Excitement is building up for this year’s Masskara Festival in Bacolod City as the Philippines’ “most beautiful McDonald’s store” finally opens its doors inside property giant Megaworld’s 34-hectare township, The Upper East. This iconic store features the world’s first McDonald’s dessert station on a train and pays tribute to Bacolod City’s Masskara Festival with several ‘uniquely Bacolod’ design elements. Read more.
Photo by Renzi Juarez / Camera Club of Negros
Megaworld Opens the PH’s Most Beautiful: McDonald’s Upper East
Inspired by the revelry and excitement of the world-famous Masskara Festival, the new McDonald’s NXTGen store showcases giant masks as part of its exterior design. The giant ‘masskaras,’ which have been crafted by Bacolod’s world-famous mask maker Jojo Vito, are easily visible from afar and light up at night to give a more festive and colorful feel.
The Most Beautiful McDonald’s Store in the Philippines
McDonald’s The Upper East features a 2,200-square-meter landscaped, a curated park that also serves as an open alfresco dining area, making it the biggest alfresco facility for McDonald’s in the Philippines.
“There are many things to celebrate about this new McDonald’s store. Our vision is to make it a ‘destination McDonald’s’, more than just a place where everyone can enjoy eating their favorite McDonald’s meals. This store is ‘uniquely Bacolod’ as it showcases what the City of Smiles truly deserves,” says Eugene Reducindo, managing director, Choice Gourmet Banquet, Inc., the company that franchises and operates Megaworld-owned McDonald’s stores.
Native tropical plants and flowering trees, such as narra, banaba, pitogo, and batino, adorn this Filipino-themed garden to add more character and color into the space. There are also recycled bricks used as flooring materials by the main entrance and a green wall at the alfresco area that further highlight sustainability as a major element in the store’s design.
Lending a more festive ambiance within the area are several two-meter tall, tulip-shaped lighted flowers made of fiberglass that look especially beautiful when lit at night. These complement the decorative lights that illuminate the store at nighttime to emphasize the beauty of the store’s exterior.
The huge ‘I Love Bacolod’ signage is also installed in front of the store, making it an instant Instagrammable spot for locals and tourists alike.
The overall design for McDonald’s The Upper East follows the Ray Palette, the fast-food giant’s latest global design scheme standard that puts emphasis on space and lighting.
What’s Inside this McDonald’s NXTGen Restaurant
Inside the store, an eye-catching staircase in McDonald’s signature yellow shade leads to the second floor, where diners can enjoy a panoramic view of the Masskara Mural at the entrance of the township near Circumferential Road. The high-ceiling layout and floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow more natural light to penetrate and further extend the feel of the space.
All the furniture used inside the store and at the alfresco dining area has been shipped from France and Hong Kong.
World’s first-ever McDonald’s dessert station on a train
Since The Upper East occupies the former complex of the historic Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company (BMMC), one of the premier institutions that helped open Bacolod to the rest of the country and the region, visitors can find the refurbished historic, century-old BMMC train as the iconic centerpiece of the park.
Beside the train is an extension built to function as a dessert center that serves sundaes and drinks to guests on the go, making it the world’s first-ever McDonald’s dessert station on a train. Surrounding the train are statues of sugar farmers, a fitting nod to the heritage and legacy of the former sugar central.
“Since the pandemic, Megaworld has been building iconic McDonald’s outlets designed to become tourist attractions. All of these add to the vibrancy and experience that residents, workers, and visitors can enjoy in its township developments,” adds Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice president for sales and marketing, Megaworld Visayas.
The Megaworld-owned store is the latest iconic outlet under the company’s McDonald’s portfolio after McDonald’s Capital Town in Pampanga (popularly known as the Philippines’ “biggest McDonald’s”) and McDonald’s Forbes Hill (the first-ever McDonald’s NXTGen store in the entire Negros).
Aside from alfresco tables and chairs at the park, diners can also sit on several benches to enjoy their favorite McDonald’s snacks.
More space to enjoy signature McDonald’s treats
The store, which can seat more than 300 people at a time, also has a separate room for its McCafe where diners can pair their favorite McDonald’s meals with their chosen caffeinated or decaffeinated beverage and pastries.
McDonald’s The Upper East also features the first-ever Side-by-Side (Double Lane) Drive-Thru facility in Western Visayas, where drive-thru diners can order via Customer Order Displays. Crew members use a Handheld Order-Taking (HHOT) device to take orders for a quicker and more convenient ordering experience.
A must-visit stop in The Upper East
McDonald’s The Upper East is also the first McDonald’s store with its own ‘Collab Room,’ the fast-food giant’s own version of a private meeting and conference room. This room is equipped with essential facilities needed for meetings and can accommodate up to 10 people at any given time.
McDonald’s The Upper East also has an expansive Bike and Dine Facility for cyclists making a quick stop to enjoy their favorite McDonald’s meal. This area also features a Bike Repair and Air Pumping Station, as well as an E-Charging Station for e-bikes and scooters.
Other features of the NXTGen McDonald’s Upper East include Self-Ordering Kiosks (SOK), wireless charging facilities installed at communal tables, and power outlets at the McCafe and the alfresco area where diners can charge their tablets, smartphones, or laptops. The store also has a Party Area to host birthday parties and other celebrations, and a Lactation Room for breastfeeding moms.
McDonald’s The Upper East will be among the must-visit stops inside this Megaworld township beginning the Masskara Festival this October. Next year, we can look forward to the opening of Landers Superstore Upper East in March 2023.
Continuing its rise as the city’s first master-planned mixed-use community, The Upper East will soon have its own Megaworld Lifestyle Mall, commercial parks, hotel, church, and other institutional and recreational facilities. Just recently, the company announced that it is building an iconic three-level showroom designed after the ‘white mansion’ that used to be part of the BMMC complex, as well as its own Landers Superstore, which is expected to open next year