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McDonald’s Korea marks 30 years with pledges for prosperity

Celebrating its 30th anniversary of business in South Korea this year, McDonald’s Korea pledged Tuesday to make continuous efforts to foster communication with customers and boost the local economy.

Since kicking off here in 1988, the year of the Seoul Olympic Games, the US-based fast-food franchise has expanded from a 100-employee business to one of the largest and most popular casual restaurants.

Over the past three decades, the burger brand has set various new trends in the local food industry, starting with the introduction of McDrive, the first drive-through store here in 1992.

This was followed by 24-hour stores in 2005, McMorning breakfast menus in 2006 and the McDelivery service in 2007 -- all of which were unprecedented in the fast-food sector here.


In 2016, the brand renovated its stores, adding digital kiosks and a wider variety of premium menu items.

In addition to worldwide best-selling items such as the Big Mac, McDonald’s has also developed items customized for the Korean market, including a bulgogi burger that emulates Korea’s marinated and grilled beef dish.

“The number of customers over the recent 10 years totals 1.9 billion, and even at this moment, five customers would be entering one of our stores,” an official of the company said.

The franchise has an indiscriminative employment policy.

Under its open recruiting scheme, the company has hired 3,952 homemakers and 763 elderly crew members over the past five years. Physically impaired employees account for some 3.5 percent of the total, surpassing the government’s quota of 2.9 percent, according to officials.

By taking a “three-legged stool approach” toward the local community, McDonald’s aims at achieving growth with franchisers and subcontractors, ultimately seeking to create a virtuous cycle in the local economy, officials added.

“McDonald’s will continue to provide high-quality products and service in step with changing customer demands and lifestyles, so that it may fulfill its role as the pioneering player of the local food service industry,” said Cho Ju-yeon, CEO of McDonald’s Korea.

By Bae Hyun-jung (
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Korea Herald daum