HRPL, owner & operator of McDonald's (West & South), to focus on digital & app experiences

The fast-food giant is investing 30% of its consumer-facing spends on digital

by Misbaah Mansuri
Published - Oct 10, 2019 8:39 AM Updated: Oct 11, 2019 2:02 PM

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In Q1 FY20, Westlife Development Limited, owner of Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd, the Master Franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants in West and South India posted a same store sales growth of 7 per cent which also resulted in a 12 per cent YoY growth in revenue. After entering India more than two decades ago, the QSR chain finally posted its first profit during year-to-March 2018 and seems to be on a growth spree.

“We at McDonald’s are increasing our focus on enhancing digital and app experiences that we have and are investing towards further building on the omni-channel experience for our consumers,” Arvind RP, Director - Marketing & Communications, Hardcastle Restaurants (McDonald's - West & South India) told exchange4media.

He pointed out that McCafé and McSaver, the value platforms remain the big growth engines for the brand.

“We are betting big on digital and weaving technology across our operations, be it in our stores or the McDonald's app,” said Arvind.

According to him, digital remains very important in terms of media mix. “18 months back, digital constituted 20 per cent of our consumer-facing spends. Today, more than 30 per cent of our consumer-facing spends are on digital. When I say digital, I mean not just branding campaigns but also performance campaigns, influencers, etc,” he revealed. Outdoor advertising in malls is another area the brand taps into.

Arvind revealed that the brand is investing heavily on food-influencers and below-the-line activations as one of the core facets of the McDonald's brand is family-marketing be it in terms of birthday parties or happy meals. “You will see a lot of work towards deepening of the brand positioning and bringing alive the consumer expression of ‘I am lovin’ it.’ A whole lot of work is already underway on our value platforms too,” he shared.

When asked whether the QSR sector is feeling the heat of the slowdown, Arvind said, “There is a some softness as far as consumer demand is concerned. Having said that, the we have been able to navigate these uncertainties and headwinds to deliver consistently strong results in the market which proves the strength of our brand. Our market share has been improving and the same store sales growth have been solid.”

According to him, the fast-food giant’s delivery business has been growing significantly. The brand has added touch points like self-ordering kiosks which has led to better customization and engagement. “We have made the menu smarter after listening to consumers which has led to them buying more.”

Arvind asserted that in Q1, McDonald’s invested significantly on marketing spends.

“We invest whatever it takes to grow the business. Top-line growth is extremely important for the brand,” he remarked.

Chennai and Hyderabad are emerging markets for the brand and the company has also received a phenomenal response with its expansion in Nagpur and Tirupati.

“While we consolidate on tier 1cities, we are growing steadily in tier 2 and 3 cities,” Arvind added.

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