Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China

McDonald's Opens First Drive-Thru In China

A new 645 square meter McDonald's Drive-Thru is located in heart of the central business district of Dongguan Guangdong Province. With over 50 parking spaces and many new features it represents the next generation of McDonald's restaurants in China, providing customers with an entirely new dining experience.

Guangdong province was one of the first markets McDonald's entered into in China when it opened its first restaurant in Shenzhen 15 years ago. The building of China's first McDonald's Drive-Thru restaurant within the region, capitalizes on the increasing affluence of Chinese customers in the area and the rapidly expanding auto industry.

"Choosing Dongguan for the location of our first Drive-Thru Restaurant, demonstrates McDonald's confidence in the business opportunities and economic environment of the Pear River Delta region," said Mr. Jeff Schwartz, CEO of McDonald's China. "Drive-Thru is an integral part of McDonald's Plan to Win in China and we are well positioned to expand our Drive-Thru locations in major cities across the country, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. We want to ensure that as the lifestyles of today's Chinese consumers become more demanding, McDonald's is ready to provide a convenient, efficient and quality solution to satisfy the needs of their fast paced lives."

Going forward, Chinese customers will be able to drive their cars to the McDonald's Drive-Thru restaurant and enjoy the same great tasting, quality food they love, without leaving the comfort and convenience of their car. All of the Drive-Thru restaurants have been specifically designed to ensure the same quality of service and experience is provided to Drive-Thru customers as to those patrons visiting the restaurant.

The development of the Drive-Thru is a natural response to the changing lifestyles of many Chinese consumers. Just a few years ago, owning a car was a dream for most people, but now it has become a reality for many. In year 2004, according to China State Automobile Industry Associate, over 2 million passenger cars were sold in China, representing a jump of more than 80% over previous years. This trend is set to continue with an average rate of 15% year on year growth in car ownership expected. With this increased affluence also comes a faster pace of life, where people are looking for greater convenience and new lifestyle options. The McDonald's Drive-Thru restaurant is therefore the perfect dining option for this group of customers.

"Dongguan is one of the most prosperous cities in China. It ranks extremely high among Chinese cities in both per capita income and number of car owners. And Dongcheng District, where our first Drive-Thru is built, is a significant business and residential area in the city," commented Mr. Gary Rosen, Chief Marketing and Corporate Affairs Officer of McDonald's China.

The first McDonald's Drive-Thru was opened in 1975 in Sierra Vista, Arizona, USA and the model quickly spread out throughout the country. The idea has also received a warm welcome from Asian customers since its introduction. Currently, there are more than 1,000 McDonald's Drive-Thru restaurants in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.

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