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McDonald's |operator budgets Bt500m for 25 new restaurants

MCTHAI, operator of McDonald's quick-service restaurants, has earmarked Bt500 million to open 25 new stores in the country this year.

The company also has a plan to deal with the "Bangkok shutdown" threatened by an anti-government protest group to begin next Monday. About 29 McDonald's restaurants are in the demonstration areas and preparations have been made to shut them down as soon as the shopping malls in those areas are closed.

Petcharat Uthaisang, marketing director for McThai Co, said it had also prepared for this disruption by changing its product deliveries from daytime to night-time, and from big trucks to small pickups. These changes will allow the company to save delivery lead-time.

The company expects its home-delivery business to witness significant growth this year, especially in June and July during the Fifa World Cup soccer tournament. About 47 McDonald's restaurants provide delivery service.

McThai currently operates 191 stores, of which 48 are drive-through outlets and 85 are open 24 hours.

About 15 new stores were opened last year. The company will open its newest McDonald's restaurant in Nakhon Sawan province on January 25.

"We have set aside a marketing budget of about Bt40 million to target families with children, which account about 50 per cent of our clients. Another 40 per cent of our clients are teenagers, and the remaining 10 per cent other groups," Petcharat said.

The company has also launched a new cartoon character, "Happy", aimed at celebrating the coming Children's Day.

The overall market for quick-service restaurants grew by about 5 per cent last year. The average transaction per McDonald's customer is about Bt100.


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