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By JOHN FRIEDLEIN
ELIZABETHTOWN — The question — “Would you like fries with that?” — is so 2007.
These days, it’s more like — “Would you like an iced vanilla latte with non-fat milk with that?”
The franchisee-owned McDonald’s on West Dixie Avenue is one of the first stores in the area to turn its employees into baristas. The restaurant on Monday began serving McCafé specialty coffees.
“Someone who is a true coffee lover is going to love this product,” said Iris Donahue, training coordinator.
The rest of the local McDonald’s stores soon will offer the drinks. While no definite dates have been set, a press release said Kentuckiana- area McDonald’s restaurants will offer the coffees by the end of September. The Web site — www.mymccafe.com — lists which restaurants have begun selling them.
Some stores have to be renovated to accommodate the espresso machines.
The West Dixie Avenue site, though, was made to accommodate the new line when the store was rebuilt last year. Employees of other local McDonald’s stores trained there Wednesday.
“They’re learning everything they need to know about coffee beans, espresso, lattes, mochas — the whole nine yards,” Donahue said.
A cappuccino is the other McCafé offering. Iced lattes and mochas also are available, as are flavorings, such as caramel. Customers also can choose between non-fat or whole milk.
“It’s a premium product,” Donahue said of the new coffee line. The different options cater to customers’ unique tastes.
“McDonald’s has taken strides to increase coffee and beverage options since the launch of its Premium Roast Coffee in 2006, and has continued its focus on providing customers the variety they want, with the introduction of iced coffee and the McCafé specialty coffees,” according to the press release.
Prices for hot drinks start at $2.29 for a small.
Also, employees grind the dark roast beans as customers order their drinks.
“It’s almost like aromatherapy,” Donahue said. “When you work in the area, it smells so good.”
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746.