McDonald's to give out free McMuffins

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Mar 11 2013 03:20 PM | Updated as of Mar 12 2013 06:58 PM

The McDonald's Egg McMuffin

MANILA (UPDATED) -- Taking its cue from the teddy bears and Lego blocks lining up the streets from its “Hooray for Today” ad, McDonald’s Philippines intends to wake up its loyal customers with happy thoughts the whole day by celebrating National Breakfast Day next week.

McDonald’s will give away 1,000 McMuffins per branch via its first and biggest breakfast activation to date on Monday, on March 18, between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., in each of the 300 participating branches nationwide whether on dine-in, take-out or drive-through.

The promotion will coincide with similar events - on different time zones - in 5,000 McDonald’s restaurants in Asia, Middle East and South Africa, McDonald's Philippines press communications manager Adi Timbol said.

“McDonald’s realizes the importance of breakfast and the role it plays in the lives of our customers – seen with our ‘Hooray for Today’ campaign. With National Breakfast Day, we are taking ‘Hooray for Today’ to a new level by giving Filipinos an opportunity to taste just how good breakfast at McDonald’s really is,” McDonald's Philippines president and chief executive Kenneth Yang said.

Timbol said the company needs to up the ante in providing affordable but delicious breakfast to Filipinos amid the growing competition and continuous reminders from health organizations not to skip the most important meal of the day.

She said the breakfast segment is now also being cornered by mom and pop stores.

“There’s a big landscape for breakfast. And [at McDonald’s], we offer value for the money…We’re very competitive, it’s a growing segment in informal eat out section,” she said.

Asked if this will already become an annual event, Timbol confidently said, “Yes.”

She said the company is choosing McMuffin, in particular, because it is "iconic. It’s a staple well-loved worldwide.”

McDonald’s has two McMuffin variants, the egg and sausage. Timbol revealed that the sausage variant will also be offered to Mindanao branches, while keeping in mind the various needs of customers there.

Carole Bernad, McDonald’s senior manager for quality assurance, said for example that the chicken in Mindanao stores are halal-certified.

Kitchen tour

McDonald's employees prepare the McMuffin

For the first time, the company also allowed inside journalists and bloggers inside their kitchen.

From its kitchen utensils to mops, all are color-coded to contain any food safety concerns. Table tops and food trays are also heated at a certain temperature to keep the freshness of the raw materials.

Its outside chillers are at a low of 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while its inside chillers are at a low of negative 18 to negative 23 degrees Celsius.

“We trace from where every raw material comes from, such as the plot of the lettuce, the farm, supplier, etc,” Bernardo said.

Recalling the typhoon that hampered operations when floods sunk its equipment at a Cainta plant, she said they had to source products from abroad in order not to halt operations or constrain safety procedures.

“[We adhere to] clean as you go, wala dapat iniiwan na hindi malinis,” Bernardo said.