Whenever McDonald's Corp. is burdened by a management team that's never run restaurants said management team has to pretend to be "restauranteurs" and venture outside the hamburger business into something more modern or trendy. Rember Boston Market, Donatos, Pret a Manger?
Actually, the launch of McCafe was supposed to result in the opening of a national chain of trendy coffee shops to compete directly with Starbucks. At the time, Starbucks was the darling of Wall Street, and Howard Schultz could do no wrong. If McDonald's management wasn't thinking this way, I can assure you that McDonald's investors envisioned such a chain; instead, they got bags of coffee in grocery stores.
McDonald's investors assume that just because someone achieves the rank of McDonald's CEO, that person is a skilled and experienced restaurant operator, not just a corporate bureaucrat.