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Retailing and Rural Business Perspectives

Question:

Discuss about the Retailing and Rural Business Perspectives.

Answer:

Introduction

Marketing and services form one of the primary areas of interest of the major business organizations (Hill, Jones and Schilling 2014). Therefore, the various business organizations often take the help of effective marketing strategies and servicing strategies to bring about an overall growth as well as development of their business organization (Jacobs, Chase and Lummus 2014). A typical example of this is the American fast food company McDonald’s. The company McDonald’s founded by the brothers “Richard and Maurice McDonald” in the year 1940 in the region of “San Bernardino, California, United States” is one of the largest fast food companies of the world (Mcdonalds.com 2018). However, the real growth as well as expansion of the company began with the innovative leadership of Ray Kroc, who took over the reign of the company in the year 1955 (Mcdonalds.com 2018). He transformed the small San Bernardino outlet into the global giant which the company is presently with his effective strategies. As per the data of the year 2016 the company owns more than 36,900 outlets in different parts of the world including in countries like Australian, New Zealand and others and is the “second largest private employer in the world employing more 1.5 million people on a global basis” (Mcdonalds.com 2018). Some of the financial statistics of the company.

The company McDonald’s specializes in the food sector and is known for the quality of the food items offered by it to the customers (Vitasek, Manrodt and Kling 2017). It is significant to note that the company at the time of its initiation used to offer only a few food products to the customers as the McDonalds brothers wanted to focus more on the quality as well as the ethnicity of the food items sold by them (Nadolny and Ryan 2015). However, after Ray Kroc took over the reign of the company in the year 1955 he made significant changes in the quality as well as the kind of products offered to the customers (Mcdonalds.com 2018). A typical example of this was the use of artificial products for the manufactured of the food item in the nation of Australia, namely his use of instant milk shake power for the manufactured of milk shakes which saved the company not only a considerable amount of resources as well as capital (Vitasek, Manrodt and Kling 2017). In addition to that, Kroc introduced several new food items to the traditional menu used by the McDonald brother for the operation of their outlet (Nadolny and Ryan 2015). It is a reflection of this that presently the company offers a wide range of menu options to the customers of Australia like “hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken products, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts” (Mcdonalds.com 2018). In addition to this, the company has undergone some collaboration with other business organizations like Coca-Cola and others (Xu 2014). The company in a bid to attract more customers to its outlets provides combo meals to the customers wherein along with the food items they also get additional soft drinks and milk shakes to its customers in Australia.

The first outlet opened by the McDonalds brothers in the city of San Bernardino was based on the concept of “takeaways” where the customers would get instant food items after ordering and they would not have to wait for the food items to come for a long time (Xu 2014). In addition to that, another benefit of the policy of takeaway used by the McDonalds was that the customers could take way the food from the outlet and eat them where ever they wanted (Osman, Johns and Lugosi 2014). This feature allowed the customers to avoid the claustrophobic environment of the cafes which were the common places they used to eat. It is to be noted that this particular feature of the outline attracted the attention of Kroc in a significant manner and made him to invest a significant amount of his life savings in the small outlet. However, after taking over the reign of the company Kroc modified the system in a significant manner. Presently, the company not only offers the system of takeaways but also provides sitting arrangements to the customers not only in the nation of Australia but on a global basis (Osman, Johns and Lugosi 2014). In addition to that, the company presently is using the process of home delivery to serve the interests of the customers in the best possible manner.

The menu of the food items provided by the company has undergone significant transformation in the recent times keeping in view the changes in the needs and the requirements of the customers (Yan 2013). Therefore, with this particular idea in view the company presently offers in addition to the various kinds of non-vegetarian food items some vegetarian food items for the vegan people (Yan 2013). It is significant to note that the vegetarian menu of the company is especially popular in the various countries of the world like India, Sri Lanka, Australia and others (Nandini 2014). The incorporation off the various kinds of soft drinks and fizzy drinks in the menu of the company is considered to be a significant boost to the company in the nation of Australia and also on a global basis. However, in the recent times the company is facing a significant amount of backlash because of the unhealthy food items which it sells to the customers and it is in response to this particular backlash that the company has incorporated several new healthy food items like “salads, fish, smoothies, fruits” and others (Mcdonalds.com 2018). Furthermore, in response to these backlashes the company also removed “high-fructose corn syrup from hamburger buns and artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets replacing chicken skin, safflower oil and citric acid found in Chicken McNuggets with pea starch, rice starch and powdered lemon juice” (Mcdonalds.com 2018). It is a reflection of all these features that the company McDonald’s is one of the first choices of many customers from different parts of the world including Australia (Chib 2012).

Management of Customer Flows

The company McDonald’s uses effective delivery systems for the delivery of the food items ordered by the customers. In addition to that, the company also takes the help of efficient employees in order to handle the customers in the best possible manner and also to cater to various needs and requirements (Hearst et al. 2013). It is to be noted that initially when the company started it followed the policy of take-out or takeaways and after the coming of Kroc to the company the various outlets also started offering sitting arrangements to the customers (Hearst et al. 2013). Presently, the company offers the customers with the options of takeout, sitting arrangements and home delivery. The company uses its own delivery system for the efficient delivery of the food items ordered by the customers.

In the various outlets of the company McDonald’s in the nation of Australia there are three peak times during the entire course of the day, namely “8-10, 11am - 1pm and 5pm - 7pm” (Mcdonalds.com 2018). The time period “8-10” corresponds to the breakfast time and also the time when the various working individuals take their lunch from the outlets (Counihan and Van Esterik 2012). The time 11am-1pm” corresponds to the lunch time when the various people use the outlets of the company for ordering lunch (Counihan and Van Esterik 2012). Finally the time period “5pm-7pm” corresponds to the time when the various individuals go out for their evening snacks and also for their early dinner (Counihan and Van Esterik 2012). It is significant to note that in the various outlets of the company from all over the world the customer flow at these three times is the maximum and therefore an effective co-ordination of the workforce is required to serve the customers in the best possible manner.

The company has devised various measures to serve the customers at these three peaks times in the best possible manner. The first measure which has been devised by the company is the effective use of the workplace and also the use of the latest technology and innovation for the cooking of the food items (Schlosser 2012). The McDonald brothers were able to deliver fast and instant service to the customers because of the effective use of the workplace which cut down the time of passing the cooked food items from one part of the kitchen to the other. In addition to that, the use of the latest technology and innovations also help in cooking the food items at a much faster rate (Schlosser 2012). These strategies are still in use in most of the outlets of the company all over the globe. Another strategy which the company uses for the handling of the customer flow during the peak is the strategy of effective coordination among its employees. It is to be noted that in the various outlets of the company the work is segregated among the various employees for example one person is supposed to take the orders, another person is supposed to serve the customers and so on. It is a reflection of these policies as well as strategies used by the company that the various outlets have been able to handle the customer pressure during the various peak times of the day (Schlosser 2012).

The off peak times of the day are the hours when the customer flow is not that much and the employees are able to work in a relaxed manner. A significant aspect of the company is that the various outlets of the company engage more number of employees during the peak hours in comparison to the off peak hours (Schlosser 2012). Therefore, as the workflow at the off peak period is significantly less so the various employees can relax and prepare for the next peak time which would begin in the next few hours. It is significant to note that the kitchens of the various outlets belonging to the company are one of the most segments of the outlets even during these particular hours as well. They need to prepare the food items for the next peaks hours which is coming in a short while.  

Recommendations

It is true that the company is one of the leaders in the food industry and is one of the most preferred choices of the customers from the different parts of the world. However, there is still some room for improvement which the company can utilize to bring about the overall growth as well as the development of its overall business operations. Therefore, the first strategy which the company can adopt is the policy of effective management as in the recent times it is seen that the company is facing some issues with the process of management of its various outlets in diverse parts of the globe. The second strategy which the company can adopt is the policy of offering more healthy foods to the customers as it is recently seen that the customers are complaining about the unhealthy food items sold by the company. Therefore, the company can introduce some new healthy food items to the menu offered by them in a bid to cater to needs of the customers who are very conscious about their health. In addition to this, the company can also develop new strategies for the effective handling of the customers during the peak hours of their business.

References

Chib, S.S., 2012. Relationship matrix between customer satisfaction and service quality in fast food industry-a comparative study of KFC and McDonald. International Journal of Retailing & Rural Business Perspectives, 1(1), p.43.

Counihan, C. and Van Esterik, P. eds., 2012. Food and culture: A reader. Routledge.

Forbes.com. 2018. Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/companies/mcdonalds/ [Accessed 5 Apr. 2018].

Hearst, M.O., Harnack, L.J., Bauer, K.W., Earnest, A.A., French, S.A. and Oakes, J.M., 2013. Nutritional quality at eight US fast-food chains: 14-year trends. American journal of preventive medicine, 44(6), pp.589-594.

Hill, C.W., Jones, G.R. and Schilling, M.A., 2014. Strategic management: theory: an integrated approach. Cengage Learning.

Jacobs, F.R., Chase, R.B. and Lummus, R.R., 2014. Operations and supply chain management (pp. 533-535). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Mcdonalds.com. 2018. McDonald's: Burgers, Fries & More. Quality Ingredients.. [online] Available at: https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us.html [Accessed 5 Apr. 2018].

Nadolny, A. and Ryan, S., 2015. McUniversities revisited: a comparison of university and McDonald's casual employee experiences in Australia. Studies in Higher Education, 40(1), pp.142-157.

Nandini, A.S., 2014. McDonald's success story in India. Journal of Contemporary Research in Management, 9(3), p.21.

Osman, H., Johns, N. and Lugosi, P., 2014. Commercial hospitality in destination experiences: McDonald's and tourists' consumption of space. Tourism Management, 42, pp.238-247.

Schlosser, E., 2012. Fast food nation: The dark side of the all-American meal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Vitasek, K., Manrodt, K. and Kling, J., 2017. Vested: How P&G, McDonald's, and Microsoft are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships. Springer.

Xu, Y., 2014. Understanding CSR from the perspective of Chinese diners: the case of McDonald’s. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(6), pp.1002-1020.

Yan, Y., 2013. Of hamburger and social space: Consuming McDonald’s in Beijing. Food and culture: A reader, pp.449-471.

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