McDonald’s to invest RM1.2b in store expansion

The fast-food giant has 300 restaurants across the country and plans to open another 150 in the next 5-7 years

By HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MCDONALD’S Malaysia is expected to invest RM1.2 billion to increase the number of its outlets to 450 nationwide by 2025.

MD and local operating partner Azmir Jaafar said the company currently has 300 restaurants across Malaysia and that part of its business plan is to open 150 new restaurants from now.

“We have anticipated investments of RM1.5 billion starting from 2017 where we had a change of shareholders.

“Over the last three years, we have invested almost RM250 million, so we will invest another RM1.2 billion in the next five to seven years,” he said in a press conference after the inaugural graduation ceremony of McDonald’s Vocational Apprenticeship Programme in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

The 18-month industry-oriented training programme is a collaboration between McDonald’s Malaysia and the Human Resources Ministry under the National Dual Training System.

It combines 70% of practical training in McDonald’s restaurants and 30% of theoretical lessons in the classroom.

The first batch had 49 graduates of which 11 were existing workers who were being honoured for their services and the rest were new vocational apprentices who started the programme 18 months ago.

Upon completion, they will be awarded the Malaysian Skills Certificate Level 3 accredited by the ministry and will be qualified for employment at McDonald’s restaurants or anywhere else within the food service industry in the country.

Azmir said McDonald’s is looking forward to hiring apprentices from the programme as a workforce of 10,000 people is needed to operate the new restaurants.

“This year alone, we plan to open 25 restaurants, where each will require 80 to 100 staff including managers and crew.

“So, we will continue to invest to ensure that the workforce at McDonald’s is well-trained and provides good service and quality dining to our customers.

“Each restaurant needs an investment of up to RM6 million, so to open 25 restaurants, we need to invest almost RM200 million for 2020 alone,” he said.

More than 1,200 youths have cumulatively participated and are participating in the programme since it was introduced in 2018. The company is optimistic of reaching its target of 5,000 apprentices by December 2020.

Meanwhile, when asked if McDonald’s Malaysia is affected by Covid-19, Azmir said business is still strong, but certain measures are being practised in all outlets to mitigate the risk.

“From a business standpoint, McDonald’s is still showing growth because we have businesses across Malaysia, not just in the city.

“We have taken appropriate action at all our restaurants depending on their location. For example, in airports in Johor Baru and Penang, where there are many tourists, we are increasing our activities to mitigate the risk by sanitising and wearing the right mask,” he added.