McDonald's anticipates sales growth with new restaurants
McThai Co, the operator of McDonald's, is set to ramp up its business expansion in a bid to return sales back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.
Kittiwan Anuwatesakul, the company's newly appointed chief executive, said the company plans to allocate several hundred million baht to expand the business this year.
The spending will be mainly used to open new restaurants and renovate existing restaurants with a new store design called "Alphabet store concept", focusing on sustainability and simplicity to make customers feel relaxed and the brand more accessible. The remaining budget will be used to upgrade its technology.
This year, McThai will open 6-7 new restaurants, bringing the total number of branches to 228-229. The company has already opened four new restaurants in the first seven months of this year, with the remaining 2-3 new branches scheduled to open during the rest of 2022.
"2020-2021 were years of turning crisis into opportunity by changing the business strategy with digital exploitation and coping with consumers changing their lifestyle. This year we are continuing to invest as there is still an opportunity for burgers in Thailand," she said.
In addition to the new restaurant branches, the company has also set key business strategies to continue its growth this year.
They include focusing on product quality and fast service with a warm and friendly ambience. The company uses Cloud technology and Internet of Things to collect and analyse food safety data. It plans to implement digital food safety to all McDonald's restaurants in Thailand by the end of this year.
McThai will continue to offer affordable price products and modernise the customer experience to make the brand superior to other quick-service-restaurant brands.
In addition, the company will continue to focus on its 3D platforms (delivery, drive-thru and digital) to increase convenience and reach more customers.
"In this challenging time, we are confident that the effective strategies and determination will lead us to achieve our goal of more than 20% growth this year," she said.
According to Ms Kittiwan, Thailand's food industry in 2021 was worth 360 billion baht, falling 11% from the year before. The decrease was due to strict government pandemic restrictions and declining consumer purchasing power.
Despite a spate of challenges and the government's strict measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, Ms Kittiwan said McDonald's has felt only a slight impact from two years of the pandemic, thanks to good growth from its deliveries, drive-thrus, and digital services.