McDonald’s Qatar is fully owned and operated by Al Mana Restaurants and Food Company and currently operates 65 branches across the country.
Doha News spoke to Mithqual Abu Nasser, McDonald’s Qatar General Manager, who came to Qatar in 1995 to join in the opening of the country’s first branch. The conversation touched on the company’s future plans and their renowned corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Question: As you enter 2022, how do you reflect upon your 26-year history of McDonald’s Qatar and your ‘purpose’ in the local community? What can we expect from McDonald’s Qatar in 2022?
Answer: We have always had only one goal in mind, which is to deliver a high-quality food and hospitality experience to our valued customers, meeting Qatar’s and the Golden Arches’ standards. As Qatar develops, we, at McDonald’s Qatar, are dedicated to keeping pace with the country’s development and continuing to provide greater customer value to our Qatari community.
When I first came to Qatar in 1995 to join in the opening of McDonald’s Qatar’s very first branch, I, along with our pioneering team at the time, committed to delivering our brand promise of making delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone. Today, 26 years later, our flagship quick service restaurant has not only delivered on that promise, but we have grown our network to 65 restaurants around the country. We plan to open many more in the coming years to meet increasing customer demand, making McDonald’s a household name in Qatar.[The year] 2022 will be no different. McDonald’s Qatar will continue delivering the same high-quality food and hospitality experience, maintaining a high level of safety and hygiene standards and aligning with the local community’s values.
McDonald’s Cooperation is a proud sponsor of the FIFA World Cup 2022. Locally, we are 100% locally owned and operate under Al Mana Restaurants & Food Co. W.L.L., making us proud supporters of Qatar’s Vision. Thus, we have two excellent reasons to welcome everyone from around the world to Qatar and showcase our signature hospitality, warmth and enthusiasm.
Question: At Qatar University’s National CSR Program on 28 March, you received the Responsible Leadership CSR Award. What led to the winning of this very prestigious recognition?
Answer: McDonald’s Qatar is honoured to be awarded the ‘Responsible Leadership CSR Award’ for the third time in 2022, and previously in 2014 and 2015 at Qatar University’s CSR National Program.
It was a particularly distinct pleasure for us this time, as we received our award in the special attendance of His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, as well as high representation of government, academic, business, diplomatic and NGOS.
With McDonald’s Qatar being locally owned, we take pride in continuously receiving recognition and appreciation for our commitment on being an active member of the local community.
This year’s award was given to us for our various initiatives and collaborations with charities, health sectors, sports, environment and education. Notably, some of our community work that really stood out in 2021 was called ‘Give Thanks to Our Brave Front-Liners,’ where we gave over 100,000 free meals and coffee to doctors, nurses, police officers and civil defense front-line COVID19 workers, for over 3 months and received a certificate of appreciation and recognition from the Ministry of Interior represented by the General Traffic Department.
Another initiative was ‘Pink Walk,’ where we participated in the breast cancer awareness walk in Aspire Zone and gave free meals to all attendees. Additionally, we started a long-term partnership with Qatar Charity to support deserving segments of the community in Qatar and gave over 5,000 meal vouchers in our ‘Ramadan 2021 Qatar Charity Partnership’.
To this end, we would like to thank everyone in our McFamily ecosystem for their hard work, efforts, and dedication. Moving forward, we have our hearts set on continuing to offer the food our patrons love in simple, easy and fun ways, whilst further entrenching ourselves within the social fabric of our country, Qatar.
Question: Every year in Ramadan, we see the importance McDonald’s Qatar places upon having a strong ‘community connection’. What does McDonald’s Qatar have in store for the Qatari community this Ramadan?
Answer: We believe in the importance of extending kindness during the holy month of Ramadan. Regionally, this year, we are participating in a MENA-wide campaign titled “A Full Heart Is All You Need” that sheds light on the importance of practicing good deeds, as well as, encouraging children to do so.
Locally, as part of our campaign this year, McDonald’s Qatar is giving free soups and dates with all meals purchased during Iftar time. In addition, we are partnering with Qatar Charity’s TAYF to set up ‘Happy Donation Boxes’ at 6 of our flagship restaurants in Qatar to encourage our valued customers to donate toys and books to those in need.
Furthermore, for Garangao, which is a very special local celebration that allows us to spread happiness amongst the youngest members of the Qatari community, we partnered with KidZania Doha. We offered fun-filled games, theater show, and activities for children in addition to a range of initiatives designed to foster social engagement and encourage people to learn more about Qatari culture.
Question: Worldwide, McDonald’s holds its ‘feeding and fostering communities’ at the heart of its operations. How does McDonald’s Qatar activate that mission on ground here in Qatar?
Answer: Over the years, McDonald’s Qatar has firmly embedded its “feeding and fostering communities” brand purpose in our culture and across everything we do. On ground in Qatar, we activate that brand purpose through key pillars: Jobs, Inclusion and Empowerment; Food Quality and Community Connection.
With respect to our Jobs, Inclusion and Empowerment pillar, McDonald’s Qatar has always been at the forefront of gender equality. We have demonstrable history of creating a strong culture of inclusion within the company.
Since 1995, we have employed over 600 women, making female representation at 40% across all our workforce in Qatar. Recently, in celebration of International Women’s Day, McDonald’s Qatar ran one of our busiest flagship restaurants, Town Centre branch, with an all-female crew for three consecutive days, making us the first food service retailer to do so in Qatar.
Under our Food pillar, safety and hygiene is of utmost importance to McDonald’s Qatar, as we strictly adhere by the standards set by the Golden Arches’ as well as guidelines set by the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar.
Our ‘Open Door’ policy allows our customers to personally tour our kitchens, underlining we have nothing to hide. Additionally, through our ‘Your Right to Know’ platform, an online portal that allows customers to ask questions on our Halal, high-quality, and safe ingredients, we, at McDonald’s Qatar, demonstrate exemplary transparency with community members.
Finally, Community Connection, we continuously create feel-good moments that bring us closer to the community we serve, and routinely partner with local and well-known NGOs to give back in meaningful ways.