McDonald’s Undercover Analysis

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McDonalds is a multi-national company with many locations all over the world. Its leadership and organizational performance is especially notable due to the prolonged history of its existence, and the variety of changes the McDonalds brand has made over the years to stay relevant with its audience. As a fast food company, the organization manages to combine mass appeal, good quality, and community spirit to establish its image on the market. In line with the company’s mission, it fosters a sense of community and unity, working to deliver good experiences to its customers and make sure they return for more. In terms of market productivity, success, and other professional measures, McDonalds is working well to ensure its relevancy among the competition. However, it should also be noted that there are significant problems with the business and its operation, specific issues that need to be addressed. In particular, it should be noted that the McDonalds brand possesses monetary resources and influence to help the communities around them, an opportunity that must be taken.

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McDonald’s Undercover Analysis

McDonalds is an international restaurant chain employing a quick-service model. The company is both founded and based in the United States, particularly California. McDonald’s has a long and extensive history of operation, establishing itself as a major player in the fast food industry, international business and other fields of social life. The number of restaurants worldwide has been steadily increasing, amassing more than 39 storefronts worldwide (Topic: McDonald’s). A large number of locations also means many employees, as the number of McDonalds workers currently hovers around 200 thousand (McDonald’s: Number of employees 2006-2021: MCD). The branches of the organization are divided based on geography, including the U.S, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Middle East in its list of divisions.

The group based structure centers around a performance-based model, but McDonalds also additionally uses function based division to organize its employees. In practice, the existence of function based groups means that specific groups are created to regulate the day to day operation of the company, and actions of particular types of employee. Groups such as the people group and sustainability group can be included here. Apart from its specific functionality, the McDonalds restaurant chain attributes its success to a quick service delivery model, product quality and selection, a large number of open locations, and an ability to provide customers with value not often found in other fast food chains. In terms of revenue, the company also shows considerably large profits, bringing in more than 19 billion USD in the last year alone (Topic: McDonald’s). It is clear that the marketing strategy and divisions of the organization help it adapt and cover a large global audience and make considerable profits.

International Work and Cultural Considerations

As mentioned previously, the business operates a number of restaurants worldwide, all employing the fast food method to serve the needs of customers. However, it is important to understand that the business has particular cultural considerations coming into foreign markets, which help it better adapt to the needs of the masses and stay relevant. One of the most important and necessary abilities when working internationally is the skill of adapting one’s company products to the demands of the market. In a restaurant business, that often means altering or removing parts of the menu that are expected to perform poorly in certain environments. Alternatively, some specific food items may be created for the purposes of a particular cultural setting. Each culture and country has its own set of regional traditional foods, and combinations that are more likely to perform well financially. Grasping this concept, McDonalds employs regional menus to its advantage, offering its customers dishes that incorporate the culture and ingredients they are more likely to enjoy. Each international location of McDonalds has its own particular menu selections and offerings for its clients. For example, the Singapore selection at McDonald’s can be mentioned. The restaurants present in the country offer Nasi Lemak burgers, which are based on a local culinary specialty of the same name (Matousek, 2018). The specialty combines coconut flavored chicken, fried egg, cucumber and specialized burger buns to create an experience much more similar to Singaporean cuisine than the regular McDonalds menu. Another notable example is the McDonalds location in Japan (Matousek, 2018). As a country, Japan can be primarily characterized for its rich and contradictory flavors and interesting choices for food combinations. Due to this fact, a large number of local specialties present in the Japanese McDonalds chains incorporate both traditional and seasonal flavors present in the country. A Yuzu McFizz, Ginger fried pork burger, and the fall-themed Cheese Tsukimi Burger can be named as particular examples.

Mission Statement and Goals

The mission statement for McDonalds is said to be “Our mission is to make delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone”, which can be seen as most adequately encompassing the major selling points of the brand and its direction of development (Our mission and Values – McDonald’s). As a company, McDonalds mainly focuses at producing affordable food and quickly serving it to customers, which is seen as a way of fulfilling their needs and providing a customer-centric experience. Furthermore, the company focuses heavily on its role in building, fostering and supporting communities. In a social environment, places where people can gather and eat together can often become a hub for interaction and a way to embolden a more united spirit. McDonalds recognizes this tendency and desires to act as a catalyst for people’s positive emotions. McDonald’s values promise that “At our best, we don’t just serve food, we serve moments of feel-good, all with the lighthearted, unpretentious, welcoming, dependable personality consumers know and love.” (Our mission and Values – McDonald’s). This motto encompasses the majority of company’s goals and aims during its product delivery process.

Leadership and Management

In terms of control and management, McDonalds employs a large and overarching structure of leadership. Due to the sheer scope of the organization, there is a need for a robust corporate structure. Chris Kempczinski. the current CEO and the president of McDonalds, offering opportunities for all members of the McFamily to create customer experiences and take part in one of the world biggest fast food chains (Our leadership – mcdonald’s). In particular, the duties of the CEO include creating a growth strategy for the entire organization, as well as supporting the right values throughout the company and its branches. Kempczinski’s decision-making skills are used to make sure that the McDonald’s is able to maintain a cohesive, family-friendly and long-lasting identity throughout its operation. Furthermore, the process of maintain corporate values works inside the organization as well, where regional and location managers work within the parameters set by the CEO and his vision of a successful organization.

Desired Leadership Qualities

For a successful business, it is necessary that its leadership and organization are able to answer to particular standards of quality and competency. As a leading brand in the fast food industry, the McDonalds brand has to have exceptional leadership capable of translating its values to the rest of the company and leading it into the future. For the purposes of further improving McDonalds as a brand and possibly ensuring that it has an even more positive impact on its local communities, particular leadership qualities are needed (Kovalenko, 2020). Firstly, it is very crucial that the company has the ability to take a diverse perspective on organizational management and business, one that is fueled by many voices. As it currently stands, the upper management of the company is primarily white, leading to their experiences and opinions regarding corporate leadership lacking in perspective. To remedy that, there are a number of specific solutions to take, one of which is to hire and promote more people of color and members of marginalized communities, which can act as providers of alternative perspectives and a voice for progressive change. Alternatively, the current leadership should be attentive and responsive to the voices of the masses, being able to recognize potential areas for development and growth.

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Another interesting and much needed consideration that requires personal and organizational leadership qualities is the environment. Currently, every major business has to face the possible consequences of the climate crisis, meaning that big players on the market need to be able to do their part in mitigating the effects of climate change and combatting its effects on the community level. This need requires leadership and management representatives to be well-versed in the research and evidence regarding climate change, as well as able to display the critical thinking skills necessary to take appropriate action. Furthermore, a degree of care and consideration for people and the environment is crucial. Leaders of McDonalds should be capable of understanding the relationship between the needs of the community they work at and the environmental problems, showing compassion and care regarding the lives of customers and their wellness.

Ethical and Social Responsibilities

As mentioned previously, a large business holds a number of social and ethical responsibilities, both before its community and the world at large. The discussion regarding the particular responsibilities of organizations are complex, with discussions pertaining to the extent of responsibilities businesses must bear being particularly difficult. The modern body of thought largely agrees that companies need to measure and mitigate the negative impact they have on society, while also promoting more positive change. McDonalds has both the resources and influence necessary to enact change at a global scale, helping both its customers and the planet. In particular, environmental issues can be the most prominent issue the company can address. Every company and individual lives in the same world, meaning that each and every participant should do what is in their power to make it a better place to live in. The improvement of social and environmental circumstances enhances the longevity of business and further improves its public image, making the effort well worth the resources spent. Similar to the leadership qualities that need to focus on community support, organization as a whole must be able to make a positive change with the resources it has. As noted by numerous climate scientists, current trends for climate change are extremely alarming, and counteracting the worst possible outcomes should be a necessity for every organization. While the food business is not directly related to the environment, that should not stop McDonalds from making their stand and helping society. To do that, there are different approaches and strategies, containing direct action, prevention and mitigation of consequences. In terms of right-on climate change action, the McDonalds company must use a portion of its money on supporting climate change organizations, which work directly to resolve the issue. In terms of resolving and mitigating climate change effects, monetary aid should also be used to support people recovering from natural disasters and similar issues, such as forest fires and earthquakes.

SWOT Analysis

In terms of strengths, there are a number of potential qualities to discuss and mention. In particular, McDonalds in a well-established, international brand with a large number of stores all around the globe. Its international presence is supported both by the company’s ability to adapt its selection for any market, and the capacity for its locations to offer consistent, high-quality and cheap value. McDonalds also has a strong reputation and a brand image, meaning that its work is likely to be well-recognized and supported by the community. A friendly brand image further aids its efforts of gaining a bigger audience and selling more of their products.

Weaknesses

The company and its organization are, however, subject to some weaknesses as well. In particular, the unified structure of the organization’s leadership opens the possibility of mismanagement and brand deterioration. As the entirety of the McDonalds brand depends on a singular structure of command, the potential inadequacy of leadership might severely affect operational performance. Usually, it is difficult for the organization to adequately manage all of the international locations while also taking into account the intricacies of cultural and regional differences. In the case of McDonald’s primarily white management, the problem is even further exasorbated.

Opportunities

Opportunities for the organization include further expansion into foreign markets, and increase in the number of storefronts present in any country. As an already established international business, the McDonalds brand can afford to take risks in its management. Additionally, it can also work on other initiatives that help both the community as a whole and its development. Furthermore, the climate action is also a possible avenue for development. The company can improve its climate policies and responses to other climate-related issues.

Threats

There is a large number of threats for this business, including competition from other fast food companies, such as KFC, Burger King, and other major fast food chains. The fast food market grows quickly, and the ability to adapt to the needs of the customers in the changing times becomes crucial to stay competitive. Additionally, threats of competition come from other restaurants and food chains that offer affordable deals, as they target the same market as McDonalds.

Planning Process Tools

Besides the Six Stigma, McDonalds also utilizes matrix diagrams, to measure the performance inside the organization and plan its future actions. Matrix diagrams can be particularly useful at conceptualizing relationships between parts of the organization, as well as different interdependent links between its elements. This process is used effectively to boost corporate performance, more aptly reach project goals, and be able to manage a multinational company. In this vein, other performance analytical tools are also used to further enhance McDonald’s outcomes on the global market and domestically. In particular, the prioritization matrix has found much use in the decision making process of the organization. The prioritization matrices are important to make business decisions in cases where a large number of opportunities are presented with conflicting criteria.

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Undercover Work

During my undercover work, I have witnessed the performance and operation in a number of restaurant chains. In particular, I was in one of the US’s McDonalds, and a Canadian McDonalds as well. This work has showed me a difference in the way company stores are organized, as well as the regional products offered at every location. The diversification efforts taken to change the menus and presentation of different restaurant locations was memorable in particular, offering a refreshing experience. The employees worked and reacted in a way that shows the consistency and importance of training, which also supports the brand image at large. Among the potential avenues for improvement, I think that both locations were struggling to keep up with the demand at rush hours, and the building was too occupied to serve as an enjoyable experience.

References

Kovalenko, O. (2020). What organizational culture and/or leadership style is needed for companies we advise to be agile in the environment? LinkedIn. Web.

Matousek, M. (2018). Here’s what it’s like to eat at McDonald’s in 7 countries around the world. Business Insider. Web.

McDonald’s: Number of employees 2006-2021: MCD. Macrotrends. (n.d.). Web.

Our leadership – mcdonald’s. (n.d.). Web.

Our mission and Values – McDonald’s. (n.d.). Web.

Topic: McDonald’s. Statista. (n.d.). Web.

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