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McDonald's offers free coffee for breakfasters

Mcdonald's coffee

NEW YORK (AP) -- McDonald's is offering free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies.

The world's biggest hamburger chain announced Friday that participating U.S. locations will offer small cups of McCafe coffee at no charge during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13.

McDonald's said that this is the first time it's ever had a free coffee event nationwide. Its McCafe product line, which also includes iced coffees and other drinks, debuted in the U.S. in 2009.

The Oak Brook, Ill., company is hoping that the coffee giveaway will bring in new customers. It's also a way to get existing customers to come in more frequently. And it's likely that those stopping by for a free coffee will be tempted to pick up a breakfast sandwich or other items while there.

Breakfast is an important component of McDonald's business, comprising about 20 percent of its U.S. sales.

The announcement comes as Taco Bell rolls out ads to promote its new breakfast menu, which includes a waffle taco. The ads star everyday men that happen to be named Ronald McDonald, the same name as McDonald's mascot.

Chains like McDonald's Corp., Taco Bell and Starbucks Corp. - which recently revamped its sandwiches - are all fighting for a piece of the breakfast market because people are increasingly buying breakfast on the go.

McDonald's coffee giveaway comes shortly after it reported that an important sales figure declined 1.4 percent at established U.S. locations in February. The chain blamed bad winter weather but also said that "challenging industry dynamics" played a role. The company has worked on adapting by making menu changes such as giving an option for egg whites in breakfast sandwiches and adding chicken McWraps to help appeal to those looking for fresher, healthier food.

For a long time McDonald's, which started offering breakfast nationally in 1975 with the roll out of the Egg McMuffin, has dominated the morning category. Rival Burger King came out with their breakfast menu in 1979 and others have followed. The latest is Taco Bell, which launched its new breakfast menu on Thursday.

But McDonald's is still a force - it's 31 percent of the category makes it the No. 1 player in breakfast, according to market researcher Technomic.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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missyangela23 March 28 2014 at 8:41 PM

I haven't had their coffee for a long time, but they have good lemon and water........

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thomashollman19 March 28 2014 at 5:00 PM

THEY NO LONGER PAY FOR SCOLDED CROTCHES

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2 replies
netter7010 thomashollman19 March 28 2014 at 5:19 PM

don't think they ever paid for "scolded" crotches

Flag Reply +3 rate up
chefstu4748 thomashollman19 March 28 2014 at 6:12 PM

hey genius, the word is "scalded" not "scolded" lmao/ did you go to public school?

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1 reply
Fred chefstu4748 March 28 2014 at 7:02 PM

he did, thats why the spelling error.

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dxjj1 March 28 2014 at 11:28 AM

If they give you free coffee they hope you will buy something else ?

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john March 28 2014 at 4:45 PM

please keep a lid on the hot cup of coffee

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Jeffrey March 28 2014 at 2:02 PM

Always thought local Donunt shops should give free coffee with the purchase of any donut!

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1 reply
klassikars Jeffrey March 29 2014 at 12:04 AM

They ought to, just to wash the lard down.

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roddiewood March 28 2014 at 12:59 PM

Good thing, Only in America!

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MR. KNUCKLES March 28 2014 at 12:03 PM

THANK YOU McDONALDS

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My Wonderful Me March 28 2014 at 3:01 PM

Love McDonalds breakfast, coffee is good also.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
onlyjudy13 March 28 2014 at 12:12 PM

Years ago Wendy's had a breakfast sandwich that was amazing. It was scrambled eggs, bacon & cheese. It was really good. You could get it alone or with tater rounds. Wish they still offered it.

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Robert L Doak March 28 2014 at 12:55 PM

Wow: my 96 years thanks you. I'll donate the cost plus to Ronald McDonald.

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