THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

DANIEL NG 1

Watching and reading Randy Lai, McDonald’s Managing Director in Hong Kong, pictured below, stutter and stumble through “clarifications” and half-baked apologies behind the “Rottengate” scandal that has left- and will continue to leave- a very bad smell around the image of those now-tarnished Golden Arches, I couldn’t help think about my mentor and friend Daniel Ng.

DANIEL NG 2

What would Daniel, the former NASA engineer, entrepreneur, and one of the sharpest and most illogically logical people I have met, who didn’t listen to the naysayers or worry about the flop of Burger King, and brought McDonald’s to Hong Kong- and, later, China- have done?

DANIEL NG 3

One thing’s certain: He would never have spluttered and stuttered as he would never ever had “his” McDonald’s reach this tottering point in its history in Hong Kong.

Why?

Daniel Ng was so hands-on with every aspect of his business that “McDamage control” was never considered as, under his leadership, even McDonald’s executives from Oakbrook, the home of Hamburger University, like Tom Gruber, George Griggs and the Big Mayor McCheese, Paul Schrage, could never derail his thinking.

DANIEL NG 4

He knew the Hong Kong market- and the China market- inside out.

He fought hard to get Quarter Pounders off the menu telling Schrage and company that as these burgers had chopped onions, they created flatulence along with bad breath and was the reason- onions in a Whopper- had made Burger King fail in Hong Kong.

DANIEL NG 5

DANIEL NG 6

The truth was that the Quarter Pounder was too expensive a product with a tiny profit margin, it wasn’t popular, and Daniel wanted more marketing dollars for the Filet O’Fish- a far more popular product in Hong Kong and with a bigger profit margin.

DANIEL NG 7

As then, Creative Director on the business, I backed Daniel on this McCrusade.

Hell, I backed Daniel on nearly all his adventures- the opening of the first Ronald McDonald House in China, the staff he never trusted for obvious reasons, his ambition to be a music conductor, his history-making trips as a pilot and his business dealings in China before the opening of the first McDonald’s in China.

The key is this: Daniel Ng WAS McDonald’s. He was the face, the brains and the heartbeat of the company. The buck stopped with him. Hong Kong knew this- and trusted him.

Today, who runs McDonald’s? I have no idea. Where did this panic-stricken Ms Randy Lai appear from? And the more she says, the bigger the foot in her mouth.

DANIEL NG 8

I am willing to bet that Daniel Ng would have known that something funky and dodgy was going on with his staff in China and McDonald’s contract with the “troubled” Husi Food Company in Hebei- NOT Shanghai as originally told to food safety authorities who cannot be allowed to walk away from this farce without being held culpable in some way- and would have nipped it in the bud.

DANIEL NG 9

If, for some reason this stupid mess- and what’s the bet this is only the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger coverup job?- Daniel would have owned up like the scrupulous man that he was, apologized, and then brought in the charity angle to repay the city for what had happened.

He would never have back-peddled. He was too much of a forward thinker and “seeker of the truth” for any of that bullshit.

McDonald’s in Hong Kong misses Daniel Ng as does McDonald’s Corporation and so do I.

He was a truly mighty fine man very much missed for his zest for life and enjoying a challenge as it meant another new adventure- and one he would have taken me along for the ride.

DANIEL NG 10

Hans Ebert
Chairman and CEO
FastTrack Global Ltd