Ok, so explain to me. Heat takes money to produce. How can serving a beverage at a hotter temperature be cheaper?
I'll explain it to you. As slowly as required.
Oh yes, please talk down to me.
At the time, McDonald's offered free coffee refills in the USA. So if you sit in the restaurant and drink your coffee, and finish it, you go to the counter and get another one for free. Which costs about twice as much as one coffee.
To avoid this, McDonald's served the coffee so that it was undrinkable hot. So now you eat your food waiting for your coffee to cool down, wait a bit because it is still too hot, then you drink it and now you have spend so much time in a "fast food" restaurant that you don't have time to get another coffee and repeat the waiting game. No free second coffee = money saved for McDonalds.
Ok, so, listen to what you just wrote. It has all the earmarks of a "made by live steam to save money"-grade urban legend -- overly complicated, unlikely, and flying in the face of common sense. It's even possible that a lawyer said this in a closing argument at some time, when they're not required to tell the truth, and can say anything they think will win their case. That doesn't make it true. That actually makes it less likely to be true.
About the temperature: A woman suffered instant third degree burns by pouring coffee on her trousers. If you drank that coffee, you would suffer instant third degree burns in your mouth. If I walked through the restaurant with a coffee and by accident stumbled over my own feet and dropped the coffee on a child, the child would suffer third degree burns. McDonald's was aware of this because they had settled over 700 cases out of court. But they told their staff to make the coffee so hot, so they could claim to offer free refills without anyone taking them up on that offer.
I'm sorry, this doesn't pass the bullshit test. Again, overly complicated explanation demonstrating a galactic-overloard-grade evil mindset that defies either common sense or direct observation. The fact remains that every "premium" coffee franchise serves regular coffee in this temperature range (and americano even higher) today. (Again, you can test this for yourself.) And their *business* is selling coffee.
Tell you what, let's been intellectually honest here -- I challenge you to go through the nearest Starbucks drive-thru, order a black regular coffee, and then test the temperature. I have already done this. You don't even need to report back. I would like you to see for yourself.