I am someone who is desperate for his morning fix of coffee as soon as my eyes first open in the morning. I cannot seem to function without it. Normally I brew my own pot of coffee and fill up my travel mugs before I leave the house in the morning, but sometimes I don't have enough time and feel like stopping at the local Starbucks for my morning fix.
I know the prices of Starbucks has been steadily rising over the past years, but when I went a few days ago I really paid attention. Why? Because I have really been enjoying Mcdonalds mcCafe app, and starting on January 1st it appears they opened up my franchise rich area up to their McCafe rewards program.
So back to my story. My two cups of coffee I bought at Starbucks cost me $12.23. One had soy for a lactose intolerant friend, but the other coffee was just a standard Venti (20 ounce) beverage. I really feel that at $6 a cup for a drink Starbucks is pricing itself outside the reach of people who just want their morning fix of coffee.
The following day I went to McDonalds and ordered the same drink I always get from Starbucks. A large cappuccino. It came out to the price of $3.62 that's a great bargain compared to Starbucks. What also amazed me is how perfect the machine at McDonalds always creates a cappuccino. It is the perfect amount of foam to espresso. When you go to Starbucks at least 1/2 the time I order a large cappuccino I get a latte instead of a cappuccino. I understand it feels like they are cheating me by not filling the entire cup with milk, but a cappuccino is supposed to be mostly milk foam.
I am a huge fan of the new Mcdonalds reward system. It is simple. Buy 5 McCafe beverages get one free. It doesn't matter what size the drink is. On the other hand with Starbucks, you are required to load a Starbucks card (essentially an interest free loan) with money before you use the card to earn rewards. For every dollar spent you get 2 points. Occasionally they have better rewards earning point schemes, but the standard is 2 points per dollar. To get a free drink you essentially have to spend $62.50 to get the requisite number of stars.
One nice thing about the Starbucks reward system is that you can redeem your free drink for a sandwich as well. But the simplicity of just ordering 5 drinks and getting one free is much easier to understand and get behind.
Based on my experience I would only have to pay approximately $18.10 and you can spend less if you get small drinks off the McCafe menu in order to get a free drink. That's a much better bargain for quality coffee that I find arguably better at least at making a cappuccino. One downside to McCafe is that they only offer milk based drinks. They do not offer soy or any nut milks as an option. But assuming you are not lactose intolerant Mcdonalds has a compelling value proposition.
One thing I should also point out is that McDonald's has great coupons for the McCafe menu. Almost every week since I have had the app they have offered a buy one medium drink get one medium drink free. What a bargain. The cost of a medium cappuccino is $3.12 at my local store. So two fancy coffee drinks for $3.12 is a great bargain.
If you have a chance give McDonald’s a try for your morning coffee fix. The food may not be the best, but to get my caffeine fix: “I’m loving it”