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In the U.S., the restaurant business includes places that serve food and drinks, both self service and full service. In addition, the restaurant sub-sector also includes outlets of fast foods, food courts, canteens, and special sumptuous dining restaurants. Restaurant business is profoundly affected by trends in consumer tastes; economic conditions; changes in the currency, human demographic patterns; traffic trends that encompass number and location of other restaurants, and consumers purchasing power. All these concepts are necessary as they enable a restaurant business to be competitive with other local and regional restaurant chains. This essay will make an in depth evaluation of McDonald restaurant; a fast food restaurant with chains all over the globe.
Origin of McDonalds
Like most mega corporations all over the world, McDonald’s draws its origin from a humble beginning that helps to underscore its growth from a small restaurant to a giant multibillion dollar corporation existing in several countries across the world. The origin of the company traces back to 1937, when Patrick McDonald opened a small restaurant next to Monrovia Airport in California (Gilbert 259). Initially, the restaurant sold the conventional foods that were sold by most restaurants. These included hamburgers and orange juice. The building moved 40 miles to the East, and was established in San Bernardino in California. This was undertaken by the two sons of MacDonald, Richard and Maurice in 1940. The restaurant was subsequently renamed “MacDonald’s Farmhouse Barbeque” at that time the restaurant mostly sold barbequed products.
In 1948, when the two brothers realized that most of the profits for the restaurant came from hamburgers, they focused their attention on the sale of hamburgers, French fries, shakes and other food that were selling fast in the restaurant. Carhops were eliminated from the menu of MacDonald’s. The two brothers recognized the need to organize the restaurant in a manner that operated like an assembly line in order to ensure full efficiency. In 1948, the name of the restaurant was once again changed to McDonald’s and it reopened its doors on 12th December, 1948 (Gilbert 266).
Transformation of McDonald Restaurant
The growth and success of McDonald’s as a fast food restaurant is partly attributed to the proper founding principles that have always defined the corporation to this day. Indeed, with millions of customers across the globe, it is inevitable for the corporation to have a sense of definition that clearly distinguishes it from other players market. The basic concern for Ray Kroc was the necessity to provide exceptionally quick service. In 1954, the McDonald’s hamburger stand in California could run a total of eight multi-mixers at a time. This quick service enabled the company to establish a brand from an early age. McDonald’s also boasts a supremely philanthropic principle which has always defined the corporation for years.
Indeed, the organization is always responsible for the community within which it dwells and will always chip in to assist in developing projects that benefit the community. The management is always personally responsible for the issues and needs of their customers. This concern is clearly evident in the manner the corporation involves itself in projects like health, education and medical research. All the franchises of McDonald’s are exceptionally positive in their social responsiveness, thus, assisting communities in a progressive manner.
The Founding Principles
One of the core principles that Ray Kroc instilled in the employees of McDonald’s at his time was cleanliness in operations. Indeed, the corporation is known across the world as a restaurant that serves sumptuous food in remarkably healthy and clean environments. The concept of cleanliness has helped the organization to extend its boundaries as it serves its clients and addresses their needs. As Ray Kroc defined the founding principles as Quality, Service, Cleanliness & Value (Q.S.C&V), the management has always ensured that these fundamental concerns are addressed in the most appropriate way (Kroc & Anderson 113). Without doubt, in terms of quality of service and products, it can be well argued that McDonald’s is indeed a leader in its field in offering quality. In the increasingly competitive global business environment quality is always a core priority and the basic preoccupation for most organizations.
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In that regard, McDonald’s is always abreast through an extensive involvement in research and development which has always assisted the organization to improve its operational services in tandem with the needs of this competitive age. In the same way, proper service is the most valued approach at McDonald’s. Through the research activities over the years, the corporation has managed to improve its services beyond the conventional market standards. Throughout the entire life of McDonald’s, management of the corporation has always stressed the importance of values for the corporation. As such, McDonald’s is value-driven and is steered by the will of customers through their need to get a proper value-meal combination. In this regard, the corporation has been known across the world as value-driven and will always strive to enhance its operations in this respect.
McDonald’s has always been a leader in exceptional customer care since its establishment. The corporation realized the importance of a proper customer-centric nature, and how such an attitude can be a good marketing criterion in its own right. In this regard, Love observes “the management is always at the forefront in advocating for the imperatives that would enhance customer care, and thereby improve the image of the corporation across the globe” (98). A casual stroll to any McDonald’s franchise serves to confirm this hellish fundamental principle that has always put the corporation at the forefront and a leader in its industry.
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In the present age, like most global corporations, McDonald’s is concerned about environmental conservation and the need to make the environment a better place that is conducive for life and activities. The company has developed an incredibly elaborate environmental policy, which declares that it is always committed to environmental conservation, thus, making the world a better place to live for the future generations. Besides, the leaders of the corporations are required to be environmentally concerned so as to steer the realization of the corporation’s environmental policy concern.
Indeed, the success of McDonald’s at its establishment can be attributed to several factors that come to play. Ray Kroc recognized the need to establish a brand for the company, and was extremely instrumental in enhancing the principles of quality and speed in the operations of the company. These fundamental values have become a driving force that attracted many customers to the restaurants. In the food industry, customer care is an extraordinarily essential component that determines success (Kroc & Anderson 85).
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The management of McDonald’s was lucky to realize this concept from the establishment of the corporation, and customer service was taken as paramount. Most importantly, the decision to engage in the fast food restaurant business was a brilliant idea because the demand for food is always available. It only increases with each year, but rarely diminishes. Therefore, the decision to sell hamburger and other favorite foods was hugely instrumental in steering the McDonald’s from a street food to join the global corporation in the food industry.
Like any other global corporation, McDonald’s has always faced a number of managerial challenges in the course of its operations. Common challenges have always revolved around egos, emotions and the struggle for power at the organization. Most people who have worked close to the middle management claim that there are abound challenges indeed. Several mistakes are always overlooked instead of being addressed and used as learning tools for future development (Gilbert 310). A lot of carelessness has also been seen in some operational areas. The management of McDonald’s has always been blamed on the low levels of motivation realized from most of the employees of the corporation. A lot of discrimination is realized in the corporation considering that it operates in diverse backgrounds. Nevertheless, the top management at the corporation is always on the move to address most of these management challenges.
In 1954, the menu of MacDonald’s was only limited to fries, burgers and some beverages which were popular in those days (Love 245). Over the years, the restaurant has come to incorporate an assortment of foods on its menu in a bid to address the varied needs of its many clients. With time meat, which was produced on farms and some dairy products were added to the menu as the corporation grew in size. Today, the restaurant chain offers a variety of burgers, chicken, fish, pork, fries, dairy products, juices and a host of other beverages. These products are always offered in the most appropriate flavors and have always given the restaurant a brand name. Lately, McDonald’s has realized the popularity of its beverages, thereby posing a lot of competition to the original players like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. This latest trend has seen the popularity of some brands like the McCafe shakes and Big Mac. The corporation is developing a new franchising method that encourages linkages between the individual franchises, and management of the corporation in a bid to improve service quality through research.
Therefore, the success of McDonald’s as a global brand is a function of several factors, which have developed the corporation over the years. A strong sense of identity combined with the value-driven spirit is just the right tools that have propelled the corporation to fame and recognition.
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