Ten days ago, Kunming joined the ranks of Chinese cities with McDonald's restaurants featuring the very American concept of drive-through windows. The first Kunming McDonald's outlet with drive-through service - which the company is marketing as 速来得 (sulaide, or 'come and get it fast') - is located on the west side of Chuncheng Lu south of Yongping Lu on the way to the airport. GoKunming reader Roger Greenlee looked into the fast food giant's attempt to introduce drive-through service to Kunming:
"If you have taken a taxi anywhere in Kunming over the last year then this statement will come as no shock to you: "Kunming has too many cars". It's almost guaranteed that if you take taxis frequently you have heard the driver mumble this exact statement in Chinese. Last year I met the French manager of Carrefour in Kunming and he said one of their catalysts for business here in Kunming is to put free parking garages attached to their stores. According to their research Kunming has the 4th largest car to people ratio in China.
"So, whether you like it or not, enter McDonald's into the picture. As I was eating there yesterday (yeah, I'll admit it), the little tray insert was a picture of two young Chinese couples sitting in their convertible car picking up their Big Macs from the drive-thru window. It looked like something from the Back to the Future movies.
"One exciting thing about this for Kunming is that the only other cities right now that have McDonald's drive-thrus are Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. But, of course, there will be more cities by the end of the year.
"CBSNews.com has a good article about the first drive-thru that opened in Beijing earlier this year. It seems that McDonald's has a partnership with Sinopec, the second largest oil and gas station company in China. This partnership allows McDonald's to open the drive-thrus adjacent to the gas station assuring maximum car traffic."
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