When Consumer Reports magazine crowned McDonald’s the champ in a four-way coffee taste test against rival quick-service brands last month, many in the foodservice industry knew there was more at stake than just the bragging rights to a beverage beauty contest.Whereas fast-food chains once battled for sandwich-and-side-dish supremacy, the advent of specialty coffees as a lucrative profit center has all but transformed the QSR sector’s competitive landscape. Operators who used to see a cup of ...

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