Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wai Gao WOW!

China's Wai Gao Qiao free trade zone is the home of McDonald's 2nd drive-thru in the country. It opened on 12 January 2006 (The McChronicles is proud to have covered that event) and has been providing great service ever since.

We stopped back in to see how they were doing now that they have had time to settle into their groove. We are very pleased to report that this store is exemplifying a great commitment to, and success with, the principles of Quality, Service, and Cleanliness (QSC). We found the store to be VERY clean and the service to be excellent.

One big reason for this success is store Manager Steven HOU Yan Ping.

The McChronicles interviewed Steven on the progress of this store, his view of McDonald's in the community, and his future. Here is what he had to say (all translated - not Steven's exact words. Any errors are totally attributable to The McChronicles' linguistic limitations):

Describe the typical Wai Gao Qiao Drive-Thru customer:
We serve a lot of local office workers and taxi drivers in this industrial zone. 90% of our business comes directly from the free trade zone. Many times one person will drop in and purchase lunch for everyone in the office. We also serve a high number of international travelers, especially at lunch time. Since this is a business zone, we serve most people at lunch time. Our night business serves night shift workers.

Do you deliver?:
We have no formal delvery program, but we do deliver large orders to nearby locations.

What are the challenges you face in this industrial setting?:
The business challenges are minimal because McDonald's corporate gives us so much support. My personal challenges are two-fold:
  1. executing the process of converting a new staff member who, initially, may have absolutely NO knowledge of, or exposure to, the McDonald's brand, into a very productive member of the team.
  2. providing GREAT customer service.
What do customers like about this store?:
They really like the value, the service speed, the free internet, the food quality ... 'QSC'! (laughing). Our 'Made For You' program is very helpful when it comes to customer satisfaction. I really like being able to provide our customer products that are made-fresh and delivered fast.

Tell us about the upcoming Olympics in China, and the McDonald's sponsorship:
Just like when the world's McDonald's sent crew members to work at the France Olympics, we will be doing the same in China. This store hopes to send crew to the China Olympics. I would love to be selected for involvement.

The McChronicles can vouch for Steven's sincerity and authenticity. This guy is the real deal. He truly is lovin' it as a McDonald's Manager. We would love to see him selected for the Olympics crew program. Good luck, Steven. Thanks for the interview, and for such a great store experience.

The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Images: The McChronicles.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Old Shanghai

The restaurant on East Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China is a typical, nondescript McDonald's. It has many of the "standard" features that we have all become accustomed to, including the faux "wood grain" tile floor.

The McChronicles dove into this haven during a particularly hot (38C, 100F) day. We needed the air conditioning as well as the icy-cold refreshment during our stroll down the pedestrian mall.

What struck our fancy was the theme. This store is adorned with several photos of Shanghai in the "old days".

If you're ever in the neighborhood, do pay this McDonald's a visit. Especially if you're in need of refuge from the intense summer heat.

The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Image: The McChronicles.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Connecting With Customers

McDonald's held their Q2 2006 Earnings Conference Call last week - read a transcript. In this open discussion with the investment world, James A. Skinner, Vice Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer of McDonald's said (among many, many other interesting things):

"We are connecting with customers on their terms, whether it is through
internet blogs, text-messaging, or conventional advertising."

The McChronicles is aware of several consumer-written blogs about the company (and we guess that there are a ton more that we don't know about), but we are aware of only two corporate McDonald's blogs. They are:

Bob's work is a bit dry, sparse, and defensive, while Steve's site seems more relaxed, fun, varied, interesting, etc. This makes total sense when the goal/purpose of each blog is understood. Both are well-written & passionate, and each has a clear, specific point. Neither is updated too frequently.

Anyway, if you know of a corporate McDonald's blog that we're missing, please do COMMENT and bring it to our attention (we LOVE this stuff).


The McChronicles: A blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.