McDonald's Corp., the world's biggest restaurant chain, plans to add specialty coffee counters in as many as 14,000 U.S. stores in coming years.
The coffee areas will serve frappes, lattes and cappuccinos, spokeswoman Danya Proud said today in an interview.
Remodeling restaurants and adding equipment to prepare the new beverages will cost as much as $100,000 per restaurant, Donald Thompson, McDonald's U.S. chief, told analysts in November.
McDonald's increased U.S. coffee sales by 39 percent in the first nine months of 2007 after introducing a stronger blend in 2006 to compete with Starbucks Corp. It has added cappuccinos and lattes to two-thirds of its 13,804 U.S. restaurants to tap growth in the $60 billion-a-year beverage market.
McDonald's rose 98 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $58.03 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares rose 33 percent last year, while Starbucks declined 42 percent. ( Bloomberg )