Bikes > Lifestyle

Check out this bike- and eco-friendly McDonald’s branch in Mandaluyong

Serving the same, great-tasting food with a greener twist

This McDonald's store has amenities for cyclists. PHOTO BY HANS BOSSHARD

The new McDonald’s Green and Good store along Shaw Boulevard in Wack-Wack, Mandaluyong has become a test bed for several potential green techniques and technologies that the fast-food company is exploring for more environmentally conscious operations. The building itself is of a modular prefab design with solar flood lights, a rainwater-harvesting system, and various reclaimed and recycled materials used in construction and finishing.

Both the indoor and outdoor dining areas are spacious and inviting. PHOTOS BY HANS BOSSHARD

Upon entering the driveway, you can immediately see a charging station with four coin-operated 20A aircon tandem outlets that turn on for P1 per minute, akin to a “pisonet” kiosk.

Yes, outlets. These are operated by eSakay, Meralco’s sustainable mobility arm. The move is one befitting of the electrified times we live in, allowing you to charge your electric vehicle while filling up yourself. However, the charging banks are located at the furthest parking spot from the dining areas with no place to lock a bike or kick scooter to. It’s a potential market being put to waste, and moving them beside the bike-and-dine area would make much more sense and may incline e-bike or EKS users to actually visit.

Outdoor diners can sit beside their bikes while they munch on their burgers. PHOTOS BY HANS BOSSHARD

What really got my attention though is McDonald’s implementation of its bike-and-dine facilities. Unlike a similar setup we featured in the past, this has a stool on the other side of the bike rack so you can sit on a proper seat while keeping your ride within your line of sight. A pump is also available alongside the bike stand, although you will have to request to have the cabinet unlocked to access the tools.

This feels much more usable and less like a gimmick, given the relative comfort and security it gave me as I munched on my food. It’s very telling that this was constructed with feedback and information gained from cyclists, which resulted in a product that people would actually use.

There are charging stations, but no racks to lock bikes or scooters to. PHOTOS BY HANS BOSSHARD

How the food itself was served also shows how the smallest things can go a long way, especially when working at scale. I ordered a burger, and the inclusion of a bowl and a plastic glass for my fries and drink means there are two less packaging items that end up in our landfills after my meal. My experience stays more or less the same (perhaps even better, given how drinking from a glass is slightly more pleasant than from a paper cup) but my impact on our solid waste problem is nearly halved from this meal alone. A straw was included though, so I guess you can’t win them all just yet.

Drinks and fries are served on proper glasses and bowls. PHOTO BY HANS BOSSHARD

It’s not the first time that McDonald’s has done this. Its first Green and Good store was set up in April of this year along UN Del Pilar Avenue in Manila. Its bike-and-dine facilities were prototyped in two branches last January as well, before being deployed up and down the country.

With climate change looming and our traffic situation reaching a critical mass after a brief pause due to the pandemic, it’s just fitting that we change our way of thinking, living, and mobility to be more sustainable for us and the environment we only have one shot at protecting.

Hans Bosshard

Hans is the ultimate commuter: He drives a car and he rides a bicycle. He also likes tinkering with mechanical stuff.