It may be a fast food chain, but McDonald’s is bringing in baristas to lure coffee aficionados from its more upmarket high street rivals.
In a trial that will start in London, staff will be trained to use traditional espresso machines instead of existing automatic machines.
The company will continue making its coffee using freshly-ground beans, it added.
The move pushes McDonald’s into territory occupied by Pret A Manger, Caffe Nero, Starbucks and Costa Coffee and comes as the number of coffee shops in Britain rose to more than 24,000 last year.
Paul Pomroy, the boss of McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland, said: ‘Coffee drinkers are our most frequent customers and people may be surprised to know that we are second in this market.
‘To keep pace with changing customer expectations, we are trialling barista-made coffee in some of our London restaurants.’
McDonald’s has more than 1,200 stores in the UK and is the second biggest food and drink chain behind Costa.
It rolled out a wider selection of coffees from 2012 under the McCafé brand, including espressos and lattes, as well as the more recently trendy flat white.
The company says coffee is one of the most common drinks bought alongside its meals and it charges less than most of its competitors. A single espresso at McCafé costs 79p, while at Costa it costs £1.45 ($1,86).
Under chief executive Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s has modernised, introducing self-service machines and delivery services.
However, it is facing increasing competition from rivals which are trying to muscle in on the fast food market, particularly in the U.S.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.