Leading quick service restaurant giant McDonald’s Philippines (Golden Arches Development Corporation) is primed for recovery this year following the innovations it launched last year to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the continuous difficulties posed by the health crisis McDonald’s was able to end 2020 with a 655-store base and the opening of 16 new stores, including the largest one in the country in Capital Town, Pampanga. It is also set to open at least 30 new stores this year.
“As we open new stores during these trying times, we are able to generate much needed job opportunities for more Filipinos and demonstrate our outlook of economic recovery in the near future,” said President & CEO Kenneth Yang.
McDonald’s was able to leverage its business fundamentals with its safe operating culture and strong brand and community involvement, reinforcing its support to its people (employees and customers) and fortifying its strategic investments prior to 2020 to accelerate business segments like McDelivery and Drive Thru.
With the rising homebound economy and the exponential growth of e-commerce, the company leveraged its McDelivery channel as a source of growth.
McDonald’s has taken the opportunity to scale its food delivery aggregator partnerships with GrabFood and foodpanda, which allowed customers more options to enjoy their favorites conveniently. This has widened the reach and exponentially increased the growth in delivery.
The company also strengthened its Drive Thru segment and championed customer inclusivity through its initiatives like Ride-Thru and Park-Order-Pay, which encourages all sorts of vehicles to experience McDonald’s in their vehicles, on-the-go.
These innovations, supported by increasing cashless payment solutions in these segments, allowed McDonald’s Delivery and Drive-Thru services to grow significantly accounting for 60 percent of its total sales. The company also logged a 28.6 percent growth in cashless transactions in 2020.
Due to the limitation on public gatherings, the company launched Party-To-Go and Send To Many options, enabling safe celebrations at home. McDonald’s also introduced a wide array of new products to delight its customers such as the McDo Spicy Burger, Spicy McNuggets, shakes, sundae blends and the McSpaghetti platter.
“Our priority has always been to constantly evolve and introduce innovations for our customers, and for them to enhance their safe and frictionless experience across all channels. This continued roll out of our offerings is a strategic investment as we continue to surpass difficulties and thrive during this time of initial recovery,” Yang said.
At the onset of the lockdown last year, McDonald’s was also quick to launch the McDonald’s Kindness Kitchen through the Ronald McDonald House Charities. It repurposed the kitchens of its stores that were temporarily closed to prepare the meals of its beneficiaries, especially frontliners who work tirelessly to keep people safe as well as members of communities who remain embattled and experience hunger.
Having malasakit ingrained in the company’s values, the QSR giant has served over 460,000 meals to 229 communities, 26 non-government organizations, 133 government agencies, over 250 hospitals, and 61 quarantine centers nationwide to date.
“Our commitment to people has always been embedded in our core values. We understand the significant role we play in ensuring that we support communities in need, especially during the most trying of times,” Yang said.
The company has also allotted the space of its underutilized party rooms for the use of teachers who had difficulties transitioning to distance learning. The opening of over 220 “McClassrooms” in October all over the country with free access to Wi-Fi and McCafé coffee was well received by the public during Teacher’s Month.
McDonald’s likewise launched its M Safe program to ensure the safety of its employees, offices and restaurants in order to serve customers across its different touchpoints safely.
M Safe became an avenue for the company to demonstrate its commitment to support the government in its bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. M Safe was acknowledged by the government and other external stakeholders, particularly for its initiatives that include mass testing for its own frontliners (restaurant managers and crew) and the integration of the IATF-endorsed contact tracing system, Stay Safe, across all stores.
McDonald’s further extended its support to Task Force T3, a consortium of private companies that partner with the government for its test, trace and treat initiatives against COVID-19. McDonald’s actively took part in Task Force T3’s Ingat Angat campaign, the country’s biggest consumer confidence campaign to restart the economy safely.
The QSR giant also announced that it will be providing free COVID-19 vaccines for its employees to help the government accelerate the national vaccination program.