MANILA -- The president and chief executive officer of McDonald's Philippines on Wednesday encouraged entrepreneurs to be "more flexible and agile" in adapting to changes in customer behavior caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at a webinar organized by the Philippine Franchise Association, Kenneth Yang cited home and health as examples of important things to consider in providing products and services.
"Today, the home is very important now to the customer. Maybe they'll develop habits related to stay-at-home dining," he said.
"I think health is also a big concern now and it will probably shape their behavior moving forward," he added. "They're also in hard times now. I think that's something we businessmen and entrepreneurs have to consider. Their purchasing power will be affected, and so we have to tailor and adjust maybe our products and services to that new reality."
Yang said McDonald's Philippines has been taking steps toward these goals, from shifting the focus from dine-in to other channels such as takeout, drive-thru, and delivery, to selling frozen products in supermarkets.
"We had to act quickly, decide quickly because we also had inventory that we had piled up," he said, noting that their frozen goods are currently available at Savemore and Walter Mart.
"I think what's even more important is because we are a restaurant is to uphold and even to increase our standards. For us, we prioritize people and safety, and this means we need to ensure the highest levels of sanitation and disinfection. Examples of what we've done are health screenings, temperature checks, and masks in the stores," he explained.
And while about 50% of McDonald's branches in the Philippines remain closed, Yang remains optimistic that businesses will be able to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
"McDonald's is in the same boat as everyone else, whether you're a small or big enterprise. No question it has impacted us significantly. But I remain hopeful... and I know this is temporary," he said.
"What's needed is a positive, can-do attitude and resilience, so these are the traits that we should have in our organizations especially now," he added.