The concept will begin testing in "a small handful of sites" in select locations next year, McDonald's CEO says
BOLINGBROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's new secretive spin-off restaurant, CosMc's, appears to be close to opening a location in a suburb just outside of Chicago.
Our sister station's helicopter was over the construction site Thursday in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
At least four drive-thru lanes could be seen at the purple-and-yellow-colored business.
A small amount of information about the new project was shared after a McDonald's earnings call in July.
In the analyst call about the company's second-quarter financial results, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski announced the fast food chain will begin testing CosMc's, which he described as "a small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald's but its own unique personality."
According to Kempczinski, McDonald's will share more information about CosMc's at the end of the year.
The concept, driven by McDonald's new business ventures team, will begin testing in "a small handful of sites" in select locations next year, Kempczinski said.
The fast food chain recently tapped into new marketing tactics to capitalize on culturally relevant characters, including the limited-edition Grimace birthday meal and milkshake. This sparked thousands of consumers to engage in a viral social media trend around the purple, fuzzy, fictional character.
"Grimace has been everywhere in the past few months, all over the news, and more than 3 billion views on TikTok," the CEO said on the earnings call. "This viral phenomenon is yet another proof point of the power of marketing at McDonald's today."
As a result, second-quarter sales skyrocketed by 14% overall last quarter due to the influx of orders for the light purple-hued berries and cream milkshake, with customers looking to film their own version of the viral horror-theme video trend.
Kempczinski said that "the theme was Grimace" this quarter, which ended June 30 and included the June 12 launch of the limited-time menu item.
Additionally, he said the McDonald's marketing efforts had a direct effect on better food quality scores from customers.
"The more customers love our brand, the more they love our food," Kempczinski said.
According to the company's financial statements for the quarter that ended June 30, U.S. sales jumped by over 10% at restaurants open for at least one year. Global sales increased by nearly 11.7% at restaurants open for at least one year.
ABC7 Chicago contributed to this report.