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McDonald’s Philippines goes high-tech, high-touch

Fast food giant unveils new store format called NxtGen
By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 05:14 AM October 19, 2018

McDonald’s NxtGen store in McKinley West, Taguig City

Digital tech has begun to take over McDonald’s stores in the Philippines, through cashless payment systems and self-ordering kiosks. Does this mean machines will be replacing service personnel?

On the contrary, says Margot Torres, McDonald’s Philippines managing director, as the new store format—called NxtGen—will feature multi-point ordering, which increases restaurants’ capacity to serve customers.

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“That means we have to be prepared in terms of our production crew, so we can serve all those orders,” says Torres.

There are now five NxtGen branches in Metro Manila: McKinley West in Taguig City; Madison Street, Greenhills, San Juan City; and Pioneer Reliance, Kapitolyo and Robinsons Galleria in Pasig City.

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These stores feature self-ordering kiosks, or  large touch screens where one can just tap on their orders and pay using their Visa or Mastercard.

Golden Arches’ chair George Yang and McDonald’s Philippines’ CEO Kenneth Yang try out the new ordering system. —PHOTO BY LYN RILLON

If a customer still prefers to pay in cash, he or she  may still use the kiosk and just proceed to the regular cash counter to pay.

For the tech-challenged, McDonald’s crew are on hand to guide customers through the new ordering system.

NxtGen stores also feature split counters, wherein one area is dedicated to ordering and payments, and the other to releasing/claiming of customer’s orders.

Interiors have also been redone, with “modernized” menu boards, neutral tones, and atmospheric lighting.

Self-ordering kiosks

These changes are all part of McDonald’s Philippines’ strategic investment as the brand continues to grow, says Kenneth Yang, McDonald’s Philippines president and CEO.

The company projects that by next year, 10 percent of its stores will be converted into the NxtGen format; and by 2021, 70 percent.

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By the end of this year, McDonald’s will have 620 restaurants all over the  country. All branches will eventually follow the NxtGen format.

“Beyond just expanding our footprint, continuing to elevate the customer experience through convenience enhancements is our priority. This is the true essence of McDonald’s NxtGen—it is about evolving with our customers and thriving in this experience economy,” says Torres.

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TAGS: cashless payment systems, Margot Torres, McDonalds Philippines, NxtGen, self-ordering kiosks
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