People reside in an ever increasingly connected world that brings opportunities to learn from each other’s cultures and ethical practices. McDonald’s has and continues to have an outstanding impact in the United States and the global society. It is not merely a restaurant, but a cultural symbol that has a significant influence on consumers. George Ritzer coins the term McDonaldization to assess the principles that govern the fast-food chain and how they affect other societal aspects such as education, health care, religion, family, the justice system, and work. Daily life involves interaction with the environment, whether by choice or by necessity; therefore, it is imperative to evaluate the impact of organizations with a global appeal on people’s way of life. McDonaldization entails the incorporation of fast-food chain principles into daily tasks to make operations more efficient, a model adopted by several diverse institutions.
McDonald’s is a global phenomenon considering its significance in measuring the world economy. The annual Big Mac Index, facilitated by the folks at The Economist portrays the purchasing power of numerous global currencies in terms of the local prices of the Big Mac. The basis is the Big Mac since it is an identical product sold in various countries. For instance, in a 2003 survey, the average cost of the Big Mac was as follows: $2.71 in the U.S., $1.20 in China, and $4.52 in Switzerland. These figures fundamentally depict where the cost of living is fair, in addition to which currency is overvalued (Switzerland) and vice versa. The billion-dollar Franchise that is McDonald’s serves in over 100 countries thus positioning itself as a key player in world food supplies.
The fast-food chain continues to expand while influencing new and existing businesses. The chairperson of the company states that their goal is to be more than a leader, to dominate. From suburbs to big cities in the U.S., McDonald’s now controls 83% of the fast food market in Russia. On the first day of business in its first store in Beijing, the restaurant set a new record of serving about forty thousand clients. The success of the brand prompted new players to enter the market even in nontraditional settings such as service stations and schools. McDonald’s position as a cultural symbol prompted the military to offer fast food on bases and ships despite criticisms by nutritionists. Hospitals are not immune to the craze either, and meals at home now resemble those available in fast-food chains. There are new employment opportunities for home delivery of fast foods, especially pizza.
A global impact that highlights the weight of the brand is expansion by vertical McDonaldization. Industries that supply restaurants with ingredients have to McDonaldize them to meet the insatiable demands. Poultry, cattle ranching, potato farming, and other players have to tailor their products in a way that is easy for McDonald’s to process. Here, McDonald’s also refers to the majority of restaurants that primarily use the same model. Companies have become creative to devise names for their businesses that have the prefix Mc. Examples include McDentists, McPaper, and McChild. While these names do not bode well with the management at McDonald’s, they depict the impact of leveraging on the name of an established brand to attract customers.
One of the primary features of McDonaldization that has trickled down to other sectors is efficiency. This element ensures that customers get the best available way from being hungry to being full, and in the process manages people, time, and space concurrently. McDonald’s maintains efficiency by preparing food as fast as possible and reducing customer choices for meals, thus decreasing the time for decision-making. The McDonald’s drive-through also increases the speed of services and customers have to use the space in their vehicles thus avoiding long queues and reducing production costs. Modern service providers have adopted this principle including filling online tax forms and fast passes by Walt Disney to great success. Efficiency leads to a rational process that avoids wastage of energy and resources to achieve a positive result.
Other features of McDonaldization include calculability, predictability, and control. For calculability, quantity prevails over quality. Indeed, in contemporary education emphasis is on grades rather than on acquiring knowledge. Predictability demands that each Big Mac has the same taste like the previous one since they all go through similar standards of cooking. It is a matter of consistency comparable to the tourist sphere where a specific packaged tour is the same for all clients at any time. The restaurant controls the activities of employees via non-human technology. This control mirrors the work of a pilot because a computer directs the plane at take-off and landing, and guides the pilot during the flight. These four elements are the pillars of a McDonaldized world and going by its numerous applications and results; the model guarantees success when applied effectively.
McDonald uses several marketing strategies to position itself as the American way of life, and in turn, entices consumers. The United States has been the world’s superpower for a long time now, and people in other nations associate the Big Mac with Americanism. Similar to other global brands such as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonald’s has a cult-like following with some consumers making it their main food. The advertisements have fresh, exciting, and adventurous themes that attract young people and families. In addition to the strategically placed adverts in Hollywood productions, the Mc brand becomes even more appealing. There is a museum in Disney that portrays the restaurant’s beginnings and offerings. The company also sells merchandises in the form of clothes and other accessories to people who consider it the embodiment of great food. While one may not like the food at McDonald’s, they go there because the environment is good for socializing.
McDonaldization has influenced the global operations of various companies in significant ways. Many firms have aped its hugely successful model to achieve economies of scale. The food industry has optimized its operations to attain efficiency, predictability, calculability, and control. Technology is also a crucial aspect in connection of consumers and ensuring smooth operations. Ritzer posits that some private entities may take advantage and conduct social engineering experiments for profit. Therefore, people should use the concepts for the betterment of society. Globalization is increasing at unprecedented rates and brings with it more sophisticated ways of interaction and doing business. Learning from market leaders is imperative if a company aims to rise to the top. The restaurant finds itself with numerous rivals who learned from both its successes and failures. Indeed, McDonaldization will continue for the near future as globalization continues to evolve.