M for McDonald’s is my brand for today’s #AtoZChallenge, for the theme ‘Brands that people identify with’. Easy guess!
Started in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald, the fast food chain was purchased in 1961 by franchise agent Ray Kroc, who expanded the chain worldwide.
Standardized, affordable, convenient fast food
If you are a student or a traveller, new to a city, looking for a quick budget meal in a clean standard place, chances are that you will head towards a McDonald’s.
The McDonald’s logo recognizable from a distance makes it easy for you to locate the outlet. You know what to expect. It does not matter if you’re visiting a McDonald’s in California or Edinburgh, Chennai or Shanghai, they’ll all look more or less similar.
With some variations to the food in each country to cater to the local palette, the menus are comparable; your food will be of the same quality anywhere in the world.
With such amazing consistency, McDonald’s is one of the biggest brands of all time.
Not a Traditional restaurant
Yet McDonald’s does not exactly fit into the model of a restaurant in a traditional sense. It does not offer a wide variety of menu, elaborate table settings or waiters waiting on customers for laying out table napkins.
In fact, it kicked off a different concept in convenient fast food with a limited standardized menu of standard quality, available at affordable prices and delivered with speed in a clean and child friendly environment.
The competitive edge of the fast food giant lies in the standardized operations and their repetitive emphasis on consistency. They focus strongly on maintaining uniformity in how their products are prepared as well as what raw-food components are used.
McDonald’s to expanded the business worldwide through their franchisee model, while sharing the risks and rewards of the business with franchisee-members.
With more than 35,000 locations in over 100 countries, McDonald’s serves more than 70 million customers a day.
What about health?
Time and again McDonald’s has been criticized for promoting unhealthy fast food, cruelty towards animals, paying low wages to workers, and a host of other things. Some of its social media campaigns designed to spread good news, have drawn the ire of critics and led to debate with animal rights groups.
Under pressure to provide healthier meals, McDonald’s has often changed its menu to include healthier alternatives. On its site McResources McDonald’s advised its employees to eat healthy.
Yet, amid all the fast-food backlash, a Mom sneaks her two kids to McDonald’s, once a month, for breakfasts or ice cream. It’s a secret that she keeps from her husband and some foodie friends.
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