Running head: FIXING RESTAURANT WEAKNESSES   1
Restaurant(Fixing Restaurant Weaknesses)
McDonaldsis among the biggest global fast-food chain of restaurants in theworld. The restaurant has its headquarters in the United States, andit is present in approximate one hundred and nineteen countries withover 35,000 chain outlets. The restaurant is popular for itshamburger, chicken, French fries, soft drinks, desserts, andmilkshakes and has added in its menu fish, fruits and salads. Therestaurant is credited for ‘globalizing’ fast-food restaurantsthroughout the world. In addition, McDonald has a high regard in theeconomic sector for the ‘Big Mac Index’ theorem used byeconomists when making assumptions of purchasing power parity ofdifferent currencies in the world. The restaurant has had a greatimpact and presence in many countries where it offers excellentcatering services. The business uses a model that is competitivelydifferent from that of its competitors.
However,all has not been rosy for the big Mac Restaurant as it has beenconstantly faced with major and numerous criticisms emerging from itscontinued global prominence. Specifically, the restaurant has beencritiqued for its expansion practices, labor, menu and other businesslegal aspects. The restaurant has been accused of underpaying itsworkers and providing low opportunities for their growth. In 2001,the firm was fined by the British courts for engaging in child laborand overworking its staffs. Similarly, in 2007, the restaurantaffirmed to five counts of alleged use of child labor in PerthAustralia. In 2003, ‘Mac Job’ term was coined in reference to thepoor work terms provided by the restaurant. In other sectors, thefirm has been criticized for using political links create moreprofits at the expense of solving the social issues of its workers.
Furthermore,the restaurants has faced legal suits in the Buddhist and Hinducountries for false fully misrepresenting its menu as purelyvegetarian while it contained some ingredients of beef. In UK, therestaurant had to change its source for milk and beans after ethicalissues dissatisfaction from the consumers and legal controls. In2004, the firm was sued for failing to pay taxes in France. Inaddition, throughout its history, McDonald has faced great challengesin fending off real and perceived competition especially in regard tothe use of trademark names. Many fast food joints across the globehave faced legal suits from the restaurant for using trademark namesthat resemble McDonald’s. For instance, the restaurant in 2009 suedand lost a case against a Malaysian fast-food for using its relatedtrademark in ‘McCurry.’ In some instances, the restaurant hasbeen accused of environmental degradation due to the plasticcontainers used to wrap food products. Overall, the restaurant acloser assessment of the restaurant reveals that it has a seriousweakness in regard to labor issues, menu, environmental andcompetition.
Thelabor problem in McDonalds where child labor is alleged to have beenused as well as its practice of overworking and underpaying workerswith no existing contracts could be attributed to economic and globalaspects. The restaurant is facing stiff competition from other fastfood restaurants. Therefore, as a way of maximizing returns therestaurant could be relying on cheap labor practices. In most cases,individuals who have low education qualifications rely on cheap laborin such places as restaurants. The firm appears to be usingtraditional practices in its labor management practices employees inmost areas complain of ben overworked, no work contracts and otheremployment benefits. This is a serious negligence that cannot beattributed to any justifiable aspects.
Thechallenges faced by the restaurants in the numerous lawsuitsregarding its trademark could be attributed to the increased globalcompetition. As a way of having an edge in the market, competitorshave imitated McDonalds business model to the extent of ‘stealing’the restaurant trademark acronym ‘Mc.’ Similarly, the restaurantperceived negative impact on the environment could also be related tothe prevailing global economy as well as the firm economicstrategies. In one instance, the firm has been accused using plasticwrapping containers that are non-biodegradable. In most cases, theseplastic materials are the readily available in the market andpossibly cheaper compared to other wrapping materials.
Inthis case, the restaurant could be relying on cheaper materials thatwill not adversely affect its economic returns. The restaurant hasalso had a problem with its menu there have been widespread globalcriticizing of the restaurant products that are known to causeobesity. In other, areas concern have been on the ethic of theingredients used based on the society spiritual and cultural factors.The menu and the ingredient problem could also be attributed to thefirms’ economic factors related to the process of changing anddesigning new ingredients for the products.
Therestaurant can fix the labor problem by restructuring its laborpolicies both locally and at international level. In particular, thefirm needs to embrace professionalism in its staff in order to boostits brand image. Child labor, overworking employees and low pay arebad aspects that could ruin the restaurants image and overallbusiness success. In the same line, McDonalds need to conducteffective market research on consumer tastes and preference inregards to its various products. This is important in creatingcustomer trust and confidence in regard to its products and services(Kotter & Cohen, 2002).This is necessary especially when the restaurant is facing majorcriticism due to rising obesity problem associated with fast foods.In this case, McDonald could revise the menu ingredients of itsproducts to minimize consumer complaints. The restaurant also needsto use ecological friendly food containers that do not pose hazardsto the environment. Lastly, since competition in businesses isunpreventable, the restaurant needs to concentrate its energy onimproving its image, products and labor policies than engaging inunnecessary trademark wars with its competitors(Gomez, Luis, Balkin & Cardy 2008).
Gomez-Mejia,Luis R. David B. Balkin and Robert L. Cardy (2008). Management:People, Performance, Change, 3rd edition.New York, New York USA: McGraw-Hill.
Kotter,John P.& Dan S. Cohen. (2002). TheHeart of Change.Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.
McDonald`spublication. "CorporateFAQ".McDonald`s Corporation.Retrieved on August 2, 2014.