McDonald’s, still reeling from the Supersize Me fallout, decided a few months ago that it would take on Starbucks as the coffee king by introducing a specialty upscale coffee counter cafe at many of its ‘restaurants’. Well the results are in, and as you might have guessed, it wasn’t the genius idea they heralded.

As we showed last week, Starbucks is closing over 600 stores nationwide because of the consumer’s inability to purchase high-end coffees due to a pullback in spending during this recession (they’re still giving away some free drinks though).

And if McDonald’s could have predicted this recession, they probably wouldn’t have decided to follow a business model that relied heavily on high discretionary consumer spending.

Clusterstock is out in full force this morning and Corey Lorinsky has some ideas on how McDonald’s will be firing up the excuse train:

In Kansas City, Mo., for instance, the average number of specialty coffee drinks sold per restaurant peaked in early December at 359. As of the last week in June, that average had fallen to 217.

If McDonald’s new coffee drinks fail, we can already hear their defense:

  1. Hot drinks don’t sell well in the summer.
  2. Just wait until we start marketing!
  3. Once gas comes down, the drinks will sell like hotcakes.
  4. The new beverage-counter renovations may be expensive, but wait until next quarter…when we’ll have less Starbucks to compete with!

Maybe McDonald’s should just stick to killing us with deliciously destructive fast food? I demand more creatively marketed quadruple stacked burgers with my fancy coffee!

ClusterStock: As Goes Starbucks, So Goes McDonald’s?, July 21, 2008