Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco Has McDonald’s Giving Away Free Coffee

In Customer Engagement, Featured on App by Vaughn Highfield

Waffle Taco Taco Bell

McDonald’s fears the taco

McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast food chain, dominating the corner of many a town and city street. So, you’d think that it wouldn’t bat an eyelid when potential competition comes to town. But Taco Bell’s newest item on the menu, the Waffle Taco, has caused a storm online. And McDonald’s isn’t going to take it lying down.

It’s response?

Give away free coffee.

Yes, that’s right. McDonald’s, also the US’ most popular coffee seller, is giving away it’s reasonably-priced cups of coffee for absolutely free between March 31st and April 13th. This is the first time McDonald’s has ever given away it’s coffee for absolutely nothing.

This is because McDonald’s takes breakfast seriously. Very seriously. It may well only serve it’s morning menu until half 10 in the morning, but it actually accounts for over one quarter of US sales. So, free coffee is a sure-fire way to keep people coming back time and time again to those golden arches.

It’s a little slice of reward for those who remain loyal to McDonald’s, but it’s also a way to reign in more business if they manage to market the promotion properly.

Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco is just one reason why it’s unnerved about it’s breakfast space. Almost anywhere that sells food or coffee is looking at muscling into this exponentially expanding market. And that’s bad news for McDonald’s finances if they start losing out. It’s already seen poor sales in the last quarter, and the one before that, but breakfast isn’t the key thing to blame there.

The hope is that anyone who stops by for a free coffee will decide that they can part with some cash on an item of it’s breakfast menu. In doing this, it should mean more people keep coming back to sample more and more of its Egg McMuffin’s or a couple of hash browns. Some will actually drink the coffee for the first time, helping spur later coffee sales if all goes well.

“We know that coffee drives the visits at our breakfast time,” said CEO Donald Thompson in a January earnings call.

But could an injection of caffeine really save the chain?

What are your thoughts on McDonald’s brazen marketing move?


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