Hungry Jack's has started serving barista-made coffee in Australia – 26 years after McCafe launched

Jack’s Cafe. Image, supplied.
  • Hungry Jack’s has started serving barista-made coffee in Australia for the first time.
  • The Jack’s Cafe pilot is happening across five restaurants, including Kambah, Belconnen, Fyshwick, Gungahlin and Queanbeyan.
  • The new coffee line comes after Hungry Jack’s unveiled its new plant-based burger, the Rebel Whopper, last week.

Need coffee? Hungry Jack’s is fighting to serve your next coffee order, with an Australian-first trial of what it is calling Jack’s Cafe launching 26 years after McDonald’s McCafe started serving its customers coffee.

But before you start gathering your friends for brunch, the cafes won’t be taking up a whole section of the restaurant, like a McCafe. The restaurants will instead be getting a coffee machine, training up staff as baristas and adding new beverage items to the menu.

Hungry Jack’s announced the pilot on Tuesday, which gives you the option of buying barista made coffee — or any other bevvy of your choice such as iced drinks and flavoured lattes — through the drive-thru or in the restaurant.

The cafe menu will be available at five Hungry Jack’s restaurants in the Australian Capital Territory, including Kambah, Belconnen, Fyshwick and Gungahlin, plus in the New South Wales town of Queanbeyan. More restaurants are set to start serving coffee later in the year.

The reason why it is kicking off in Canberra will have Melburnians laughing into their almond lattes.

“Canberra was selected as the first location for the trial because it has a great coffee culture, we wanted to test our offering with true coffee connoisseurs and prove that Jack’s Café barista coffee can hold its own against leading local baristas,” a Hungry Jack’s spokesperson told Business Insider Australia in an email.

Hungry Jack’s said the cafes are a “much broader strategic opportunity” than simply rivalling McCafe, which first opened in Australia back in 1993 in Melbourne. In other words, Hungry Jack’s wants to take advantage of Australia’s addiction to barista-made coffee.

“The Australian coffee industry is worth $15 billion and growing, selling more than 4.4 billion cups of coffee every year from 175,000 espresso coffee service points, in order for Hungry Jack’s to compete within the Australian coffee market, we needed to provide a product that meets customers expectation for great tasting barista coffee,” the spokesperson said.

Hungry Jack’s chief marketing officer Scott Baird said in a statement the new cafes were created in response to the growing demand for barista-made coffee while on the go. It’s surprising how long it has taken the fast food chain to cater to this demand – when McDonald’s has been in the game for 26 years.

“We know our customers love the convenience of our drive-thru and Jack’s Café will elevate our offering, with the introduction of barista coffee and speciality beverages,” he said.

“The Canberra trial will ensure the right foundations are in place to execute high quality barista coffee in all of our restaurants and we look forward to bringing this concept to all of our customers in the future.”

The Jack’s Cafés come a week after Hungry Jack’s unveiled its new plant-based burger, the Rebel Whopper.

At the time, Hungry Jack’s CEO Chris Green told Business Insider Australia that the burger was designed for flexitarians, the group of people who eat meat but potentially want to reduce their meat intake.

“We said we’ve got a vegan [product], we’ve got a vegetarian product – we wanted something that was more mainstream in supporting flexitarians,” Green said.

Read more: We tried Hungry Jack’s new plant-based, meat-free Whopper – and found it’s pretty close to the real deal

Let’s just see if the coffee is better at Hungry Jack’s.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.