Fri, Dec 22, 2006 - Page 11 News List

McDonald's plans Taiwan expansion

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fast-food chain giant McDonald's is gearing up to expand its presence in the local market following a relatively calm year.

The restaurant operator, which runs 350 outlets nationwide, aims to add 10 to 20 new outlets per year in Taiwan for the next three years. Most of the new stores will be integrated with McCafe to offer a wide variety of dietary choices, said Steven Lee (李明元), CEO of McDonald's Restaurants (Taiwan) Co, during a press conference yesterday.

"One time I saw a family sitting in our restaurant. The father was sipping coffee, the mom was having salad, and their kids were eating hamburgers. That's really the perfect scene," he said.

McDonald's currently has 15 McCafe-integrated restaurants. Lee plans to boost the number to 60 within the next three years, transforming the Golden Arches into a diverse and trendy brand.

"McDonald's will put in an additional investment of NT$2 billion [US$61 million] by 2009 to introduce the `Anytime, Anywhere' service concept," he said.

The latest strategy will concentrate on fast service. Employees would take customers' orders with a personal digital assistant (PDA) while they are queuing in front of the service desk. The information will then be immediately transmitted to the kitchen, which will offer freshly made meals to consumers, the firm said.

It will also double the number of around-the-clock outlets to 200, including the current 100 restaurants with drive-thrus, since many people enjoy dining out late.

Lee said that the chain had posted an average of 20 percent growth in single-store sales over the past three years, making Taiwan one of the top 20 markets internationally for McDonald's expansion.

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