500 McDonald’s outlets by 2020

McDonald's Malaysia managing director Sarah Casanova (right) and Global Chief Diversity Pat Harris posed for photographs after the interview session. IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star.

PETALING JAYA: Fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s is aiming to double the number of restaurants it has in Malaysia to 500 by 2020.

McDonald’s Malaysia managing director Sarah Casanova said the company still had room to grow in the country.

“There are so many cities, big and small towns where there is no McDonald’s presence and we continue to grow the business because Malaysians love McDonald’s,” she told StarBiz.

Casanova aims to have 300 restaurants by next year, 400 restaurants in 2016 and then 500 restaurants by the year 2020. It currently has 245 restaurants nationwide.

“Today, there is enough room to have twice as many restaurants. By the time in 2020 when we have 500 restaurants, we’d probably want 650 restaurants,” she said.

She added that McDonald’s Malaysia recorded its highest market share within two years. It achieved a 42% market share in the local quick-service restaurant segment in the Klang Valley.

Casanova, who is also McDonald’s Malaysia and Singapore regional manager said: “The key to winning is investing the time and energy to understand your customers better and then providing what they want.”

Last year, McDonald’s introduced McCafe, its specialty premium brand coffee to Malaysia.

Since then 27 McCafes have been established.

Casanova plans to have 80 McCafes by the end of the year.

“About 30% of our restaurants will have McCafes.

“Also, more than half our restaurants will have drive-thrus to provide convenience to customers,” she added.

In the last three years, McDonald’s had doubled its business in terms of sales and profits, as well as grown its restaurants by 30%, she said.

Meanwhile, Casanova, who would be speaking today at the 2013 Global Summit of Women alongside McDonald’s Corp global chief diversity officer Pat Harris, encouraged women to have confidence and persistence in their business endeavours.

“Women need to have the confidence to ‘step up to the plate’ and be persistent in sharing their views,” she said.

Casanova added that women’s role is important to businesses because naturally, women make the majority of the purchase decisions in every household.

“Diversity in thought represents diversity in customers,” she said.

The 2013 Global Summit of Women is held from June 6-8 at Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The summit aims to expand women’s economic opportunities globally through the exchange of solutions and strategies forged by women leaders.

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