Saturday, August 12, 2006


McD's suffers major setback in iced coffee war

That's right -- they've failed to win my business. I've made my third and final trip inside a McDonalds for iced coffee.

In New York, I figured I might well be within the McDonald's regional iced coffee experiment zone. (See here and here for background.) Sure enough, the upper west side McDonald's was offering what it called "premium" iced coffee. Significantly, not Newman's Own Organice Iced Coffee -- just a no-name "premium" blend.

Three stop breakfast shopping, upper west side, Manhattan: Starbucks iced latte for B,
"premium" McD's iced coffee for me, and H & H bagels.

"Premium" in the sense that word is used by the Ukrainian tour guide in Everything is Illuminated. Basically, it was not very good, just a watery and bland iced coffee.

But this visit re-confirmed the difference between McDonald's workers and "trained baristas." The following dialogue makes the point:
Me: Can I have an iced coffee, with cream, no sugar please?
McD 1: What size?
Me: Medium.
McD 1 picks up a paper, i.e., hot coffee, cup.
Me: Iced coffee please.
McD 1 (picking up plastic cup): Vanilla or regular?
Me: Regular. With cream, but no sugar, please.
McD 1 to McD 2: He wants a medium regular iced coffee.
Me: With cream but no sugar please.
McD 2 does a sequence of assembly line type gestures and hands me a creamy iced coffee. I take a test sip before leaving the counter, and it's loaded with sugar.
Me: Can I please have one of these with no sugar?
From my point of view, the hassle factor far outweighs the upside of walking into a McDonald's for iced coffee when there's a Dunkin Donuts or a Starbucks within a stone's throw. And McDonald's can't sustain this experiment profitably if they have to make two iced coffees for every one they sell, can they? In any event, I won't be in there to find out.

What a great post... I can't believe no one else has commented! Those pictures of Pedro stretching -- which are not available anywhere else at any price -- are priceless!

ojumb -- a wrong answer for the translation of "jumbo" on the pig-Latin exam.

yeltgglj -- "Yell-tiggle-J": the new character in Hip Hop Winnie the Pooh.
I live outside of NYC and absolutely love the Hazelnut iced coffee at my local McDonalds. I dont think there is anything "premium" about it but it is pretty damned good on a hot day. It depends where you go as to the service you get in any place.
Oh my God. H&H Bagels. I'm drooling.

They are one of the only things I miss about my theatre manager job lo these many years ago.

I used to get off of work at the Loews across the street at about midnight and go across the street. "May I have two of whatever you just pulled out of the oven, please?"

I'd eat one, and I'd give one to the 67-year-old native New Yawkuh cab driver who used to wait for me to get off my shift since his shift ended at the same time and he lived near me. He'd give me a free ride home (I'd tip him anyway) and we'd talk and eat our bagels.
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