You know McDonald’s for its Golden Arches, golden fries, and its dressed-in-golden-overalls clown mascot. But now, the fast food chain — already riding high from the success of returning a former mascot — says it is gearing up to test a spinoff restaurant based on a member of McDonaldland.
During its second-quarter earnings call Thursday, CEO Chris Kempczinski said McDonald’s will begin testing these spinoff restaurants, called CosMc’s, early next year, CNBC reports.
CosMc was a part-alien, part-vehicle character that appeared in McDonald’s advertisements from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. He also reportedly had a brief appearance in the video game “M.C. Kids.”
He can contract his head, arms, and legs into his vehicle, described as “a round Sputnik like object” in a McDonald’s manual. The character takes things literally, the manual adds, and speaks in a “hip and unique mixture of Earth slang (both old and new).”
“CosMc’s fun-loving and wacky,” the manual continues. “Being not of this planet, he misunderstands most of Earth’s customs and language. That causes enjoyable chaos when he’s around.”
It isn’t clear how much influence CosMc will have on the spinoff restaurants, but they may have some “wacky” features.
“CosMc’s is a small-format concept with all the DNA of McDonald’s but its own unique personality,” Kempczinski said, adding that these locations will be tested “in a small handful of sites in a limited geography” early next year.
Few other details were revealed Thursday, but more are expected to be released at the end of the year. A McDonald’s spokesperson did not immediately return Nexstar’s request for comment.
This is the latest of the nostalgic characters and offerings McDonald’s has brought back.
Earlier this year, McDonald’s again turned to its large purple tastebud Grimace for a campaign, selling a limited-time Grimace Birthday Meal that came complete with a brand-new (and very purple) berry-vanilla shake. Despite a viral trend of teens sharing videos of themselves “dying”, or pretending to befall some other horrific fate after drinking the Grimace shake, the campaign helped fuel McDonald’s to a surprisingly strong second quarter of sales.
“Grimace has been everywhere the past few months. All over the news, and more than 3 billion views on TikTok,” Kempczinski said Thursday. “This viral phenomenon is yet another proof point of the power of marketing at McDonald’s today.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.