Love Ko To! McDo continues PHL expansion despite pandemic

QUICK service restaurant chain McDonald’s Philippines bared on Tuesday, June 30, its initiative to keep expand its footprint nationwide this year with the opening of 15 more stores, bringing the total number of its branches to 683, amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

McDonald’s Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenneth S. Yang conceded that they need to adjust their plan at the onset of this crisis with fewer outlets than originally planned.

“That’s something we have to continue to assess as time goes [by], and let’s see how the economy will be able to sustain additional growth from the business. So we are flexible and ready to accelerate our growth once the circumstances allow,” he said during their online media briefing.

 Since the health emergency began, the fastfood giant has done innovations across its physical stores and digital platforms to embrace the so-called “new normal” while following the safety protocols set by the government.

“We have made a lot of adjustment, especially to ensure we continue to have revenue or sales and we continue to do that, and drive our omnichannel,” noted the top executive.

The company’s latest offerings include an ordering channel through the Facebook Messenger chatbot, which enables customers to place their orders online. The “Park, Order and Pay” is now on hand in some branches. The M Group Selections now allow small groups to celebrate with McDonald’s food at good value, available via McDelivery, drive thru, pick up or take out. 

The brand continues to be accessible via platforms such as McDelivery, GrabFood, and FoodPanda. Customers can check out deals and other special offers through the McDonald’s app that is downloadable on Android and iOS.

“As we continue and the lockdowns eased and people start to have the confidence to go out and dine out, we should see also ourselves improving,” Yang said. “But in the meantime, we will try to take advantage, exploit all these channels that are available to us so that we can continue to strengthen the business even now. And I think as we proceed in the future, we should see our business really solidify and also strengthen and be able to expoit dine-in.” 

At present, there are 668 McDonald’s stores nationwide, 93 percent of which are now open. With the recent resumption of dine-in services, the employees have complied to these safety protocols: daily submission of health check forms; temperature checks before and after every shift; increased hand washing frequency to every 30 minutes; provision of M Safe Care kits, including vitamins to help them take better care of their health. 

 To ensure physical distancing, the number of customers within the stores are managed. Before to their entry, they adhere to ‘no mask, no entry’ policy, temperature check, hand and footwear disinfection, and completion of a health check form. 

 Table service is done for dine-in customers. Counter and table shields are also in place. A dedicated safety manager is assigned in every store to make sure that all protocols are followed. A customers feedback is also encouraged via msafe@ph.mcd.com.

 “So quality, service, safety and cleanliness have always been part of the operating culture of McDonald’s. That’s why we’ve really put a lot of emphasis on safety ever since we started operating in the Philippines, but more so now, we’ve elevated our standards that are already stringent, and we’ve really reinforced cleanliness and sanitation,” said Margot B. Torres, managing director of McDonald’s Philippines. Patrick Villalobos

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