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McDonalds vs Starbucks

Updated on August 23, 2017

The Brewing Battle

McDonalds and Starbucks are direct competitors in the coffee market these days. While McDonald's used to be just a place to get cheap fast food, they started offering espresso drinks few years ago, with the launch of the McCafe coffee line in the US. Likewise, the coffeehouse chain Starbucks added more hot breakfast items and heated sandwiches to their menus, as well as drive-thrus to some of their stores.

Both companies offer gourmet coffee drinks, food and snacks, and free wi-fi - but the atmosphere, prices and the taste are different. Where do you go for your cup of coffee? Make sure to share your opinion in the McDonalds vs Starbucks discussion below.

McDonald's Golden Arches.
McDonald's Golden Arches.


McDonald's is the largest fast food chain in the world, operating in 119 countries and serving over 58 million customers every day. Their usual menu includes hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries, salads, soft drinks and desserts.

The company launched a campaign called Unsnobby Coffee back in 2008 when they started expanding in the coffee market. The aim was to offer delicious gourmet retail coffee at a lower price than the competition. McDs added espresso machines to thousands of their locations, and rolled out aggressive ad campaigns for their new coffee offerings. McDonald's also owns the McCafe coffeehouse chain which has stores all over the world.

Online homepage:

Starbucks logo.
Starbucks logo.


Starbucks is the largest international coffeehouse chain in the world, with about 18,000 stores in more than 60 different countries (source). It is based in Seattle, Washington and was launched on March 30, 1971. Starbucks menu includes various coffee drinks, teas, hot breakfast items, salads, pastries, sandwiches, fruit and more.

The aim of the company seems to be providing a hangout where people come to have a coffee, read a newspaper or browse the net using the free WiFi. However, ater the latest McDonald's makeover in an attempt to offer the same things to their customers, Starbucks might have lost some of their target market.

Online homepage:

McDonalds vs Starbucks Discussion

Is McDonalds or Starbucks a better place to have a coffee? Which one makes better-tasting hot beverages?

ABC Nightline Coffee Wars Report

Starbucks versus McCafe Poll

Which store has tastier coffee?

See results


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I can't stand McDonalds coffee. And I can't stand Starbucks coffee. And why are we comparing a fast food chain designed for kids with a coffee shop designed for pretentious people? It's apples and oranges.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! I like McDonalds coffee!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Starbucks does have more choices.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Starbucks just because they have more variety and their product is higher quality than anything McDonalds can even offer.

    • Everyday-Miracles profile image


      9 years ago

      I have experienced coffee from both McDonalds and Starbucks and I don't like either. The one time I had coffee from McDonalds it was so bad that it put me off ever getting their coffee again. EVER! It might just have been "that" McDonalds, but a friend and I both absolutely hated it.

      I have a lot of problems with Starbucks, from the fact that they are overpriced for a relatively poor quality product to the fact that they try to tell me what I *should* eat by taking products off the menu that are high in fat (even if they are popular).

      The truth is that I'm practically "off" going out to get coffee because I can't find anywhere that they have good coffee any more! The Moolattes at Dairy Queen are the best I've had though!


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