A key feature of the McDonald’s model is the manner in which all of their operations are standardised. Production line techniques are implemented in restaurants to achieve the fast preparation of uniform quality products. With a limited menu and patented formulas, the corporation ensures that products remain homogenous over distance and time. The fixtures and fittings of restaurants are largely identical throughout the world, with minor variations to account for cultural differences. The McDonalds model exerts an enormous amount of control over its franchisees and customers, forming the fundamental basis of the business.
Employees respond to customers requests with scripted questions, ensuring the fast delivery of service, and same experience time and time again. Control over employees has been increased over the last decade due to technological advancements, such as EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) systems, which eliminates the need for the operator to use arithmetic, or remember prices.
Customers are subtly controlled by the uncomfortable seating and standardised menus. This reflects the quantitative aspects of the quick-service food industry, increasing the number of customers by reducing idle time. Standardisation within the McDonalds model is apparent in both the restaurants and their suppliers. Contractors are required to share knowledge of food processing techniques, allowing the corporation to retain consistency and control of all aspects of the business.
The Influence of McDonalds McDonald’s objective is to become the UKs favourite Quick Service Restaurant To do this, the company has set the following objectives:
- To provide total customer satisfaction
- To increase market share
- To increase profitability
Every day, McDonalds supplies food and drink to over 28 million people worldwide, of which 1.2 million are Britons. Despite the limited choice 7% of Americans choose to eat there every day. The Golden Arches have become the best-known logo in the world.
Nowadays, few children fail to notice the flamboyant red and yellow frontages that are located in most shopping centres and high streets throughout the country. McDonalds have realised that most people succumb to this convenient way of keeping children happy. McDonalds target the young. As their 750 page Operations Manual states, Children are often the key decision-makers concerning where a family goes to eat.
And, of McDonalds chief PR strategy, the clown Ronald McDonald, it said, Ronald loves McDonalds and McDonalds food. And so do children, because they love Ronald. Children exert a phenomenal influence when it comes to restaurant selection. McDonalds advised their marketing and advertising department to do everything they can to appeal to childrens love for Ronald and McDonalds. McDonald’s have very close relationships with their suppliers, even making sure that their different suppliers communicate with one another regarding procedures, and the introduction of new technology, in order for the McDonald’s corporation to maximise its profits through efficient operations.
Only the largest corporations can exert this amount of power over its suppliers, and therefore most companies could not adopt the McDonald’s model regarding its relationship with suppliers. Culture One of McDonalds major achievements was breaking through the food culture barrier. Most countries are eager to preserve their own specific culinary culture, however through successful global advertising,
McDonalds operates 24,800 outlets in 115 countries. Egypt, Kuwait, Russia, and China have all been developed with the worlds largest restaurant situated in Beijing, which has over 700 seats and 1200 staff. McDonalds has worked extensively on establishing franchises on a multinational scale. In both Moscow and Yugoslavia, the corporation had to set up the infrastructure in conjunction with governments to provide the consistent standard of restaurants found around the world.
McDonalds is fully committed to becoming the global leader paying for the processing plants needed to supply these outlets. McDonalds has worked closely with franchisees around the world to allow them to customize outlets to cater for specific cultural needs. Variations in menu are a key characteristic of cultural variety. In much of Europe beer is served, and in America yoghurt, salads and pizza are on the menu.
Stores are also varied with restaurants ranging from small express outlets in Tokyo, where high retail costs put pressure on space, to the larger restaurants such as the 700 seat outlet in Moscow, which attracted queues of over a thousand people on its first day of operation. McDonald’s Influence on Society Different businesses and services have adopted a McDonalds style nickname.
For example, in the USA, drive in dentists, which deal with minor problems, are known as McDentists. This shows that McDonalds has a reputation for speed, though it also gives evidence that McDonalds is thought of as a basic, simple service, which admittedly isnt too far from the truth. This is an example of the McDonaldisation of society. The success of McDonalds can be attributed to efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control.
McDonalds uses optimum methods of production, and also has an effective body of rules and regulations, which ensure highly efficient work. McDonalds also states it provides the best available way to get from hungry to full. (G. Ritzer.2000. The McDonaldization of Society. Pg 36). Calculability can be measured by McDonalds emphasis on the quantitative aspects of the products sold. As a culture, we tend to believe that bigger is better (George.Ritzer.2000. The McDonaldization of Society. Pg.9). Customers are made to feel that they are getting a bargain, are therefore can justify spending their money on a particular item.
Predictability is a fundamental aspect of McDonalds success. It gives the public assurance that products and services will be the same over time and in all vicinities. McDonalds have discovered that people have come to prefer a world of no surprises, and therefore try to make the McDonalds experience as similar as possible, in terms of service and food. There are numerous advantages of adopting the McDonalds model.
Nowadays, there is a wider availability of goods and services, which have a greater sphere of influence. It is far more convenient for the public to obtain products and services, due to the increased number of outlets, and uniform quality of goods and services. The McDonalds model has also brought about the availability to more economic alternatives to high priced customised goods. The introduction of quantification now enables comparison to be made between goods and services, in terms of size. This society has adopted a bigger is better attitude.
Finally, this new model has helped the establishment of equal treatment, regardless of race, class, or gender. Naturally, there are disadvantages to this rational system employed by McDonalds. The first oversight being that this type of system constantly generates irrational consequences. The environment is becoming affected by chemicals, which are essential in order for the standardisation, uniform shape, size and quality of the products desired in this modern society. Developing countries are also being put at risk by the effects of deforestation and defoliation.
Disasters in Sudan and Ethiopia can be attributed at least partly by the uncontrolled deforestation that is taking place. It is also quite ironic that some less developed countries, where most children are undernourished, are actually exporting their staple crops as animal feed. This feed is then used to fatten cattle for the production of burgers for sale in developed countries. Millions of acres of the best farmland in underprivileged, developing countries are being used for developed countries benefit.
McDonald’s has a direct involvement in this economic imperialism, which keeps most indigenous people deprived and hungry, while many whites become overweight. Thirty-six out of forty of the worlds poorest countries export food to the USA, the most prosperous country. McDonald’s has also been condemned concerning misuse of resources. McDonald’s South American Cattle consume 10 times the amount of grain and soy that humans do. Of the 145 million tons of grain and soy that is fed to livestock, only 21 million tons of meat and by-products are used.
The waste is therefore 124 million tons per year, which has a monetary value of $20 billion. This amount of money could be better used to feed, clothe, and house the entire world population for one year. Conclusion This essay has explained how the McDonald’s model has become a characteristic of the contemporary international economy, and has helped create thousands of jobs and improve many economies. However, each benefit has brought with it a drawback. People in developing countries are starving, purely so that our developed society can be provided with excess food.
Chemicals, necessary for the uniformity of its products, are destroying the environment and putting lives at risk due to increased nitrate levels. McDonald’s have also brainwashed a great number of people, including vulnerable young children, into believing that the McDonald’s experience is pain-free. I feel that if other businesses decide to follow this model, the world could become too standardised, causing losses in national identities and cultural differences. The finest element of the McDonald’s model lies in its rationality, and I strongly feel that this aspect should be considered by businesses looking for a model to follow.
However, as stated earlier, rational systems tend to generate irrational consequences, and it is the impact on society as a whole that a business must consider before adopting a similar code of practice. I feel that if too many businesses follow this model, it wouldnt make the world a better place, but simply a bigger breeding ground for exploitation, pollution, and concealment.