Flu boosts McThai home delivery

Many McDonald’s and McCafe customers have turned to home delivery instead of in-restaurant dining since June, when type-A (H1N1) influenza began to spread rapidly around the country.McThai managing director Thanin Angsuwarangsi made this observation after visiting the latest branch in Udon Thani last weekend.

McThai is the local operator of the McDonald’s and McCafe chain.

He said orders through home delivery had increased by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent, depending on branch location, in June and July because of customers’ concerns about type-A (H1N1) flu.

Meanwhile, the number of walk-in customers has either fallen or stayed at about the same level, again depending on the location, he added.

The company continues to estimate sales growth of at least 20 per cent this year, thanks to the opening of new branches. Same-store sales growth is expected to be flat or slightly down, Thanin said.

Customer spending per head per visit continues to come in at Bt80 to Bt100 for in-store dining, and at least Bt100 for home delivery.

McThai has 120 branches nationwide, 80 per cent of which are located in Bangkok. Eighteen of the 120 outlets are drive-thru branches.

The company plans to open 15 branches this year, with five already opened in the first half. Of the other 10, one will be a drive-thru branch in Udon Thani province, scheduled to open in October.

The company’s investment budget is between Bt10 million and Bt30 million per branch, depending on the size, he said.

“We have a policy to open an average of 10 branches a year, by focusing on both Bangkok and upcountry provinces where traffic passing the locations is at least 20,000 cars a day.

“Our parent company estimates Thailand has the potential to have at least 500 McDonald’s and McCafe restaurants in the future, but we cannot say when we will meet this target,” he added.

THE NATION, July 29, 2009