RM1.7 mln facelift for oldest McDonald’s outlet in Sarawak

Abdul Wahap (third from left), Azmir (second from left) and others jointly launch the remodelled McDonald’s Padungan here this morning. Others on stage are (from left) Jaya, Mohammed Nasir, Morshidi and McDonald’s mascot Ronald McDonald.

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By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Nov 11: McDonald’s Malaysia invested RM1.7 million to give the Padungan outlet here a brand new image with the same floor space.

The date for the grand opening is no coincidence. The outlet, whch is also the first McDonald’s Restaurant in Sarawak, opened its doors 25 years ago on November 11, 1993. With its new look, the outlet is poised to set even higher standards in the local fast food services industry.

Patrons coming to dine here can now order their meals at a touch of a button as soon as they enter the outlet. It has also been equipped with digital kiosks, dual-point services, cashless transaction facilities, digital menus and also table service. This means customers have the choice of going to the counter or sitting at the dining table to be served.

Managing director and Local Operating Partner of McDonald’s Malaysia Azmir Jaafar pointed out that the Padungan outlet is the first quick service restaurant in Sarawak to have such table services.

He said that the remodelling is the fast food giant’s biggest ever investment here and was part of their efforts to create a comfortable ambience and at the same time offer quality meals with great value and the best customer service.

“As the first restaurant in Sarawak and long being part of the local community, our side has introduced various new technology and innovative customer services which are suitable and important.

“With this facelift, we hope these facilities will allow our customers to record their sweet moments with families and friends.”

Azmir said this when met at the official Grand Opening of the remodeled McDonald’s Padungan outlet here by Mayor of Kuching North Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai today.

Abdul Wahap (left ) points to a plaque that he had signed. With him are (from left) Mohammed Nasir, Azmir, Morshidi and mascot Ronald. Partially hidden is Jaya.

“Throughout Malaysia we have 272 restaurants. We remodel or transform about 30 restaurant a year and we build about 15 restaurant a year. So that totals 45 restaurants a year with a capital investment of RM120 annually.

“In Sarawak we have 15 restaurants and in Kuching we have nine with a workforce of around 900 people. Out of that 500 workers are in Kuching,” he disclosed.

“Our plan in the next ten years is to double the number of restaurants in Malaysia to about 450 restaurants with an investment of RM1 billion. In Sarawak alone we anticipate to increase the restaurants to 25 to 30 in the next ten years. So we are very bullish about our growth in Sarawak especially in Kuching.”

Azmir said there is plenty of room to build and modernise more restaurants and invest more capital.

McDonald’s Padungan crew all ready to serve.

He also disclosed that McDonald’s has been conducting charity work and giving back to community.

He highlighted that McDonald’s organised a community programme for the whole month of October working together with selected welfare bodies and organisations which focus on children who are less fortunate.

Its charity intiatives include the “Back to School” programme which presents school uniforms, shoes, and bags to urban poor children, with the suport of theMinistry of Education.

“This programme gets the support of McDonald’s local franchisees and also our local partners and we intended to hand over all these school goodies to 17,000 school children in this country amounting RM 1.7 million. This is an improvement as compared to 2017 where we gave 6,000 set of uniforms costing RM1 million,” Azmir revealed.

He added that some 880 school children in the state had been identified to benefit through the programme, with some of them present at the grand opening to receive the school sets.

Selected school children from the McDonald’s Malaysia community programme in a photocall with Abdul Wahap (back row, centre) before the official grand opening of the remodelled McDonald’s Padungan, Kuching this morning.

“We also do a lot of charity under Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and all the money at the restaurants’ front counter that goes to the “Coin Box” — 100 percent of the money — goes to charity for the benefit of unfortunate children.”

Azmir disclosed that they collected RM1 million annually and every single sen goes to charity and to the community.

Meanwhile, Abang Abdul Wahap said that Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) and Macdonald’s Malaysia jointly planned to have a Drive-In Restaurant here in the city in the future.

“The idea could be the first in Malaysia as there is none in Peninsular Malaysia. We can do it here in Padungan and just re-design the car park as there are parking spaces,” he said.

Among those present at the grand opening were Consultant for McDonald’s Malaysia Dato Mohammed Nasir Rakhir, DBKU Director Morshidi Ahmad, and Senior Assistant Director for Student Welfare State Education Department Jaya Uki. — DayakDaily