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China’s Big Mac Attack Analysis

Autor:   •  July 31, 2017  •  2,760 Words (12 Pages)  •  749 Views

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McDonald’s is supplying the families a clean, safe place to eat and gather to celebrate. This is not threatening their culture except for the food that will be consumed during the family time may not be authentic from their culture. Isn’t the family time maybe a more important consideration than the type of food that will be consumed?

McDonald’s likes to call themselves “multilocal” because they try to use local suppliers as much as possible when they enter a new market. They will train the potato farmers how to grow the potatoes the necessary length for the French fries. They pride themselves on bringing new jobs to the area and use local suppliers. They are good for the local economy. McDonald’s will also train promising local individuals to rise within the ranks into management positions, which provides individuals a promising future and a way to provide for their families. This, in turn, helps the economy of that country.

Before entering a new market, companies must seriously evaluate their product. Some companies may not need to change their products at all, and some companies may need to make major changes to the product before entering a new market. They must consider the packaging color, size, and name of product. In America the name may be good, but translated into another language it may mean something totally different. The color might be fine in America, but in another country it might mean death. You do not want to offend someone with your product. The packaging might be too big for certain countries, as some people and stores have limited storage capabilities.

With that being said, we must admit that companies are in the business to sell things and generate profit, and that consumers do have a mind of their own. You cannot force someone to buy something if they don’t want to (unless it is taxes or government mandated). Consumers have the right to buy or not buy your product, and the company providing a product to the consumer is conducting business – plain and simple. A company should be respectful of the culture and not sell anything that is offensive or against the principles of the host country. If the culture has strict rules against eating certain byproducts then the company should offer alternatives, like McDonald’s does. If the culture has strict rules regarding certain prayer times or work times, then the company should be respectful towards those issues. The company should always remember that they are the guests in the area, and like any guests that become unwelcome, you could be asked to leave.

McDonald’s claims that they are a fast food restaurant and they have “rules” against loitering. It is stated in the article that if you try to relax and read a paper, study or visit with friends in Pittsburgh or Boston you may be asked to leave. I personally have never experienced this, and have seen many groups of elderly people in McDonald’s who gather to drink coffee and bemoan the latest loss of the local sports team, without ever being asked to leave. Nonetheless, the article claims that this is McDonald’s policy, but in China they allow people to congregate just how I have described above, (except for maybe the bemoaning the sports team part). I believe that is part of the McDonald’s culture, a place that people can feel safe and comfortable, and a place where they can enjoy meeting their friends, without the fear of gangs, drugs or alcohol. Kids congregate at McDonald’s after school and share fries and drinks, while gossiping and maybe doing some homework. Sounds very familiar to scenes from some 1950 and 1960 movies I have watched. I believe that can be reviewed as respectful in most cultures, save a few.

The article references that copycat restaurants are popping up all over China with some sort of version of the golden arches and/or mascots, thinking that it will help their sales do better. Some even name their restaurants names like McDucks, and Mordornal. We have the same thing that happens here in America. The only difference is that we have copyright infringement laws that help McDonald’s protect themselves from these copycats. It is not so easy to do overseas. The laws are vastly different. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then McDonald’s should be very flattered that others companies think that highly of them that they want to imitate them.

It is imperative for companies to keep in mind the cultures of the area that they are looking to expand into. Because McDonald’s feels that they are selling the brand of good food, good people and good neighbors, they feel that they do not have to vary too much in their structure. Even McDonald’s, however, does make concessions, and places on the menu items such as Spicy Wings in Beijing, kosher Big Macs in Jerusalem, vegetable McNuggets in New Delhi, or a McHuevo in Montevideo. But the environment, clean, kid-friendly, clean restrooms, will be the same no matter where you go.

The global marketplace has brought consumers closer together. People have gotten to experience things they may never have gotten to try if not for this opportunity. You decide to dine out for dinner and you have a plethora of cuisines to choose from. As a tea lover, I had grown up only drinking Lipton tea (orange pekoe). With the global marketplace, I now have the distinct pleasure of being able to sample teas from around the world, without having to travel around the world to do it.

McDonald’s and fast food are not the only restaurants that have ingratiated themselves into the Asian market. There is now French, Spanish, Mexican, Louisiana Creole, Indonesian, Thai and Malaysian to choose from. There almost as many choices there as in America. Again, this is due to the global marketplace. At one time this group of consumers would never have been able to have the choices available to them now. To be able to experience the different cuisines without having the travel the world to do it is a wonderful thing. Growing up in a family where we were strictly meat and potatoes people and garlic was a four letter word (my father must have been a vampire), and I did not have my first taste of Chinese food until I was 24, I totally understand how important this privilege is. It is every parent’s wish to be able to allow their children to experience the things in life that they were never able to experience.

Giving people a chance to sample of the world around them is a learning experience, and is a great thing. Their culture is a part of them, but it does not have to be all of them. Being Italian does not mean you have do eat only Italian food. Experiencing things is learning, learning is knowledge and knowledge is power. Isn’t that what we want for our children and our children’s children? Where we go wrong


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