The most frequent time I have dined at a McDonald’s stores is the ones in the Ayala Mall area. The others scattered within just a few blocks away from each other, which in the Philippines is downright convenient. Comparing it to the locations in Adelaide, South Australia you may need a car or familiar with the bus routes.
But speaking of convenience there are more McDonald’s to go around if you reside or working in the Makati Central Business District. Short walks away to a nearby dine in place is no hassle and there are plenty of choices where you want to dine-in, thus leaves some stores fighting their way to keep up with competition. McDonald’s is all places, but there is one store I haven’t dined in until now.
Though I don’t do reviews like a ‘mystery shopper’ the store at 6780 JAKA building is something people might be surprised to find out as not directly managed by McDonald’s but one of the two franchise-owned stores in the city.
The other branch is located just across Ayala Triangle Gardens at the Paseo Center. You’ll notice the slight difference of their price point for some of their meals, but the entire menu is consistent with all the McDo stores.
Low-Profile Store at JAKA 6780
Along Ayala Avenue there are two McDonald’s stores across each other to the point they appear like competing for each other. This is the closest seeing two stores just across of each other, but most people would dine-in at the 24 hours branch just beside PBCOM Tower. The other seems to be just a low profile fast food store that appears to take a back seat from the other one across the street.
But there’s something unique about this store that the other doesn’t, but when you look at it from this outside it’s another McDo store appearing to be redundant who get less customers in comparison. If you enter this branch you’ll see the same menu that’s really need improvement by not dictating what is a ‘Filipino flavour’ for the masses. Comparing it to the Maccas stores I dined-in South Australia will put McDo in the Philippines to shame when it comes to quality of the food they have, but more of this will be discussed. The part that makes this JAKA branch in need of attention is how it’s not as cheerful with most of the McDo stores in this country.
It Takes a Little of Sunshine
Like any McDonald’s store they have the best employees around, but observing the exterior and interior appearance of this branch, this one needs a little more sunshine. When you’re outside the lighting looks dull the same time when you enter the doors. Even though it’s franchise-owned it should be consistent with the other branches having bright lights. It only has one toilet for the men, women, and the disabled, which is already an inconvenience to everyone who uses it.
The people ‘seem cheerful’ but in my day back around trying to observe each store not everyone is smiling. Working in a customer service on a BPO company has thought me to smile even behind the phones and show some optimism this should be the same when you’re just across the counter. There’s one out of three McDonald’s store I frequent a few days before gets easily disappointed if you declined them when I was searching or a particular Happy Meal toy. But for the JAKA branch they tried to be as accommodating to give you an option which needs further improvements.
Food is McDo’s Identity Not its Endorsers
If you watched “The Founder” a film that featured Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc and have watched how the McDonald’s brothers started the company would give you an idea why it became an iconic brand in America. For the most part to make it short Mr. Kroc learned to make sure the taste of the hamburgers are consistent with the other branch meaning being a global brand you should continue with the same quality taste, and I haven’t tried paying attention until I dined at the JAKA branch.
McDonald’s Cheese Burger
In Adelaide, South Australia when you order a Happy Meal the burger that’s included is the cheese burger not the localized “Burger McDo.” I remember having tasted cheese burger at the old McDonald’s store in Glorietta, which used to be just an open area. The two-level branch had a playground on the second floor and I always have a cheese burger. I can never forget the taste of McDo’s cheese burger back in the day until I had it when I was in Australia. The taste was not different and the quality of its flavour was something I can never forget until I dined at the JAKA branch yesterday and was not pleased with it.
Just like the McDonald’s brothers in the film have said that the burgers have two pickles in it. The same with the ones I tasted in Adelaide. They’re consistent with what’s in those cheese burgers. But in the Philippines they only put one pickle, and there where less onions and the cheese was melting at the same time. The taste was way different from the time McDo was new in the Philippines that had a similar taste when I had one just two weeks ago in Australia, which shows how quality has definitely gone down.
Though Spaghetti does not appear in the menu in Australia it’s an original as part of the menu in the Philippines that I usually order since I grew up having. But comparing it to Jollibee’s “Jolly Spaghetti” neither is pleasing to the eyes or even to the taste. Jollibee’s spaghetti is wet while McDo’s version is dry.
But some McDo stores served with more sauce that they over do it or have less to make it look dry than the weather in Adelaide. They’re not consistent with what is actually a “McSpaghetti” if you’ve tried and observed it. I’ve dined and tasted over the years and realize how things have gone south.
Not-So Golden Fries
You may think the Cheese Burger in the Philippines taste differently this included the fries how it became from ‘fresh from the grill’ to stiff, warm, and lifeless that in comparison to what it really tastes like in Australia.
Again, my apologies for comparing it to another country because McDo used to have the best fries with that same quality that the Australians are serving now that’s similar back in the day when it actually was consistent with the quality taste.
The Other Reason Why JAKA 6780 is Unique
This branch is dull in appearance, the people need to be cheerful, and the menu needs some green if you know what I mean. Not to mention the one toilet policy is not convenient for everyone, and I’m not even saying it needs renovation for its lacking for the appearance. The store certainly needs some life here, but it’s not the part that makes this an interesting place to dine in.
But the part why this store is unique is because it’s the only one with the “Mini Happy Meal Museum” in the second level. Yup, this store has a second level that is rarely noticed by everyone. The display has most of the Happy Meal toys dating back to the mid-1990s, where you can see some of the 101 Dalmatians on display up to the most recent ones like the Super Mario toys that was released in December 2016.
This is just a Feedback. Trust me.
The JAKA 6780 branch may have a Happy Meal Museum, but it doesn’t mean there won’t be improvements just to cater for the average Filipino customer. McDonald’s is failing in other countries and in the Philippines its starting to look like one unless someone is like a horse with blinds not noticing its slow demise when it comes to quality just to sell burgers and get endorsers to everyone’s attention.
Yes, It is a business but the reason McDonald’s became an iconic brand was being at par with quality with taste and consistency. One branch can’t change that when someone takes notice that this branch looks like trying not to be seen. I wrote this article because I enjoyed dining at McDo not because of the Happy Meal toys, but for the reason it became part of some people’s lives that includes mine.
But most people in the public would be busy noticing it, because I had the privilege to experience dining in another country and noticing the difference. It’s like comparing apples to oranges but it’s the same brand. If Ray Kroc was still alive today he would probably be pissed that the cheese burger in Australia was consistent ever since, but the one in the Philippines tasted differently over the years.
Overall the Happy Meal Museum was cool. The menu and the store at JAKA need to up the quality. McDonald’s in the Philippines should not be chasing Jollibee, it should be better making its own identity not dictating the Filipino taste, but keeping the core brand for it was when it was originally founded. I would have stop eating at McDo if I didn’t care but I’m not.
The Burger McDo though should be removed from its menu, Period.