Who can save McDonald’s Hong Kong from further embarrassment over the expired chicken scandal?
Perhaps they should seek the Buddha for enlightenment and netizens for advice.
Apparently, netizens are consumed with helping McDonald’s serve up some healthy and wholesome fare to bring back consumers who have been put off by the foul chicken scare. Their suggestions: a vegetarian menu with new offerings such as black fungus burger, fried enoki mushroom and, for dessert, jasmine sundae.
Throw in some religion, they suggested. Have Buddha take over Ronald McDonald and Hamburger Thief as the fast-food restaurant’s icons. To that end, why not have “Buddha-style fries” instead of the “shake shake” fries?
These fun and quirky ideas probably stemmed from McDonald’s Japan, which last week offered McTofu, chicken-less McNuggets, after the fast-food chain imported beef, chicken and vegetables from Shanghai Husi Food.
Other fanciful but palatable ideas from netizens include a HK$50 two-hour McBuffett and maid cosplay service, a gimmick adopted by Taiwan McDonald’s.
Back in Hong Kong, McDonald’s has resumed supply of Big Mac and three other burgers with lettuce and onions imported from Taylor Farms Food Service in the United States and from Taiwan.
As a sweetener, the restaurant is offering a HK$10 coupon for Big Mac for customers who buy a set meal.
Unfortunately, this writer missed the breakfast time and was told to come back from noon to 2pm for the Big Mac coupon. The McDonald’s outlet, like the KFC store next door, was about half full.
But there is no need to be too worried about the half-empty McDonald’s. Yesterday, a local daily reported some summer tuition schools picked selective McDonald stores for their classes with six kids, which raised the ire and eyebrows of McDonald’s devotees who could not find seats during lunch time.
McDonald’s, after all, is one of the cheaper outlets that offer air-conditioning comfort for people seeking some cool relief in summer. Food, honestly, is not an issue. Who cares if they put back iced lemon tea on the menu anyway?
It is uncertain how fast customers will flock back to McDonald’s after its Hong Kong managing director, Randy Lai Wai-sze, belatedly “deeply apologized” for the imported tainted food products last week. The company initially denied the Husi link.
We shall leave the last word to lecturer Rebecca Leung, a public relations guru, who offers her insight in the Shue Yan University Media Lab, seeing McDonald’s Hong Kong’s communication effort “sneered at, taunted, and dubbed a PR fiasco. On the flip side? We are served with some fresh, untainted food for thought”.
Leung said it is high time big corporations like McDonald’s review their modus operandi, begin afresh by treating consumers to a genuinely open, two-way communication, even if some short-term loss is there for them to swallow.
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