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PR Representatives of the ever-golden arches held an event in Shanghai, down the road from their China headquarters at Innov Tower.
McDonald’s rarely uses PR events to create a buzz for their chain, so expectations among attendees was as high as the oil temperature used to fry their famous fare.
They did not disappoint.
“In all future restaurants in China, we are committed to opening kid-friendly and eco-aware playgrounds,” Ron Johnson, head of marketing and PR said.
“We’ve decided to make this decision in order to bring more family friendly playing options to the country. Playgrounds are few and hard to access in most cities, often limited to school grounds or malls where cost of admittance is astronomical.”
“The playgrounds and the stores will also now be opened with air purifiers equipped in the heating and cooling systems.”
“Along with a commitment to open playgrounds and better the indoor air, we will also be piloting new fresh menus with salads, yogurt, and wraps,” Johnson continued.
The event also held a buffet of the fresh menu, though some complained they were still so hungry after eating set meals, they’d need to get a second lunch.
A one-time playground was installed at the event grounds, but soon needed to be shut down when attending children became too rambunctious.
“Along with installing safety nets and testing playgrounds to assess injury probability, we will be requiring that waivers be signed by all parents before allowing their children to play,” Johnson added suddenly when the event playground was unexpectedly shut down early.
The decisions received favorable public responses
“I would never have gone to McDonald’s with my kids because it’s so bad for health, but if it’s opening a fresh menu and playgrounds, I’m excited to go there!” Rita Jennings said, mom of two.
“I’ve always wondered why there were no playgrounds at fast food restaurants here unlike in the US, so I’m glad to hear that they’re making a change to be more family friendly,” Zhang Shezi remarked.
The first restaurant with a playground will open in March.
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Vanessa Jencks founded China Moms Blog to connect internationally-minded parents through semi-humorous stories and poorly-written satire news. She is the former managing editor of beijingkids magazine; see her previous work here. She writes about relationships and faith at vanessajencks.com.
Photo: MD111 (Flickr)