When adding a McCafe into a McDonald’s, they renovate the entire restaurant to change the appearance, giving it a more contemporary design that everyone at any age can appreciate and enjoy.
The first McCafe in Chennai was inaugurated at the McDonald’s at Vijaya Forum Mall by Smita Jatia, Managing Director of Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd., to be followed by a second McCafe at the McDonald’s in Anna Nagar. And over the next few months, more McCafes will open in the already existing 12 restaurants in Chennai.
Before the inauguration, we had a chance to chat with Ms. Smita Jain to understand what would entice someone to visit a McCafe for the coffee and other beverages. “McCafe is a complete beverage destination and within that, obviously, coffee is one of the verticals, but it’s more than just coffee. We have frappes, we have smoothies as well. When it comes to coffee and how it will do against filter coffee – our coffee is 100% Arabica, it’s handmade meaning that it’s not made at the press of a button and is made by our professionally trained baristas. Even some of our competitors don’t have a complete manual machine and there is a vast difference in taste,” she told us and added that, “For the audience who comes to McDonald’s and is more travelled, who understands more about a cappucino and a latte, we are making it convenient for them.”
Speaking of differences, we wanted to know more about what makes McCafe different from Starbucks or a Costa Coffee, both of which are international chains as well and Ms. Jatia had this to say, “The biggest difference is we are a store-in-store format. So someone who has come to eat at McDonald’s can also get a cup of coffee at a McCafe and if someone is coming just for coffee, it’s perfect. World over, there are different audiences that come for McCafe.”
Whether you’re a college student or a working adult, or a parent, the combination of McDonald’s with a McCafe has something for everyone. Kids can enjoy the Happy Meals or regular meal combinations while their parents can get a cup of coffee and relax. Office goers who are in a hurry, this is a great ‘grab and go’ option, and it’s also great for school and college kids to hang out and drink with their friends.
Visit McCafe at Vijaya Forum Mall, NSK Salai, Arcot Road, Vadapalani to try their offerings and experience a whole new kind of McDonald’s.