When studying business plans, people typically don’t pinpoint McDonalds as the ideal case study. It brings to mind connotations such as unhealthy food, cheap prices, and bright crayon-like colors. However, looking at in from a logistical perspective, the fast food restaurant is a massive success.
The Motley Fool wrote an article which gave 10 business principles which make McDonalds the success that it is:
Worldwide, 80% of McDonald’s restaurants are franchised; in Australia, this proportion is two-thirds. Franchising enables McDonald’s to harness individual talent and effort, while still retaining control of its brand, menu and pricing.
- International expansion
McDonald’s is simply huge in the US, but it also has a presence in 118 other countries…
- Global, but local
While McDonald’s is a multi-national giant, it adapts its business and menu to suit local markets. This ‘global, but local’ approach enables it to tailor its offerings to suit the local palate. For example, in some countries, McDonald’s sells beer and, in India, where Hindus don’t eat beef, McDonald’s menus have vegetarian and non-beef options.
- The brand is the business
The McDonald’s brand is one of the most valuable in the world, being easily and universally recognized. Everywhere you go, McDonald’s restaurants have an instant ‘recognizably factor’ — the familiar red-and-gold livery, plus the ‘Golden Arches’ and the world’s favorite clown, Ronald McDonald.
- ‘Old and new’ menu
The McDonald’s menu sticks rigidly to old-fashioned favorites such as the Big Mac and Chicken McNuggets. However, the group is also willing to experiment, adding or deleting items from its menu according to their popularity and local tastes. For example, its new healthier menus and inexpensive all-day coffee have helped the business snare a whole new group of customers.
- Low prices
Gourmets will sneer at McDonald’s menu, arguing that its products are low on taste and high on fat and sugar. Nevertheless, its low prices bring tens of millions of people through its doors every day.
- Meal sizes
As well as catering to all budgets, McDonald’s menu offers meals of all shapes and sizes. While its ‘super-sized’ range has been blasted by anti-obesity campaigners, McDonald’s also offers bite-sized meals for those with smaller appetites.
- Film tie-ups and sponsorship
To keep its regular promotions fresh, McDonald’s teams up with media partners, especially film companies. When the likes of Disney or DreamWorks release a new movie, you’re almost certain to see the theme in your local McDonald’s.
- Recruiting young workers
Millions of young adults got their first job with McDonald’s. While this helps to keep wage bills down, McDonald’s also provides industry-leading, on-the-job training for young workers. Last year, the company ranked eighth on a list of the ’25 Best Multinational Companies to Work for in the World’. Most senior McDonald’s managers started out serving on the shop floor and worked their way up to the boardroom.
- Free Wi-Fi
The vast majority of McDonald’s stores now offer free Wi-Fi. It’s not unusual to see people using laptops or tablet computers while eating or having coffee. McDonald’s now boasts that it serves up more emails each day (data-wise, the equivalent of six million messages) than it does big Macs.
Despite its bad connotation, McDonalds is a major success story, which is still in the making. Even when spreading internationally, they make it a priority to cater to the needs of every culture and segment of society. They also have perfected the branding game, to the point where they have basically monopolized the colors red and yellow. Lastly, they make everything in their store cheap and easily accessible, so that anyone is able to afford it, broadening the platform of potential customers. Business owners, take note: McDonalds’ clients are lovin’ it.