Want Milk In Your Coffee? At Some McDonald's, You'll Have To Buy A Whole Carton

McDonald’s wants to be your caffeine pusher of choice, and promotes their inexpensive brewed coffee and frozen creations as quick, convenient, and cheap. $1 is the price point advertised on billboards. Cheap! What they don’t mention in these ads, though, is that price applies if you want your coffee black or with cream or half and half. If you prefer milk in your coffee, some franchises will accommodate you, but at others, you’re going to have to pay for a half-pint carton of milk.

Paul, who likes milk in his coffee, wrote in:

On a recent trip across Ohio, I stopped at 2 McDonalds to buy coffee. My preference is have coffee with milk (whole, 2%, or Non-fat) not cream. Unfortunately, McDonalds only provides cream or half and half; milk is extra! In both instances, I had to buy a small bottle of milk to add to my coffee: coffee $1.49, milk $1.00. So much for their billboards advertising $1.00 cups of coffee. Of course the billboards picture a cup of black coffee.

I complained about being charged extra for milk, and was told that it is a franchiser prerogative to charge or not.

By the time you spend $2.50, you might as well go to Starbucks for your brewed coffee. There, the milk is free!

From a practical point of view, this makes sense: as far as I know, no one makes little tablespoon-sized single-serve containers of milk, like they do for half-and-half. Having milk available requires an insulated pitcher, a carton on ice, or other arrangements that don’t really work at a McDonald’s.