7 Summer Drink Creations That Could Juice Fast Food Stock Margins

by InvestorPlace Staff | May 4, 2011 5:46 am

McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD[1]) has changed the fast food industry in many ways since its first franchised location opened over 50 years ago. And one of it’s most recent contributions is the idea that a burger joint can be a specialty drink powerhouse, too. A 2008 study showed that Mickey D’s stores offering premium McCafe coffees generated 15% more revenue than a standard location.

So it’s no surprise that every fast food joint under the sun is trying to get in on the beverage biz. Specialty drinks are a high-margin business and are an easy way to experiment with creative new flavors to reach new customers.

The summer heat is a perfect occasion for testing these thirst quenchers, and a laundry list of quick-service restaurants are rolling out drinks that include a Double Stuff Oreo shake, frozen strawberry lemonade and new zero-calorie sodas. Here are some of the highlights:

All of these drinks probably won’t come cheap — and that’s the idea. As fast-food restaurants look to boost margins amid food price inflation, premium specialty beverages are the simplest way to “juice” the numbers.

As for who will win the summer drink wars, only time will tell. But it sure will be a treat to test all these new offerings for yourself in the months ahead.

  1. MCD: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=MCD
  2. SONC: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SONC
  3. WEN: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=WEN
  4. SBUX: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SBUX

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