History of McDonald’s and its Globalization Process

Introduction

McDonald’s is a well known fast food retail chain that has its main operations in the United States of America. The fast food retail corporation has 31,000 fast food restaurants in 119 countries around the world with many of these fast food outlets serving around 58 million customers in one day. The total number of people working for McDonald’s is over 1.5 million employees in the various chains around the world.

Apart from the company’s fast food restaurants, McDonald’s operates other restaurant brands which include the Piles Cafe, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Donatos Pizza. The most common McDonald meals being the hamburger (Big Mac), cheese burger, French fries, chicken nuggets, egg McMuffins, soft drinks and milk shakes. These meals are offered in the various McDonalds restaurants that include drive-through restaurants, counter service, Auto-Mac or Pay and Drive (McDonald’s par. 1-2).

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History of McDonald’s

McDonald’s was started in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald in the Bernardino area of California and the main idea behind opening the restaurant was to provide cheap burgers through the use of fast service. The two brothers introduced the speedy service system in 1948 within their restaurant and that marked the beginning of the modern day fast food restaurants around the world.

The company filed for its first US trademark in 1961 with the description of their restaurant to be one that offered drive-in restaurant services. The company also filed a logo trademark on September 3rd of 1961 that would be used to identify the McDonald’s franchise. The company had previously used a logo of a man with a chef’s hat on top of a hamburger when they decided changed their logo to that of Ronald McDonald.

The company took on the logo trademark of the overlapping, double arched M symbol in 1961 when they filed for a logo trademark. “The overlapping double arched M symbol was however changed in 1962 to a single arch M symbol. This single arched M has become the symbol that is used today to identify McDonald’s restaurants around the world” (Mieth 3-4).

The first franchise owner of McDonald’s was Ray Kroc who was appointed by Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1954 to run the San Bernardino restaurant in California. Ray Kroc eventually opened his own restaurant in 1955 within the Des Plaines area of Illinois near Chicago which marked the beginning of the McDonald’s Corporation.

Kroc developed the company’s motto in 1957 which states that McDonald’s was restaurant that offered quality, service, cleanliness and value (Q.S.C. &V.). In 1961, Ray Kroc bought all the rights to the McDonald’s franchise from Richard and Maurice McDonald at a price of $2.7 million dollars (Spotlight par. 1-5).

The year 1963 marked the opening of 500 McDonald restaurants in America with these restaurants selling a total of one billion hamburgers. 500 students from the Hamburger University in Chicago also graduated in 1963 marking the success of the McDonald’s corporate brands. The same year saw McDonald’s earning a net income that exceeded $ 1 million dollars as a result of the increasing food sales in its 500 restaurants. Ronald McDonald joined the company in 1963 as a partner of the corporation with Ray Kroc.

The following year saw the introduction of the fillet on fish sandwich which was added to the restaurants growing meals that included the French fries and cheese burgers. The corporation’s stock went public in 1965 with the earning ratios varying from 10 to 22 in one year and the stock prices ranging form 15-33.5 in one year (Spotlight par. 6-8).

After the corporation’s stock went public, the following year saw McDonald’s being listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on 7th May 1966. This marked the beginning of the company’s expansion plans as the corporation was experiencing an increased growth in its customers as well as in its sales.

The first fast food restaurants to be established outside the United States were opened in Canada and Puerto Rico during 1967. The following year, 1968, saw the introduction of the Big Mac hamburger that would become the signature fast food meal of all McDonald restaurants around the world as well as the opening of the 1,000th McDonald’s restaurant in the Des Plaines area of Illinois.

The continued expansion activities of the corporation saw McDonald’s fast food restaurants in every state within the United States by the year 1970. During the same year, McDonald’s opened two new fast food chains in the Virgin Islands and Costa Rica (Spotlight par. 9-12).

In 1971, McDonald’s conducted test marketing for the introduction of Egg McMuffin’s into the breakfast menu of the fast food restaurants. The tests showed that the market was ready for breakfast items in fast food restaurants and the Egg McMuffin was introduced to McDonald’s growing meal menu. The corporation also opened various McDonald’s food outlet in various countries which included Japan, Australia, Germany, Holland, Guam and Panama.

The assets for the company exceeded $500 million dollars and the sales had surpassed $ 1 billion by the end of 1972. The 2000th McDonald’s restaurant was opened in the Des Plaines area of Illinois while the company added France and El Salvador in its growing international market. This demonstrated that the company was experiencing an upward growth in its operations and its fast food outlets around the world.

Other countries that were introduced to the corporations growing fast food outlets between 1973 and 1980 included Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, England, the Netherlands, Guatemala, Brazil, Singapore, Switzerland, New Zealand, Spain and Denmark. The founder of McDonald’s corporation Ray Kroc died in 1984 and the management of the company was taken over by Ronald McDonald (Spotlight par 13-16).

Globalization Process of McDonald’s in History

McDonald’s is one of the many corporations around the world that actively seeks global markets around the world through the utilisation of technology. McDonald’s has become a globalized and multinational corporation as a result of the various technological advances it has experienced over the years and also because of the growing number of countries in which it operates in.

The continued introduction of McDonald’s fast foods within the American society has led to the introduction of McDonaldization as a term that describes the proliferation of McDonald’s products in America. The growth of technology within the company has seen its growth and expansion objectives being realised throughout its various food outlets around the world (Duiker and Spielvogel 937).

The globalization process of the company has been commonly referred to as mcdonaldization where the company has made its mark on various societies around the world. According to Ritzer (14) the globalization process of McDonald’s can be described through the use of four key aspects which include efficiency, predictability, calculability and control through the use of technology and automated machinery.

These four aspects do not only affect the consumers and employees of McDonald’s corporation but they also affect the cultural societies in various parts of the world that fall under McDonald’s operations. The first aspect of the company’s globalization effort which is efficiency has allowed the company to achieve results through the optimum utilization of its systems and technology to produce results within the shortest period of time.

This has made its fast food service delivery to be the first of its kind in the world. McDonald’s ensures that efficiency is entrenched in its employees by ensuring that the customers are served within the shortest time possible. The drive-thru lanes that the company uses for its services have been adopted by its world wide outlets to increase the efficiency of their operations (Ritzer 14).

The aspect of calculability has been used by the corporation in its globalization process to place emphasis on the aspect of quantity over quality. The globalized system of McDonald’s has seen quantity becoming equivalent to quality with regards to the type of food being offered in its various world wide outlets. This dimension allows the company’s customers to calculate the amount of time it will take to go to a McDonald’s chain and order for a meal when compared to going to a grocery store (Ritzer 14).

The third aspect of the company’s globalization process deals with predictability where the company offers products that are similar in taste, quantity, appearance and quality to those that are found in other world wide chains. Predictability which goes hand in hand with standardization has ensured that McDonald’s has continued to be successful in the fast food industry.

The uniformity in the company’s products has ensured that McDonald’s continues to offer a standard menu in all of its global markets around the world ensuring that the customer’s demand for the same product has been met at the various locations of the company’s establishments. The fourth aspect of the company’s globalization process deals with control where the McDonald’s customer is given the opportunity to perform some of the service functions for themselves.

McDonald’s has been one of the pioneers of self service within the fast food restaurant where customers order for their own food, take it to the table and clear out the table once they are finished. Control allows the customers to do most of the tasks themselves without having to involve waiters or busboys (Ritzer 16).

Conclusion

McDonald’s continues to experience an upward growth in its expansion and sales activities with the company. The globalization or McDonaldization of the company’s activities have helped the company to achieve an increased growth in its operations which has seen it become successful in the fast food service industry.

The globalization of the company’s operations around the world has helped the company to produce a wider range of fast food products and services that are available to a larger population in various geographic locations around the world. People who are customers of McDonalds are able to get what they want within a short period of time as a result of the company embracing the process that comes with globalization.

Works Cited

Duiker, William and Spielvogel, Jackson. World history, volumes 1-2, 6th Edition. Boston, Massachusetts: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.

McDonald’s. Our company: getting to know us. n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2010.

Mieth, Hieke. The history of McDonald’s. Norderstedt, Germany: Grin Verlag, 2009. Print.

Ritzer, George. The McDonaldization of society 6. California: Sage Publications, 2010. Print.

Spotlight. A brief history of McDonald’s. n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2010.

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