In a bid to establish a major presence in Latin America’s largest nation and boost its brand’s e-credibility, McDonald’s Brazil will this month introduce free access to the internet at fifty-one of its outlets in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Each will have between four and eight terminals, depending on the size of the site.

Branded McInternet, the initiative will cost the chain in the region of $800,000. Free to any customer able to produce proof of purchase, the facility includes home banking, games and – at a later date – email addresses. Surfers will also be able to gossip or flirt with other Mac-munchers via online chat forums.

According to McDonald’s technology director Erich Roedel, the plan forms part of the chain’s general strategy for Brazil and is the forerunner of an online home delivery service with prepayment by credit card. There are also altruistic motives, if you believe new technologies vp Ragvinder Rekhi, who claims that McInternet will help develop the nation’s web usage.

McDonald's has 570 restaurants in Brazil plus a further 590 kiosks that vend sweet pies and ice cream,

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily