By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Nov 18: McDonald’s Restaurant franchisee Roger Ting is still in seventh heaven. On Sept 21, he won ‘The Emerging International Franchisee Of The Year’ award at the Malaysia Franchise Awards 2018 in Putra Jaya.
Speaking to reporters after the grand opening of the remodelled McDonald’s Padungan here by Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai recently, Ting revealed that his interest in this type of business was piqued when he worked part-time for a McDonald’s outlet in Melbourne, Australia, while studying there.
And the thing that attracted him to the business the most? The uniform that McD crew wear!
“When I was interviewed for the job, the manager asked me why I chose McDonald and not other quick-service restaurants in the vicinity, and I replied it was the uniform. I was hired on the spot,” he chuckled.
Ting, who is from Sibu but now resides here, said he idolised his former “boss” in Melbourne.
“That owner is about 35 or 36 years old and already has five to six outlets, yet he is very humble and gets along very well with his staff. I believe this trait made him succeed in this business, and it is something that I want to emulate.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Accounting degree, Ting applied for a McDonald franchisee licence in Australia, but it was turned down as he had no business experience. He then continued working Down Under for a while longer before deciding to bring his family back to Sarawak.
“I wanted my children to grow up in Sarawak and to have very strong family roots in the state.”
When he returned home, a great opportunity in the form of McDonald’s Malaysia awaited him. He immediately applied for a franchisee licence and finally clinched it after having to go through a number of interviews over a one year period.
But when he got the nod from McDonald’s Malaysia, he had no idea where the outlet would be. He remembered telling them that he wanted it to be in Sarawak as he wanted to create job opportunities for fellow Sarawakians.
“Thank goodness, now I have my own business at McDonald’s Tabuan since Feb 26, 2014. It is manned by 13 managers and 70 crew who are all Sarawakians.
“Management personnel from McDonald’s headquarters who visited us were impressed with what they saw. They commented that it is like a family restaurant.”
On the award, he thanked the managing director-cum-partner of local operations for McDonald’s Malaysia, Datuk Azmir Jaafar, for being very supportive. Ting said it was not easy to win it as the criteria included business performance, sales, work ethics and franchiser-franchisee relations.
“It is not just about making money. We must dedicate ourselves to the community, too. Last year, for instance, we went to schools and assist poor children who needed things like school uniforms, bags and shoes.”
On the franchise business in the state, Ting believed there are many growth opportunities, but to suceed, franchisee-franchiser ties must be solid and the enterpreneur must have a sound understanding of how everything works
“It is not just about money”.
Ting said McDonald’s always plans ahead, so franchisees do not have much to worry about, except, maybe, product demand. In addition, McDonald’s is a global brand, so that comes as an advantage.
“I always have strong confidence in the McDonald’s model, ever since I worked for one of their outlets in Melbourne.”
On his future plans, Ting disclosed that he hoped to open more outlets. — DayakDaily