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McDonald’s again offering free coffee to boost flagging sales

McDonald’s is offering free coffee again in an effort to boost its flagging U.S. sales and gain momentum in a fierce battle for breakfast customers.

The fast-food chain is giving away a small cup of McCafe coffee during breakfast hours through Sept. 29 at participating McDonald’s restaurants across the country, McDonald’s said Tuesday. It ran a similar promotion in March and April.

The Oak Brook, Ill., company is fighting with other quick-service chains and coffee shops for morning customers, one of the fastest-growing segments in the restaurant industry.

Taco Bell, for example, is rolling out its own breakfast options. Burger King announced last month it was buying coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons in a clear play for the breakfast market. In California, McDonald’s faces competition from Dunkin’ Donuts, which has begun to push aggressively into the state.

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In its second quarter, McDonald’s said sales in U.S. stores open at least a year, known as same-store sales, fell 1.5%. Net income was roughly flat compared with the same quarter last year.

The company first launched its McCafe line in the U.S. in 2009, which started with coffee and then ventured into lattes, smoothies and frappes.

Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi


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