Earlier this year, McDonald’s announced their Happy Meal Readers programme. Customers can now opt for their Happy Meals to come with a children’s book instead of a toy.
However, Malaysians have expressed frustrations at the actual implementation of this initiative.
A new book is released every month for the year of 2019. Yet collecting the books causes frustration for everyone involved.
Facebook user Jian Hou took to the platform to raise his concerns.
According to him, many of the McDonald’s staff are not even aware of this programme themselves.
Jian Hou claims that he has given up using the Drive-Thru because they never stock the books.
Even at the counter in the restaurant, cashiers only offer the toys with the Happy Meal. When asked, they say that there are no books, only toys.
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The 3rd book is out! Yes, i’m that mom that will ask every week, is the new book out? Because the series is good. And they have a Malay version too! And yes I buy Happy Meals for my kids because of the toys/books that comes with it. Although it is not the exactly a good option for a healthy kid’s meal, there are ways to help make Happy Meal a healthier meal. Change the fries to corn in cup (free) and change the soft drink to a hot latte or even iced (additional charge from rm2.65). Mom gets coffee, kid gets toys/book and a meal; that’s at least 20mins of peace and quiet. Mom wins 😂 @mcdonaldsmalaysia #happymealreader #treetoptwinsadventures
Even though each Happy Meal box is printed with the book offering, managers will have to check the store rooms to look for it.
When contacted, Jian Hou told us that he has visited the Kota Kemuning, Seksyen 22 Shah Alam, and Cyberjaya branches of McDonald’s, each requiring him to jump through hoops to get books with his Happy Meal.
He does it for his son, who is also an avid reader and enjoys the books about dinosaurs. Each book is about a different dinosaur, written and illustrated by world-renowned author Cressida Cowell.
While he is pleased that McDonald’s took the initiative to cultivate reading habits in young children, he hopes that there can be more awareness about this offering.
“If even McDonald’s staff do not know about this, how do you expect them to promote this to parents and their kids? How do you expect this program to achieve what it set out to do?” he says.
We have reached out to McDonald’s Malaysia and are awaiting a response from them.