Quick, cheap and impersonal – The McDonald’s
The chain of restaurants started in the U.S. more than one half century ago (actually the first McDonald’s was open in 1940. The idea behind it was pretty simple: to feed fast and good as many people as possible. At that time there were just few of these restaurants but now people all around the world know McDonald’s and know where it came from: from the United States. The whole company is therefore often viewed as American but nowadays it has franchises in many states around the world. We can find over 30 thousand restaurants in 118 countries. However, the headquarters of the whole company is still in the U. S., in Illinois.
Also the food and drinks are similar all around the world. The ingredients and the preparation are the same. The main products of McDonald’s are hamburgers – a patty from ground meat inside a bun with some vegetables, cheese and other different ingredients, which differ according to the type of the hamburger. There are actually some controversies about the origin of this dish but it became part of the national cuisine of the United States and then it was exported to other countries.
Another thing that point towards the origin of the food sold in this chain is the way of naming the products. In Czech Republic was not common to use names in foreign language in shops or restaurants. Everything had its name translated to Czech or at least Czech form of the original name. The names like Cheeseburger, Big Mac, McChicken show the origin of the food. Even in some of the few Czech names there is “Mc” part of the name. Actually I think that the products and their names can symbolize the globalization of the world – one product has the same name in the U. S. and here in Czech Republic.
The McDonald’s and other fast foods are nowadays a part of our everyday lives. There are just few people who never ate in one of these restaurants (I’ve been one of them until I started this assignment). I would say it shaped our culture, mainly the eating habits but on the other hand there was demand for this kind of restaurant. The people started to get more and more busy; they didn’t have time for cooking anymore. It is the time we live in. Everything needs to be quick, effective and done at once and fast food is the type of restaurant where are all these requirements fulfilled. But on the other hand, the people who didn’t really need to use their services came to buy food there. They had the choice and it was convenient for them. They didn’t need to prepare the food and clean up afterwards. But also the school kids started to eat there because it was “cool”. We need to realize that in the start of 1990 there was no fast-food restaurant in Czechoslovakia. People here had known only the typical restaurants, pubs and canteens. And they have probably never heard about a hamburger. It was something new and they wanted to try it. What more it came from “America”, the country that was this economic giant and...