McDonald’s inaugurated a store built with sustainable practices in Mendoza and plans to remodel another 40 in the country to adapt them to current consumer demands and at the same time reduce the carbon footprint. With 221 stores and 16,000 workers in Argentina, Arcos Dorados, the licensee of the hamburger chain in 20 Latin American countries, is committed to sustainability to continue being a protagonist among the new generations.
In 2021, Arcos Dorados launched a model of 25 sustainable construction initiatives, which promote the saving and efficient use of water and energy. The company’s objective is reduce the carbon footprint by 36% by 2030. on that road, Arcos Dorados announced that it will issue its first “green bond”linked to sustainable development goals.
The new premises, located next to the Guaymallén bus terminalattached to the center of the city of Mendoza, includes innovations such as the recovery of condensation water from air conditioners for irrigation and cleaning of the parking lot, separation of waste in the dining room and in warehouses and the use of certified wood in furniture, among other measures.
The store will be open 24 hours and employs 160 people. It is the chain’s eighth location in Mendoza, where they employ 580 people. McDonald’s is the main generator of young formal employment in Argentina.
“With this opening, we continue to reinforce our commitment to the reactivation and economic growth of the country and to believe in young people through the generation of new jobs. This restaurant represents our pillars of sustainability framed in the Recipe of the Future”, said Eduardo Lopardo, general director of Arcos Dorados Argentina.
For now, among the pillars of the Recipe of the Future the development of a vegetarian menu is not includedas is the case with other competitors such as Burger King and Mostaza, which already have a variety of hamburgers suitable for non-carnivores.
However, Lopardo says that worldwide the company is developing McPlant, a plant-based burger already being tested in Canada and Germany. “Developments are being made and work is being done. The vegetarian hamburger is something that is going to come, although we do not have a specific date,” explained Lopardo.
Arcos Dorados’ path towards sustainability began years ago. The first step was one of the most difficult: they eliminated plastic straws, despite resistance and consumer complaints.
“It had been ten years since we opened a new store in Mendoza. This new restaurant is the first in the interior of the country that is part of the brand’s new generation of stores with unique features to minimize the use of resources and reduce environmental impact,” said Luis Zambonini, who operates the brand in the province of Mendoza.
The plan of Arcos Dorados is that From now on all McDonald’s locations are built and managed in a sustainable way. And for the 221 stores that already exist, the plan is to readjust them under this criteria at a rate of 40 restaurants per year.
The pandemic left McDonald’s stores closed for several months. “2020 was very hard. Since last November the recovery in consumption has been uninterrupted and we are already at pre-pandemic levels“Lopard said.
Nevertheless, recovery is uneven: the premises located in the Microcentro and those linked to the cinemas are still below the level of 2019.
At the national level, McDonald’s opened its first store in Argentina almost 36 years ago. Three years ago Arcos Dorados set up Advance in Argentina, the “digital factory” that employs 300 people and designs technological solutions for the entire region.
“The pandemic redirected investments. This digital factory was created and talent and money were invested to develop the app and its own delivery. This allows us to have data on the preferences of each client and personalize the benefits.”
“One of the changes that we are promoting is the use of technology in the way of buying in stores. Now we have ‘kiosks’, large screens in which the customer places his order and pays for it without having to go to the counter”, Lopard said.