McDonald's To Expand With New Spin-Off Restaurant Chain, CosMc's

Following its successful run with the Grimace birthday meal and its boldly purple Grimace Shake, McDonald's is doubling down on the nostalgia business, reviving yet another throwback ad character from the '80s, the McDonald's-obsessed alien, CosMc. This time, the company isn't just offering a specialty meal but launching a full-blown spin-off restaurant line named after and themed around the CosMc character.

As discussed in the McDonald's Q2 earnings call, the company noted the viral success of bringing back Grimace. "Grimace has been everywhere the past few months, all over the news and more than 3 billion views on TikTok. Not bad for a 52nd birthday," said Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's president and CEO. Not long after mentioning the Grimace success, Kempczinski dropped some hints about the upcoming CosMc's restaurant line. The venture will start small at a few landmark spots, he said, in "a small format concept with all the DNA of McDonald's but its own unique personality."

Though the new business ventures team is currently working on the project, the first CosMc's location isn't expected to open its doors until early 2024. More details on the restaurant line will be released on Investor's Day at the end of 2023.

Another '80s McDonald's character in the spotlight

So who is CosMc, the namesake of this new fast food foray? Introduced in the late 1980s, CosMc came complete with six arms, a flying space suit, and an insatiable hunger for classic McDonald's food. In a 1987 ad story, CosMc comes across McDonald's through a trade mission from outer space, snagging a bunch of cheeseburgers from Ronald and Co. before Ronald uses his McMagnet to pull the fast food back. Ah, the wonderful and wild times of '80s advertising.

A Happy Meal promo from that same year included a CosMc Crayola packet of chalk, crayons, markers, or paints for kids. By 1992, CosMc was concluding its tenure as a McDonald's character, making a brief appearance on the "M.C. Kids" Nintendo game. Though it isn't the most iconic of McDonald's characters, CosMc offers the fast food brand a way to jump on the resurgent popularity of space travel. According to a recent Pew research study, young Americans aged 18 to 29, a key market for McDonald's, are particularly interested in space tourism and travel. Plus, with the recent UFO reveals from the former Air Force whistleblower, the stars seem to be aligning for a proper alien-themed fast food restaurant.

Only time will tell if the CosMc's endeavor will lead to such viral fuss as it did for the Grimace shake. But maybe it's time to discover what a CosMc astronaut ice cream milkshake might taste like.