Michael Quirante: Tenacious and Resourceful
Branch Manager of McDonalds-Hidalgo (Quiapo)
by Apolinario Villalobos
Lately, MacDonalds has been hugging the limelight because of the incidents on food poisoning. This seems unlikely as the food chain is known for being finicky as regards their products and service. I had the chance to test the trademark for which it has been known one morning when I dropped by their Hidalgo Branch in Quiapo for breakfast.
As usual I ordered the pancakes but the Cashier, Love Castaῆares smilingly suggested their new product, launched just that morning, the cheesy egg pandesal. I gave in to her insistence, but I was disappointed as it came in the size which was not my type, so I rejected it. At this instance, the Branch Manager, Michael Quirante volunteered that I still try the pandesal if only to check its taste. I declined, and perhaps in an effort to prevent me from getting irritated, it was promptly changed with the pancakes.
While I was enjoying my pancakes, I saw Mr. Quirante slicing the sandwich into bite sizes, and offered them to the few customers at the time, as it was still early. He had such kind of persuading approach that no customer ever declined his offer, and all of them practically gave their thumb up, to confirm that their new product tasted really good. In just a couple of minutes all bite-sized pandesal slices were gone, and Mr. Quirante was smiling from ear to ear.
What touched me that morning was the persistence of Mr. Quirante in introducing a new product of the company, by personally, offering it to the customers. He was not downhearted with my rejection. Also, I supposed that such gesture was not really part of his routine, but rather his own kind of personal gimmickry that put his resourcefulness to the fore.
My interest in the attitude of Mr. Quirante made me talk to him for a few minutes before I left. I asked him if he was aware of the latest impression on their company due to the issue on food poisoning, to which he answered in the positive, that is why, he told me that they are trying their best to maintain their image. Just then, a service crew came in and greeted him. He told me that the guy was a Muslim. I was surprised because I thought only Christians were being hired by their company. At that, I was told that they want to be fair to all those who seek opportunity to help them with their studies, that is why their outlet has hired four Muslim staff. I was not surprised by what he told me as McDonalds is known for its penchant in helping working students. In fact, Mr. Quirante told me that he went through the same stage, as he was himself, a working student when he worked initially with the company.
Quiapo is one area in Manila, a historic one, yet, which is being shared by the Catholics and Muslims who live side by side harmoniously. MacDonalds contributes to this harmonious co-existence by hiring service crew members from the area, regardless of their religious affinity. Mr. Quirante’s attitude on the other hand, has enhanced the effort of the company in his own way, by doing his best as part of the company – being nice to the clients and his co-employees. He told me that his rising from the lowest position, that of a service crew, until he became manager, gave him the opportunity to understand the entire nature of his job.
While it is true that employees of service-oriented companies are mandated to smile their best to attract customers, the difference lies in the “sincerity” in how it is done. Being an employee myself that handled customer needs, I know if smiling is candidly done or words that are muttered are meant to help or appease irritated clients or not. Mr. Quirante did more than all those…he made use of his resourcefulness to help his company to show that the golden arc does not only symbolize excellent service, but superb products, as well.