McWorld: The Globalization of Food Industry Empire

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McDonalds. What had started as a humble family owned drive-through has become a multi-million dollar industry. Everywhere one goes, there are reminders of how amazingly widespread this company has become, whether it be seeing McDonald’s famous golden arches on a billboard or hearing the catchy “I’m Lovin’ It” tune in a commercial. But more than this, McDonalds has become part of our global identity– our McWorld.
In 1940, McDonalds was not the multi-million dollar industry that people recognize today. In fact, it started out as a small drive-in style BBQ restaurant, owned by Dick and Mac McDonald, in San Bernadino, California. However in 1948, the entire workings of the restaurant were altered, making it the dawn of the McDonald’s empire. This new drive-in, like other drive-in restaurants of its time, struggled to make a large amount of profit, due to selling low-priced food using traditional methods, which were often labor intensive and expensive. But the McDonald brothers fixed this problem by reducing their menu 25 items to nine items: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, soft drinks, milk, coffee, potato chips, and a slice of pie. Their staple item, the 30 cent hamburger, accounted for 80 percent of their total sales. Later, the brothers altered the production to that of the Fordist assembly line in order to make the whole operation fast and efficient, halving the price of their items, including their prized hamburger. (http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/our_company/mcdonalds_history_timeline.html?DCSext.destination=http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/our_company/mcd_history.html).
When, why, and where did McDonalds globalize?
In1954, Ray Kroc, a multimixer salesman came upon the McDonald brother’s restaurant and was inspired to join the business. In 1955, he opened his first McDonalds in Des Plaines, Illinois. By 1965, McDonalds had spread to over 700 restaurants throughout the United States.
However, as McDonald’s demand for profits grew, so did its demand for new resources, new workers, and new markets. A year later, introduced it’s first television commercial, starring Ronald McDonald, McDonald’s primary icon. Finally, in 1967, McDonalds goes international. The first international McDonalds restaurants open in Canada and Puerto Rico. By 1983, McDonalds restaurants were located in 32 countries around the world, with 7,778 restaurants by the end if the year. With a total of 34,480 restaurants in 119 countries (Mergent, 2013) and serving about 47 million customers each day, it is no wonder that it is the world’s largest fast food industry. It is just about everywhere. In fact McDonalds often goes out of its way to makes itself known. In fact, in 2002, its global restaurant system was “arrayed as follows: United states, 13,491; Europe, 6,070; APMEA (Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa), 7,555; Latin America 1,605; and Canada, 1,304.” (Globalization of McWorld, 1995). It continues to grow by opening 1,850 new restaurants each year. And it employs over...

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