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    McD's Give Out Free McCafe Drinks

    Maine and New Hampshire units aim to build awareness of the new specialty coffees.

    AUBURN, Maine -- McDonald's restaurants in Maine and eastern New Hampshire are offering free McCafe drinks as part of a promotion to "build awareness" of the new specialty coffee line at stores in those areas, Nation’s Restaurant News reported, citing a spokeswoman for a regional McDonald's franchisee group.

    On Jan. 23, the participating McDonald's restaurants gave away free hot vanilla lattes. The promotion continues Jan. 31, with free hot chocolates, and concludes Feb. 7, with free hot cappuccinos. The free drinks are offered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the designated days.

    "Hopefully customers will find out they can enjoy higher-end cappuccinos and lattes at an affordable price," Kristel Wagner, a spokeswoman for the McDonald’s Owner-Operator Association of Maine, told Nation’s Restaurant News.

    McCafe, which includes gourmet coffee drinks and hot chocolate, is being rolled out to 42 area stores and is expected to be in all Maine and New Hampshire stores by June.

    McDonald’s spokesman Ben Lincoln said the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain plans to complete the McCafe program rollout to all 6,500 of its domestic units by mid-2009.

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