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The McDonald's Corporation (Chinese: 麦当劳, Màidāngláo) is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries.[1][2] Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948 they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand using production line principles. Businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchise agent in 1955. He subsequently purchased the chain from the McDonald brothers and oversaw its worldwide growth.[3]

A McDonald's restaurant is operated by either a franchisee, an affiliate, or the corporation itself. McDonald's Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. In 2012, McDonald's Corporation had annual revenues of $27.5 billion, and profits of $5.5 billion.[4]

McDonald's primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, fish, wraps, smoothies, and fruit.[5]

History[]

The business began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald at 1398 North E Street at West 14th Street in San Bernardino, California (at Template:Coord). Their introduction of the "Speedee Service System" in 1948 furthered the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant that the White Castle hamburger chain had already put into practice more than two decades earlier. The original mascot of McDonald's was a man with a chef's hat on top of a hamburger shaped head whose name was "Speedee". Speedee was eventually replaced with Ronald McDonald by 1967 when the company first filed a U.S. trademark on a clown shaped man having puffed out costume legs.

McDonald's first filed for a U.S. trademark on the name "McDonald's" on May 4, 1961, with the description "Drive-In Restaurant Services", which continues to be renewed through the end of December 2009. In the same year, on September 13, 1961, the company filed a logo trademark on an overlapping, double arched "M" symbol. The overlapping double arched "M" symbol logo was temporarily disfavoredTemplate:Clarify by September 6, 1962, when a trademark was filed for a single arch, shaped over many of the early McDonald's restaurants in the early years. Although the "Golden Arches" appeared in various forms, the present form as a letter "M" did not appear until November 18, 1968, when the company applied for a U.S. trademark.

The present corporation dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Czech American businessman Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois, on April 15, 1955, the ninth McDonald's restaurant overall. Kroc later purchased the McDonald brothers' equity in the company and led its worldwide expansion, and the company became listed on the public stock markets in 1965. Kroc was also noted for aggressive business practices, compelling the McDonald brothers to leave the fast food industry. The McDonald brothers and Kroc feuded over control of the business, as documented in both Kroc's autobiography and in the McDonald brothers' autobiography. The San Bernardino store was demolished in 1976 (or 1971, according to Juan Pollo) and the site was sold to the Juan Pollo restaurant chain. It now serves as headquarters for the Juan Pollo chain, as well as a McDonald's and Route 66 museum.[6] With the expansion of McDonald's into many international markets, the company has become a symbol of globalization and the spread of the American way of life. Its prominence has also made it a frequent topic of public debates about obesity, corporate ethics and consumer responsibility. On 1978, McDonald's has set up the first outlet in Singapore at Liat Towers. McDonald's in Singapore began McDelivery service in 2006, customers place their food orders through their phone and is delivered to wherever they are. This services is available 24 hours a day, 7 hours per week. Later on, McDonald's began McDelivery online service in 2009.

McDelivery locations are:

  1. 514 Jurong West Street 52
  2. 114 Tampines Street 11
  3. 10 Changi South Street 1 (Synergraphic)
  4. 890A Tampines Avenue 1

McDonald's had in-video games through Neopets, the McDonald's delivery game that was being done and used in Windows 95 from 2005 to 2007, and the McDonald's Surprise Alarm app which has been started in May 2014, and requires iOS 7.0 and above. It was declared obsolete in January 2016.

Corporate overview[]

Locations[]

McDonald's restaurants are found in 120 countries and territories around the world and serve 68 million customers each day. The notable locations are United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, Guam, Netherlands, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Singapore, Spain, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand.

McDonald's visits consisted of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

In the United States, it is reported that drive-throughs account for 70 percent of sales. McDonald's plans to close 184 restaurants in the United States in 2015, which is 59 more than it plans to open. This is the first time McDonald's will have a net decrease in the number of locations in the United States since 1970.

The United Kingdom and Ireland business model is different from the U.S, in that fewer than 30 percent of restaurants are franchised, with the majority under the ownership of the company. McDonald's trains its franchisees and management at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois. In other countries, McDonald's restaurants are operated by joint ventures of McDonald's Corporation and other, local entities or governments.

Singapore[]

As of 2017, there are various outlets:

  • Rivervale Mall
  • Eastpoint Mall
  • Tampines Bus Interchange
  • Tampines Mall
  • Tampines Central
  • Tampines West CC
  • Changi City Point
  • Kallang
  • IMM Building
  • Changi Airport Terminal 3
  • Marina Square
  • KK Women's & Children's Hospital
  • Junction 8
  • Great World City
  • Causeway Point
  • Bukit Panjang Plaza
  • Science Centre
  • Waterway Point
  • City Square Mall
  • Bedok Mall
  • Nanyang Polytechnic
  • HarbourFront Centre
  • Marine Cove
  • West Coast Plaza
  • Tampines Shell Kiosk
  • White Sands
  • Hougang Mall
  • Jem

Headquarters[]

The McDonald's headquarters complex, McDonald's Plaza, is located in Oak Brook, Illinois. It sits on the site of the former headquarters and stabling area of Paul Butler, the founder of Oak Brook.[7] McDonald's moved into the Oak Brook facility from an office within the Chicago Loop in 1971.[8]

On June 13, 2016, McDonald's confirmed plans to move its global headquarters to Chicago's West Loop neighborhood in the Near West Side. The 608,000-square-foot structure will be built on the site of Oprah Winfrey's former Harpo Studios and open in early 2018.[9][10]

Board of directors[]

As of November 2014, the board of directors had the following members:[11]

  • Andrew J. McKenna, chairman
  • Susan E. Arnold, operating executive of Global Consumer & Retail Group of The Carlyle Group
  • Robert A. Eckert, operating partner of Friedman Fleischer & Lowe
  • Enrique Hernandez, Jr., president and CEO of Inter-Con Security
  • Jeanne P. Jackson, president of product and merchandising for Nike, Inc.
  • Richard H. Lenny, operating partner of Friedman Fleischer & Lowe
  • Walter E. Massey, president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Cary D. McMillan, CEO of True Partners Consulting LLC
  • Sheila A. Penrose, non-executive chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle
  • John W. Rogers, Jr, chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments
  • Roger W. Stone, chairman and CEO of KapStone Paper and Packaging
  • Don Thompson, president and CEO
  • Miles D. White, chairman and CEO of Abbott Laboratories

On March 1, 2015, after being chief brand officer of McDonald's and its former head in the UK and northern Europe, Steve Easterbrook became CEO, succeeding Don Thompson, who stepped down on January 28, 2015.

Global operations[]

Template:See also

McDonald's has become emblematic of globalization, sometimes referred to as the "McDonaldization" of society. The Economist newspaper uses the "Big Mac Index": the comparison of a Big Mac's cost in various world currencies can be used to informally judge these currencies' purchasing power parity. Switzerland has the most expensive Big Mac in the world as of July 2015, while the country with the least expensive Big Mac is India[12][13] (albeit for a Maharaja Mac—the next cheapest Big Mac is Hong Kong).[14]

Thomas Friedman once said that no country with a McDonald's had gone to war with another.[15][16] However, the "Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention" is not strictly true. Exceptions are the 1989 United States invasion of Panama, NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999, the 2006 Lebanon War, and the 2008 South Ossetia war. McDonald's suspended operations in its corporate-owned stores in Crimea after Russia annexed the region in 2014.[17] On August 20, 2014, as tensions between the United States and Russia strained over events in Ukraine, and the resultant U.S. sanctions, the Russian government temporarily shut down four McDonald's outlets in Moscow, citing sanitary concerns. The company has operated in Russia since 1990 and at August 2014 had 438 stores across the country.[18] On August 23, 2014, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich ruled out any government move to ban McDonald's and dismissed the notion that the temporary closures had anything to do with the sanctions.[19]

Some observers have suggested that the company should be given credit for increasing the standard of service in markets that it enters. A group of anthropologists in a study entitled Golden Arches East[20] looked at the impact McDonald's had on East Asia and Hong Kong, in particular. When it opened in Hong Kong in 1975, McDonald's was the first restaurant to consistently offer clean restrooms, driving customers to demand the same of other restaurants and institutions. McDonald's has taken to partnering up with Sinopec, the second largest oil company in the People's Republic of China, as it takes advantage of the country's growing use of personal vehicles by opening numerous drive-thru restaurants.[21] McDonald's has opened a McDonald's restaurant and McCafé on the underground premises of the French fine arts museum, The Louvre.[22]

The company stated it would open vegetarian-only restaurants in India by mid-2013.[23] Foreign restaurants are banned in Bermuda, with the exception of KFC, which was present before the current law was passed. Therefore, there are no McDonald's in Bermuda.[24]

On January 9, 2017, 80% of the franchise rights in the mainland China and in Hong Kong were sold for US$2.080 billion to a consortium of CITIC Limited (for 32%) and private equity funds managed by CITIC Capital (for 20%) and Carlyle (for 20%), which CITIC Limited and CITIC Capital would also formed a joint venture to own the stake.[25]

Countries with McDonald's[]

  • North America
    • Canada
    • United States

Template:Div col end

  • EuropeTemplate:Div col
    • Austria
    • Denmark
    • France
    • Germany
    • Hungary
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Netherlands
    • Serbia
    • Ukraine
    • United KingdomTemplate:Div col end

Template:Div col end

  • Asia PacificTemplate:Div col
    • Australia
    • Hong Kong
    • Japan
    • Malaysia
    • Singapore
    • Taiwan
    • Thailand

Template:Div col end

Headquarters[]

The McDonald's headquarters complex, McDonald's Plaza, is located in Oak Brook, Illinois. It sits on the site of the former headquarters and stabling area of Paul Butler, the founder of Oak Brook.[26] McDonald's moved into the Oak Brook facility from an office within the Chicago Loop in 1971.[27]

Products[]

Main article: List of McDonald's products

Template:See also McDonald's predominantly sells hamburgers, various types of chicken sandwiches and products, French fries, soft drinks, breakfast items, and desserts. In most markets, McDonald's offers salads and vegetarian items, wraps and other localized fare. On a seasonal basis, McDonald's offers the McRib sandwich. Some speculate the seasonality of the McRib adds to its appeal. Various countries, especially in Asia, are currently serving soup. This local deviation from the standard menu is a characteristic for which the chain is particularly known, and one which is employed either to abide by regional food taboos (such as the religious prohibition of beef consumption in India) or to make available foods with which the regional market is more familiar (such as the sale of McRice in Indonesia, or Ebi (prawn) Burger in Singapore). In Germany and other Western European countries, McDonald's sells beer. In New Zealand, McDonald's sells meat pies, after the local affiliate partially relaunched the Georgie Pie fast food chain it bought out in 1996.

  • Big Breakfast - McDonald's has it available worldwide.
  • Big Mac - a signature product that was introduced in 1968. Two ​Template:Convert​ (approx. uncooked weight) ground beef patties, special Big Mac sauce (similar to Thousand Island dressing), lettuce, cheese, pickles, and diced onions on a sesame seed bun, with an additional middle bun (called a "club layer") separating the beef patties.
  • Chicken McNuggets – introduced in 1983 as a replacement for the McChicken, these are small chicken chunks served with dipping sauces of barbecue, sweet n' sour, honey, and hot mustard. Available in 4, 6, 10 (originally 9), or 20 pieces. Up until 2003, they were a combination of white and dark meat, now they are made with only white meat. In 2011, four new dipping sauces were introduced and added to the lineup: sweet chili, honey mustard, spicy buffalo, and creamy ranch. With the addition of these new dipping sauces, McDonald's began phasing out the Hot Mustard sauce, and by February 2014, it had been discontinued in most U.S. markets.
  • Double Cheeseburger – two ​Template:Convert​ ground beef patties, with ​Template:Convertketchup, mustard, two slices of dill pickle, re-hydrated onions, and two pieces of cheese on a toasted bun. The double cheeseburger was offered as a promotional item in the 1950s, and was added to the regular menu in 1965. An official variant is offered in the U.S. state of New Mexico, called the Green Chile Double Cheeseburger, topped with roasted green New Mexico chile peppers.
  • Filet-O-Fish – a fish fillet with tartar sauce and a half slice of cheese, on a steamed bun. It was introduced in Cincinnati in 1962 when it was discovered that many Roman Catholics chose to eat at Frisch's Big Boy on Fridays and during Lent, as it offered a fish sandwich so they could go without meat.[​10]​​ This was replaced with the Fish Filet Deluxe in 1996 and brought back in 1998 albeit a larger fish patty. During the Easter period in Hawaii and Guam, a Double Filet-O-Fish meal is offered with two pieces of fish on one bun.
  • Fish McDippers – similar to the Chicken McDippers, these are small pieces of flaky whitefish dipped in batter and fried until golden brown, and served with tartar sauce for dipping. It was discontinued in December 2006.
  • Grilled Chicken Foldover – there are two versions of the McArabia: grilled chicken, and grilled kofta (beef with spices). Both are served with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and garlic mayonnaise in addition to two small patties of grilled chicken or kofta, all wrapped in an Arabian-style pita bread. McDonald's has performed a rather large advertising campaign for the McArabia since its introduction in 2003, largely focusing on the Arabian-themed nature of the sandwich, and it appears to have worked well. The McArabia has been very well received throughout Southwestern Eurasia. The same product is also introduced in Malaysia with "Grilled Chicken Foldover" as an alternative name, however it ceased to exist in 2012.
  • Hamburger (formerly known as the Junior Burger in some countries) and cheeseburger – a ​Template:Convert​ ground beef patty, with ​Template:Convertketchup, mustard, a single dill pickle, re-hydrated onions, on a toasted bun. At one time early in McDonald's history, the pickle was removed from the sandwich. Also sold as a double or triple, adding an extra pickle slice for each beef patty added. A triple burger and a bacon double cheeseburger are optional items and are not always available in all restaurants or markets. In Australia the average serving size for a Cheeseburger is 110 grams. The hamburger and the cheeseburger are the company's original grilled burger offerings, having been served as part of the 1948 menu.
  • The Happy Meal – McDonald's capitalized on Burger Chef's Funmeal concept of a children's meal when it introduced the first Happy Meal in 1979. The meal includes an entrée, a side dish, a beverage and a toy. Happy meals include a tiny order fries (far less than a small order of fries) and fruit, optional sauce for fries, and a choice of nuggets, a single patty burger, or wraps. An additional product, Pasta Zoo was discontinued in 2008. The Mighty Kids Meal contains more food than the Happy Meal, less than the adult meal, and still contains a toy. The traditional entrée is a choice of cheeseburger or four Chicken McNuggets. The sides are fries, corn cup, Apple Slices. Drinks are milk, Tropicana orange juice, milkshakes, traditional drink and water.
  • Lunar New Year Prosperity Burger - 
  • McWings - available in Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and Thailand. It is a 4pc chicken meal and is the most common thing since 2004. Other than that, the Ayam Goreng McD was introduced as McDonald's Fried Chicken in 1986. The product's name was changed to Chicken McCrispy in 2000 and again to Ayam Goreng McD in 2002 for Malaysia and Taiwan. It became a norm in 2008.
  • Quarter Pounder – a 4.25 oz (120.5 g) (originally ​Template:Convert​ until 2015) (approx. uncooked weight) ground beef patty with ketchup, mustard, chopped onions, pickle, and two slices of cheese. The Quarter Pounder was invented by Al Bernardin, a franchise owner and former McDonald's Vice President of product development, at his McDonald's in Fremont, California, in 1971.​ In some markets unfamiliar with Imperial measurements (such as France), it is known as a Royal Cheese, or variants thereof, such as McRoyale.​ It is also available as the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, which includes another patty of the same proportions. In 2013, McDonald's expanded the sandwich into a line with three additional variants to make them smaller versions of the Angus Burgers, which was renamed the Taste-Crafted Burgers in 2016 in West Coast markets, the latest added being the Signature Sriracha.
  • McDonald's primary soft drink provider is the Coca-Cola Company.
  • Hot and iced drinks and hot chocolates were available in various markets.
  • The McCafe is an umbrella term for lattes, espresso, iced coffee, hot chocolate, mocha, malts, smoothies, and other drinks that are sold in several markets worldwide.

Corporate overview[]

Facts and figures[]

McDonald's restaurants are found in 118 countries[28] and territories around the world and serve 68 million customers each day.[1] McDonald's operates over 34,000 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 1.7 million people.[28] The company also operates other restaurant brands, such as Piles Café.

Focusing on its core brand, McDonald's began divesting itself of other chains it had acquired during the 1990s. The company owned a majority stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill until October 2006, when McDonald's fully divested from Chipotle through a stock exchange.[29][30] Until December 2003, it also owned Donatos Pizza. On August 27, 2007, McDonald's sold Boston Market to Sun Capital Partners.[31]

Notably, McDonald's has increased shareholder dividends for 25 consecutive years,[32] making it one of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats.[33][34] In October 2012, its monthly sales fell for the first time in nine years.[35]

Types of restaurants[]

Most standalone McDonald's restaurants offer both counter service and drive-through service, with indoor and sometimes outdoor seating. Drive-Thru, Auto-Mac, Pay and Drive, or "McDrive" as it is known in many countries, often has separate stations for placing, paying for, and picking up orders, though the latter two steps are frequently combined; it was first introduced in Arizona in 1975, following the lead of other fast-food chains. The first such restaurant in Britain opened at Fallowfield, Manchester in 1986.[36]

In some countries, "McDrive" locations near highways offer no counter service or seating. In contrast, locations in high-density city neighborhoods often omit drive-through service. There are also a few locations, located mostly in downtown districts, that offer Walk-Thru service in place of Drive-Thru.

To accommodate the current trend for high quality coffee and the popularity of coffee shops in general, McDonald's introduced McCafé, a café-style accompaniment to McDonald's restaurants in the style of Starbucks. McCafé is a concept created by McDonald's Australia, starting with Melbourne in 1993. Today, most McDonald's in Australia have McCafés located within the existing McDonald's restaurant. In Tasmania, there are McCafés in every store, with the rest of the states quickly following suit. After upgrading to the new McCafé look and feel, some Australian stores have noticed up to a 60% increase in sales. As of the end of 2003 there were over 600 McCafés worldwide.

Some locations are connected to gas stations/convenience stores,[37] while others called McExpress have limited seating and/or menu or may be located in a shopping mall. Other McDonald's are located in Walmart stores. McStop is a location targeted at truckers and travelers which may have services found at truck stops.[38]

Since 1997, in addition to many in Israel, one kosher McDonald's is located in the Abasto mall, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.[39][40]

Global operations[]

Template:See also

McDonald's has become emblematic of globalization, sometimes referred to as the "McDonaldization" of society. The Economist newspaper uses the "Big Mac Index": the comparison of a Big Mac's cost in various world currencies can be used to informally judge these currencies' purchasing power parity. Norway has the most expensive Big Mac in the world as of July 2011, while the country with the least expensive Big Mac is India[41] (albeit for a Maharaja Mac—the next cheapest Big Mac is Hong Kong).[42]

Thomas Friedman once said that no country with a McDonald's had gone to war with another.[43]Template:Full However, the "Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention" is not strictly true. Exceptions are the 1989 United States invasion of Panama, NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999, the 2006 Lebanon War, and the 2008 South Ossetia war.

Some observers have suggested that the company should be given credit for increasing the standard of service in markets that it enters. A group of anthropologists in a study entitled Golden Arches East[44] looked at the impact McDonald's had on East Asia, and Hong Kong in particular. When it opened in Hong Kong in 1975, McDonald's was the first restaurant to consistently offer clean restrooms, driving customers to demand the same of other restaurants and institutions. McDonald's has taken to partnering up with Sinopec, the second largest oil company in the People's Republic of China, as it takes advantage of the country's growing use of personal vehicles by opening numerous drive-thru restaurants.[45] McDonald's has opened a McDonald's restaurant and McCafé on the underground premises of the French fine arts museum, The Louvre.[46]

The company stated it will open vegetarian-only restaurants in India by mid-2013.[23]

Playgrounds[]

Some McDonald's in suburban areas and certain cities feature large indoor or outdoor playgrounds. The first PlayPlace with the familiar crawl-tube design with ball pits and slides was introduced in 1987 in the USA, with many more being constructed soon after. Some PlayPlace playgrounds have been renovated into "R Gym" areas.

Redesign[]

In 2006, McDonald's introduced its "Forever Young" brand by redesigning all of its restaurants, the first major redesign since the 1970s.[47][48] McDonald's has invested $1 billion to redesign nearly all of the 14,000 restaurants by 2015.

The goal of the redesign is to be more like a coffee shop, similar to Starbucks. The design includes wooden tables, faux-leather chairs, and muted colors; the red was muted to terra cotta, the yellow was turned golden for a more "sunny" look, and olive and sage green were also added. To warm up its look, the restaurants have less plastic and more brick and wood, with modern hanging lights to produce a softer glow. Many restaurants now feature free Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs. Other upgrades include double drive-thrus, flat roofs instead of the angled red roofs, and replacing fiber glass with wood. Also, instead of the familiar golden arches, the restaurants now feature "semi-swooshes" (half of a golden arch), similar to the Nike swoosh.[49]

Business model[]

McDonald's Corporation earns revenue as an investor in properties, a franchiser of restaurants, and an operator of restaurants. Approximately 15% of McDonald's restaurants are owned and operated by McDonald's Corporation directly. The remainder are operated by others through a variety of franchise agreements and joint ventures.

The McDonald's Corporation's business model is slightly different from that of most other fast-food chains. In addition to ordinary franchise fees and marketing fees, which are calculated as a percentage of sales, McDonald's may also collect rent, which may also be calculated on the basis of sales. As a condition of many franchise agreements, which vary by contract, age, country, and location, the Corporation may own or lease the properties on which McDonald's franchises are located. In most, if not all cases, the franchisee does not own the location of its restaurants.

The United Kingdom and Ireland business model is different than the U.S, in that fewer than 30% of restaurants are franchised, with the majority under the ownership of the company. McDonald's trains its franchisees and others at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois.

In other countries, McDonald's restaurants are operated by joint ventures of McDonald's Corporation and other, local entities or governments.

As a matter of policy, McDonald's does not make direct sales of food or materials to franchisees, instead organizing the supply of food and materials to restaurants through approved third party logistics operators.

According to Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (2001), nearly one in eight workers in the U.S. have at some time been employed by McDonald's. The book also states that McDonald's is the largest private operator of playgrounds in the U.S., as well as the single largest purchaser of beef, pork, potatoes, and apples. The selection of meats McDonald's uses varies to some extent based on the culture of the host country.

Advertising[]

Main article: McDonald's advertising

McDonald's has for decades maintained an extensive advertising campaign. In addition to the usual media (television, radio, and newspaper), the company makes significant use of billboards and signage, sponsors sporting events ranging from Little League to the Olympic Games, and makes coolers of orange drink with its logo available for local events of all kinds. Nonetheless, television has always played a central role in the company's advertising strategy.

To date, McDonald's has used 23 different slogans in United States advertisingTemplate:Citation needed, as well as a few other slogans for select countries and regions. At times, it has run into trouble with its campaigns.

Space exploration[]

McDonald's and NASA explored an advertising agreement for a planned mission to the asteroid 449 Hamburga; however, the spacecraft was eventually cancelled.[50]

Criticism[]

As a prominent example of the rapid globalization of the American fast food industry, McDonald's is often the target of criticism for its menu, its expansion, and its business practices. The McLibel Trial, also known as McDonald's Restaurants v Morris & Steel, is an example of this criticism. In 1990, activists from a small group known as London Greenpeace (no connection to the international group Greenpeace) distributed leaflets entitled What's wrong with McDonald's?, criticizing its environmental, health, and labor record. The corporation wrote to the group demanding they desist and apologize, and, when two of the activists refused to back down, sued them for libel in one of the longest cases in British civil law. A documentary film of the McLibel Trial has been shown in several countries.

Despite the objections of McDonald's, the term "McJob" was added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary in 2003. The term was defined as "a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement".

In 2001, Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation included criticism of the business practices of McDonald's. Among the critiques were allegations that McDonald's (along with other companies within the fast food industry) uses its political influence to increase its profits at the expense of people's health and the social conditions of its workers. The book also brought into question McDonald's advertisement techniques in which it targets children. While the book did mention other fast-food chains, it focused primarily on McDonald's.

In 2002, vegetarian groups, largely Hindu and Buddhist, successfully sued McDonald's for misrepresenting its French fries as vegetarian, when they contained beef broth.[51]

Morgan Spurlock's 2004 documentary film Super Size Me said that McDonald's food was contributing to the epidemic of obesity in society, and that the company was failing to provide nutritional information about its food for its customers. Six weeks after the film premiered, McDonald's announced that it was eliminating the super size option, and was creating the adult Happy Meal.

In January 2014 it was reported that McDonald's was accused of having used a series of tax maneuvers to avoid paying its fair share of taxes in France. The company confirmed that tax authorities had visited McDonald’s French headquarters in Paris but insisted that it had not done anything wrong, saying, “McDonald’s firmly denies the accusation made by L’Express according to which McDonald’s supposedly hid part of its revenue from taxes in France.”[52]

Arguments in defense[]

In response to public pressure, McDonald's has sought to include more healthy choices in its menu and has introduced a new slogan to its recruitment posters: "Not bad for a McJob".[53] (The word McJob, first attested in the mid-1980s[54] and later popularized by Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland in his book Generation X, has become a buzz word for low-paid, unskilled work with few prospects or benefits and little security.) McDonald's disputes this definition of McJob. In 2007, the company launched an advertising campaign with the slogan "Would you like a career with that?" on Irish television, outlining that its jobs have many prospects.

In an effort to respond to growing consumer awareness of food provenance, the fast-food chain changed its supplier of both coffee beans and milk. UK chief executive Steve Easterbrook said: "British consumers are increasingly interested in the quality, sourcing and ethics of the food and drink they buy".[55] In a bid to tap into the ethical consumer market,[56] McDonald's switched to using coffee beans taken from stocks that are certified by the Rainforest Alliance, a conservation group. Additionally, in response to pressure, McDonald's UK started using organic milk supplies for its bottled milk and hot drinks, although it still uses conventional milk in its milkshakes, and in all of its dairy products in the United States.[57] According to a report published by Farmers Weekly in 2007, the quantity of milk used by McDonald's could have accounted for as much as 5% of the UK's organic milk output.[58]

McDonald's announced on May 22, 2008 that, in the United States and Canada, it would switch to using cooking oil that contains no trans fats for its french fries, and canola-based oil with corn and soy oils, for its baked items, pies and cookies, by year's end.[59][60]

With regard to acquiring chickens from suppliers who use CAK or CAS methods of slaughter, McDonald's says that it needs to see more research "to help determine whether any CAS system in current use is optimal from an animal welfare perspective."[61]

Environmental record[]

In April 2008, McDonald's announced that 11 of its Sheffield, England restaurants have been using a biomass trial that had cut its waste and carbon footprint by half in the area. In this trial, wastes from the restaurants were collected by Veolia Environmental Services, and were used to produce energy at a power plant. McDonald's plans to expand this project, although the lack of biomass power plants in the United States will prevent this plan from becoming a national standard anytime soon.[62] In addition, in Europe, McDonald's has been recycling vegetable grease by converting it to fuel for its diesel trucks.[63]

Furthermore, McDonald's has been using a corn-based bioplastic to produce containers for some of its products. Although industries who use this product claim a carbon savings of 30% to 80%, a Guardian study shows otherwise. The results show that this type of plastic does not break down in landfills as efficiently as other conventional plastics. The extra energy it takes to recycle this plastic results in a higher output of greenhouse gases. Also, the plastics can contaminate waste streams, causing other recycled plastics to become unsaleable.[64]

In 1990 McDonald's worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to stop using "clam shell" shaped styrofoam food containers to house its food products.[65] 20 years later McDonald's announced they would try replacing styrofoam coffee cups with an alternative material.[66]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized McDonald's continuous effort to reduce solid waste by designing more efficient packaging and by promoting the use of recycled-content materials.[67] McDonald's reports that it is committed towards environmental leadership by effectively managing electric energy, by conserving natural resources through recycling and reusing materials, and by addressing water management issues within the restaurant.[68]

In an effort to reduce energy usage by 25% in its restaurants, McDonald's opened a prototype restaurant in Chicago in 2009 with the intention of using the model in its other restaurants throughout the world. Building on past efforts, specifically a restaurant it opened in Sweden in 2000 that was the first to intentionally incorporate green ideas, McDonald's designed the Chicago site to save energy by incorporating old and new ideas such as managing storm water, using skylights for more natural lighting and installing some partitions and tabletops made from recycled goods.[69]

When McDonald’s received criticism for its environmental policies in the 1970s, it began to make substantial progress towards source reductions efforts.[70] For instance, an “average meal” in the 1970s—a Big Mac, fries, and a drink—required 46 grams of packaging; today, it requires only 25 grams, allowing a 46% reduction.[71] In addition, McDonald’s eliminated the need for intermediate containers for cola by having a delivery system that pumps syrup directly from the delivery truck into storage containers, saving two million pounds of packaging annually.[72] Overall, weight reductions in packaging and products, as well as the increased usage of bulk packaging ultimately decreased packaging by 24 million pounds annually.[73]

Legal cases[]

Main article: McDonald's legal cases

McDonald's has been involved in a number of lawsuits and other legal cases, most of which involved trademark disputes. The company has threatened many food businesses with legal action unless it drops the Mc or Mac from trading names. In one noteworthy case, McDonald's sued a Scottish café owner called McDonald, even though the business in question dated back over a century (Sheriff Court Glasgow and Strathkelvin, November 21, 1952). On September 8, 2009, McDonald's Malaysian operations lost a lawsuit to prevent another restaurant calling itself McCurry. McDonald's lost in an appeal to Malaysia's highest court, the Federal Court.[74]

It has also filed numerous defamation suits. For example, in the McLibel case, McDonald's sued two activists for distributing pamphlets attacking its environmental, labor and health records. After the longest trial in UK legal history, the judge found that some claims in the pamphlet were untrue and therefore libelous. The company, however, had asserted that all claims in the pamphlet were untrue, essentially obliging the judge to publicly rule on each one. A few of the specific allegations (specifically that McDonald's was "culpably responsible" for animal cruelty, that it exploited children through its advertising, and that it paid low wages) were found to be true.[75]

McDonald's has defended itself in several cases involving workers' rights. In 2001, the company was fined £12,400 by British magistrates for illegally employing and over-working child labor in one of its London restaurants. This is thought to be one of the largest fines imposed on a company for breaking laws relating to child working conditions (R v 2002 EWCA Crim 1094). In April 2007, in Perth, Western Australia, McDonald's pleaded guilty to five charges relating to the employment of children under 15 in one of its outlets and was fined A$8,000.[76]

Possibly the most infamous legal case involving McDonald's was the 1994 decision in Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants where Stella Liebeck was awarded several million dollars after she suffered third-degree burns after spilling a scalding cup of McDonald's coffee on herself.[77]

In a McDonald's American Idol figurine promotion, the figurine that represents "New Wave Nigel" wears something that closely resembles Devo’s Energy dome, which was featured on the band's album cover, Freedom of Choice. In addition to the figurine's image, it also plays a tune that appears to be an altered version of Devo's song "Doctor Detroit". Devo copyrighted and trademarked the Energy Dome and is taking legal action against McDonald's.[78]

Employment practices[]

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File:Av.RuiCarneiro Manaíra000 4173-3.jpg

McDonald's in João Pessoa, Brazil.

On 5 August 2013, The Guardian revealed that 90% of McDonalds UK workforce are on zero hour contracts, making it possibly the largest such private sector employer in the country.[79]

A Study released by Fast Food Forward conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research showed that approximately 84% of all fast food employees working in New York City in April 2013 had been paid less than their legal wages by their employers.[80]

From 2007-2011, fast food workers in the United States used an average of $7 billion of public assistance annually resulting from receiving low wages.[81] The McResource phone line advises McDonald's minimum wage employees to apply for food stamps.[82] The McResource website advises employees to break their food into smaller pieces to feel fuller, seek refunds for unopened holiday purchases, sell possessions online for quick cash, and to "quit complaining" as "stress hormone levels rise by 15 percent after ten minutes of complaining.".[83] In December, 2013, McDonald’s shut down the McResource website amidst negative publicity and criticism. McDonald’s plans to continue an internal telephone help line through which its employees can access its work-life help resources.[84]

See also[]

Template:Wikipedia books

  • Arcos Dorados Holdings
  • Burger King—the second largest burger chain
  • Wendy's—third largest hamburger chain
  • MaDonal—a restaurant knock-off operating in Northern Iraq
  • Maxime, McDuff & McDo, documentary film about the unionizing of a McDonald's in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

References[]

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Further reading[]

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