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(Aug. 20, 2001) MONTREAL -- Canada has become the 15th country to take on the McCafe coffee bistro concept from McDonald's Corp.

McDonald's Restaurants of Canada launched its first stand-alone McCafe bistro in Longueuil, Quebec, on Aug. 15. It is one of three concepts being tested.

Another is the simple extension of a counter in an existing McDonald's restaurant, on trial in Burlington, Ontario, while a third, with a separate special counter within an existing restaurant, will open soon in Maple Ridge, British Columbia

"We're also going to test a full market in the fall, in London, Ontario, with 16 various McCafe openings, including three in Wal-Mart outlets," said Jim Fox, national director of operations development.

McCafes have a major price advantage over other specialty coffee locations such as Second Cup and Starbucks, Mr. Fox said.

The Longueuil subway station's ticket booth and turnstiles have been wrapped, and three creative executions for backlit posters have been developed to support the first McCafe opening.

The communications agency is Cossette Communication-Marketing. -- Gail Chiasson

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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