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Reputation too comes with an expiry date

China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-15 07:07

Diners are seen at a McDonald's quick service restaurant in Beijing in September. [Photo/China Daily]

Two McDonald's branches, one in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, and another in Jinan, capital of Shandong province, have, it seems, found a solution for food that doesn't sell by the sell-by date — just replace the use-by label. Some journalists who did an undercover investigation earlier this year found that staff members at both restaurants were tampering with the food expiration labels. Back in 2012, CCTV had named a McDonald's restaurant that was reselling expired food. In 2021 and 2022, some stores were again exposed for replacing expired food labels.

McDonald's apologized on Monday and said they were cooperating with the local market regulatory bureau's probe. Discarding so much unused food means huge losses, after all. However, should consumers pay the price because of poor management in the kitchen?

The company claims that customers can enjoy the same quality and services at any McDonald's outlet. But it should be aware that any outlet's malpractices might affect its overall brand image and credibility. Not to mention its multiple outlets have been caught erring many times during the years.

The standards that are set are not just regulations; they are a commitment made to consumers. Failure to uphold these commitments concerns the company's integrity.

As of the end of 2023, McDonald's had 5,903 outlets in China and it is aiming to exceed 10,000 branches by 2028. The burger giant understands that standardization is the foundation of chain operations.


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