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‘Better Chicken McDo’ helps make 2023 a ‘big year’ for Golden Arches

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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‘Better Chicken McDo’ helps make 2023 a ‘big year’ for Golden Arches

CAMPAIGN. A McDonald's Philippines marketing blitz boasting a 'Better Chicken McDo' helps boost McDo Philippines' sales in 2023.

Composite of screenshots from McDo PH YouTube

A fried chicken marketing campaign involving Vice Ganda and Paolo Ballesteros in 2023 followed by Kapuso stars Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera boosts sales of McDonald's Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Billionaire Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group Incorporated (AGI) reported an uptick in sales of McDonald’s Philippines’ fried chicken after launching its “Better Chicken McDo” campaign in October 2023, which helped make the whole year a “big year” for partner George Yang’s fast-food franchise. 

In its annual report disclosed on Tuesday, April 30, Golden Arches Development Corporation (GADC), a partnership between McDonald’s Philippines master franchise holder Yang and Tan’s AGI, reported that McDonald’s Philippines surpassed its sales targets in 2023.

“The year 2023 was a big year for McDonald’s Philippines as they introduced taste improvements to their burger and bone-in chicken menu that made more customers fall in love with the brand’s favorites,” AGI said.

“Systemwide store sales rose 22% YoY (year-on-year), propelled by front-counter channels shooting up 36% with dine-in sales climbing 48% YoY. Same-store sales expanded 15% YoY. McDonald’s continued to exceed its sales targets, surpassing previous year’s performance mainly attributed to its creative product offerings and promotions.”

In a bid to improve market share in the highly competitive fast-food business, McDonald’s Philippines launched in October 2023 its “Better Chicken McDo” with LGBTQIA+ celebrities Vice Ganda and Paolo Ballesteros as endorsers. 

‘Better Chicken McDo’ helps make 2023 a ‘big year’ for Golden Arches

This was followed in 2024 by a McDonald’s Philippines campaign with Kapuso stars Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera. This new ad came out after the real-life couple starred in the family drama Rewind, now the Philippines’ highest grossing movie after it was shown in the annual Metro Manila Film Festival starting December 25, 2023.

‘Better Chicken McDo’ helps make 2023 a ‘big year’ for Golden Arches

The ads clearly target market leader Jollibee Foods Corporation, which dominates the Philippines’ fast-food business and the fried chicken category with its popular Chicken Joy. 

Jollibee vs McDonald’s: Fried chicken war spills over to noon show

Jollibee vs McDonald’s: Fried chicken war spills over to noon show

McDonald’s Philippines says its new Chicken McDo now has a “bigger size, juicier taste, and crispier skin.”

“This improved product resulted in a +9ppts (percentage points) growth in Great Tasting Chicken Scores since the transition happened,” AGI said.

Prior to the “Better Chicken McDo” campaign, McDonald’s Philippines launched in June 2023 a “Best Burger” marketing campaign that trumpeted “softer buns, freshier ingredients, juicier patties.” 

“This then translated into month-on-month growth in the total beef burger category since Best Burger’s launch,” AGI said. 

In 2023, McDonald’s Philippines opened 50 new stores – 43 in Luzon, 3 in the Visayas, and 4 in Mindanao. It also closed 14 stores – 13 in Luzon and 1 in Mindanao. Its total store count as of end-2023 was 740 from 704 at the start of the year. Luzon, including Metro Manila, has 82% of McDonald’s Philippines stores.

In comparison, leading fast-food chain Jollibee had 1,239 stores nationwide as of end-2023 or 499 more stores than McDonald’s Philippines. 

Aside from its main competitor Jollibee, McDonald’s Philippines also competes with major fast-food chains such as KFC, Popeye’s, Mang Inasal, Wendy’s, Kenny Rogers, Burger King, Shakey’s, and Pizza Hut. 

As of end-December 2022, Jollibee had a “store network market share” of 49% with McDonald’s coming in second at 29%, and KFC at third with 14%. 

Golden Arches contributed 20% to AGI’s consolidated revenues and 9% to consolidated net profit in 2023. It had a workforce of 41,046 in 2023, and was expected to hire 17,439 personnel in 2024.

Other major subsidiaries of AGI are real property developer Megaworld Corporation; Emperador Incorporated, the world’s largest brandy producer; and Travellers International Hotel Group Incorporated, operator of Newport World Resorts.

Megaworld contributed 33% to the conglomerate’s revenues and income in 2023, followed by Emperador’s 31% and Travellers’ 15%. 

AGI described the conglomerate’s performance in 2023 as “another record-breaking year” as revenues and income grew 15% from P183 billion in 2022 to P210.8 billion in 2023, while net profit increased 20% year-on-year from P25.189 billion to P30.3 billion. – Rappler.com

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misstated that Andrew Tan is the owner of Golden Arches Development Corporation. Tan’s AGI is the strategic partner of George Yang in GADC, and Yang holds the master franchise to McDonald’s in the Philippines.)


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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.