McDonald’s Philippines to open 15 stores within the year despite pandemic

Quick-service restaurant giant McDonald's Philippines will push through with its scaled-down expansion plan this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We had to adjust our expansion plan with this crisis but we will continue to open about 15 stores this year. Of course, that is already a reduced number," said McDonald's Philippines President and CEO Kenneth Yang in an online press conference Tuesday.

McDonald’s Philippines to open 15 stores within the year despite pandemic

In 2019, the company opened 58 new stores across the country, bringing its total number of branches to 668 nationwide.

McDonald's, however, had to temporarily shut down almost half of its branches when the lockdown took effect in March.

But since the country shifted to more relaxed community quarantine protocols in June, at least 93 percent of McDonald's branches have already resumed operations, Managing Director Margot Torres said.

"We are seeing sales growth from dine-in since it was allowed (in the latter part of June) but most of our revenues have been from pick-up, drive-thru and delivery channels," Torres said.

Sales from delivery channels grew "three-fold" from pre-pandemic levels, she said.

Torres said McDonald's Philippines was quick to adopt measures that would ensure safe and convenient ways to order and enjoy food.

"We have a dedicated safety manager per store who makes sure all safety and hygiene protocols are followed, including offering hand sanitizers every 30 minutes to our customers and enforcing the 'no mask, no entry' policy, temperature checks, hand and footwear disinfection, and completion of a health check form. Counter and table shields have been put in place as well," she said.

Employees, on the other hand, are given M Safe Care kits that include vitamins to help them stay healthy. They are also required to follow enhanced safety protocols.

“Quality, service, safety, cleanliness and value have always been part of McDonald’s philosophy when it comes to operating its restaurants. As we continue to bring feel good moments for Filipinos in the new normal, we constantly strengthen all our practices and protocols for our customers, employees and partners” said Yang. 

McDonald’s has also maximized digital innovations for contact-less transactions, including no-touch channels such as ordering through its mobile app or website, or even through its Faceboom Messenger chatbot.

It also rolled out its Park, Order and Pay policy in select stores wherein customers can just park, order from a McDonald’s crew without leaving the car, pay and wait for their order to be brought to them.

McDonald’s Philippines to open 15 stores within the year despite pandemic

McDonald’s is also available through platforms such as McDelivery, GrabFood, and FoodPanda.

"We did not have a hard time adjusting because from the very start, McDonald's has prioritized cleanliness and safety. We just had to elevate or level up our protocols," Torres said.

"Safety, cleanliness, value for money and convenience are all part of our DNA, even before COVID-19 started," she added.

Topics: McDonald's Philippines , COVID-19 pandemic , Kenneth Yang , community quarantine protocols
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