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‘Most Beautiful McDonald’s’ opens at The Upper East

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The McDonald’s Store inside the Megaworld’s 34-hectare township, The Upper East. opens today.* GPB photo

Property giant Megaworld will open today what it describes as the “Philippines Most Beautiful McDonald’s Store inside its 44-hectare The Upper East in Bacolod City.

Inspired by the revelry and excitement of the world-famous Masskara Festival, the new McDonald’s NXTGen store showcases giant masks as part of its exterior design. The ‘masskaras’ which have been crafted by Bacolod’s most renowned mask maker Jojo Vito, are easily visible from afar and light up at night to give a more festive and colorful feel.

This iconic store, according to Megaworld, features the world’s first McDonald’s dessert station on a train and pays tribute to Bacolod City’s Masskara Festival with several ‘uniquely Bacolod’ design elements.

“There are many things to celebrate about this new McDonald’s store. Our vision is to make it a ‘destination McDonald’s’, more than just a place where everyone can enjoy eating their favorite McDonald’s meals. This store is ‘uniquely Bacolod’ as it showcases what the City of Smiles truly deserves,” said Eugene Reducindo, managing director of Choice Gourmet Banquet, Inc., the company that franchises and operates Megaworld-owned McDonald’s stores.

The McDonald’s The Upper East features a 2,200-square meter landscaped, curated park that also serves as an open alfresco dining area, making it the biggest alfresco facility for McDonald’s in the Philippines.

Native tropical plants and flowering trees, such as narra, banaba, pitogo and batino adorn this Filipino-themed garden to add more character and color into the space. There are also recycled bricks used as flooring materials by the main entrance and a green wall at the alfresco area that further highlight sustainability as a major element in the store’s design.

Lending a more festive ambiance within the area are several two-meter tall, tulip-shaped lighted flowers made of fiberglass that look especially beautiful lit at night. These complement the decorative lights that illuminate the store at nighttime to emphasize the beauty of the store’s exterior.

The huge ‘I Love Bacolod’ signage installed in front of the store makes it an instant Instagrammable spot for locals and tourists alike.

The overall design for McDonald’s The Upper East follows the Ray Palette, the fast-food giant’s latest global design scheme standard that puts emphasis on space and lighting.

Inside the store, an eye-catching staircase in McDonald’s signature yellow shade leads to the second floor, where diners can enjoy a panoramic view of the Masskara Mural at the entrance of the township near the Circumferential Road. The high-ceiling layout and floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow more natural light to penetrate and further extend the feel of the space.

All the furniture used inside the store and at the alfresco dining area have been shipped from France and Hong Kong.

DESSERT STATION ON A TRAIN

Since The Upper East occupies the former complex of the historic Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company (BMMC), one of the premier institutions that helped open Bacolod to the rest of the country and the region, visitors can find the refurbished historic, century-old BMMC train as the iconic centerpiece of the park.

Beside the train is an extension built to function as a dessert center that serves sundaes and drinks to guests on the go, making it the world’s first-ever McDonald’s dessert station on a train. Surrounding the train are statues of sugar farmers, a fitting nod to the heritage and legacy of the former sugar central.

“Since the pandemic, Megaworld has been building iconic McDonald’s outlets designed to become tourist attractions. All of these add to the vibrancy and experience that residents, workers, and visitors can enjoy in its township developments,” Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice president for sales and marketing, Megaworld Visayas, said.

Aside from alfresco tables and chairs at the park, diners can also sit on several benches to enjoy their favorite McDonald’s snacks.

MORE SPACE

The store, which can seat more than 300 people at a time, also has a separate room for its McCafe where diners can pair their favorite McDonald’s meals with their chosen caffeinated or decaffeinated beverage and pastries.

McDonald’s The Upper East also features the first-ever Side-by-Side (Double Lane) Drive-Thru facility in Western Visayas, where drive-thru diners can order via Customer Order Displays. Crew members use a Handheld Order-Taking (HHOT) device to take orders for a quicker and more convenient ordering experience.

A MUST-VISIT STOP

McDonald’s The Upper East is also the first McDonald’s store with its own ‘Collab Room,’ the fast-food giant’s own version of a private meeting and conference room. This room is equipped with essential facilities needed for meetings and can accommodate up to 10 persons at any given time.

McDonald’s The Upper East also has an expansive Bike and Dine Facility for cyclists making a quick stop to enjoy their favorite McDonald’s meal. This area also features a Bike Repair and Air Pumping Station, as well as an E-Charging Station for e-bikes and scooters.

Other features of the NXTGen McDonald’s Upper East include Self-Ordering Kiosks (SOK), wireless charging facilities installed at communal tables, and power outlets at the McCafe and the alfresco area where diners can charge their tablets, smartphones, or laptops. The store also has a Party Area to host birthday parties and other celebrations, and a lactation room for breastfeeding moms.*

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