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McDonald’s: Customer Driven Essay

What does it mean to be customer driven? One Fortune 500 Company that lives to please and satisfy their customers is, McDonald’s. According to the article The Ray Kroc Story (2012), McDonald’s passion for quality and customer service all began with a man named Ray Kroc (p.1). In 1954, Ray came across a restaurant in San Bernardino, California run by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald. He was immediately captivated by how effective their small operation was. Ray found that the restaurant only offered a limited menu, which consisted of burgers, fries, and beverages. Due to the limited variety, the brothers were able to focus on what was really important, which was quality customer service.

Ray Kroc had formed a vision. The article The Ray Kroc Story (2012), he pitched his vision of McDonald’s restaurants all over the United States to the brothers (p. 2). In 1955, one year after discovering the small restaurant in California, Ray Kroc founded the McDonald’s Corporation. Five years later, Ray bought the exclusive rights to the McDonald’s name, and by 1958 McDonald’s has sold its 100 millionth burger.

According to the article The Ray Kroc Story (2012), Kroc’s unique philosophy was that he wanted to build a restaurant system that would be famous for its food consistency, its uniform methods of preparation, and that was customer driven (p. 3). He wanted to be able to serve burgers in Alaska that would taste the same in Alabama. To make this a reality he persuaded franchisees and suppliers to buy into his vision. This was that they were not working for McDonald’s, but rather for themselves, for McDonalds.

Ray Kroc never stopped working for McDonald’s. He worked there right up until he passed away on January 24, 1984 (p. 4). He worked out of his wheelchair in his office, nearly every day, in San Diego, California. Ray Kroc’s legacy and passion for quality, service, and efficiency continues to still be an integral part of McDonald’s today.

McDonald’s has more than 33,500 restaurants worldwide. It also has 1.7 million employees, throughout 119 countries. McDonald’s mission statement and list of values truly shows how they are customer driven and what they focus on, to continue being successful. The article McDonald’s Mission and Vision (2010-2012), their brand mission is to be their customers favorite place and way to eat (p. 1). They operate around seven core values every day. The first value is that they place the customer experience at the core of what they do. They say that their customers are the reason for their existence. They show their appreciation by providing every person that walks through their door, and drives through their drive thru with high quality food. Their goal is quality, service, cleanliness, and value for each and every customer.

Second, they are committed to their customers. McDonald’s provides ample opportunity, they nurture talent, and they develop leaders. This company believes that a team of well-trained individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds, working together fosters respect, and is key in their continued success.

The third value according to the article McDonald’s Mission and Vision (2010-2012) is that they believe in their system (p. 1). McDonald’s has a business model that Ray Kroc compared to a three legged stool. His philosophy was based on the simple principle of the three legged stool: one leg was McDonald’s, the second leg was the franchisees, and the third leg was McDonald’s suppliers.

Fourth, they operate their business ethically. This company believes that sound ethics is good business. They strive to hold themselves and to conduct their business to a high standard of fairness, honesty, and also integrity. McDonald’s believes that they are individually accountable and collectively responsible.

Fifth, they give back to their communities. McDonald’s is serious about the responsibilities that come along with being a leader. They try to make the world a better place by helping their customers build better communities, supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and by leveraging their size, scope, and resources.

Sixth, they grow their business profitably. This company is a publicly traded company. Being that they are publicly traded, they work to provides sustained profitable growth for their shareholders. In order to do this they have to focus continually on their customers and the health of their system.

The last and final value that McDonald’s lives by is that want to continuously improve. They consider themselves a learning organization. One of the goals under this value is to anticipate and respond to changing customers, employees, and system needs through constant innovation and evolution.

Ray Kroc (2010-2012) once said, “McDonald’s is a people’s business” (p. 1). One major way this company shows that it cares about its customers, can be seen through the company’s involvement in their customers communities. McDonald’s is a part of a global network of local family restaurants, and they are proud to give back to the communities they serve. They demonstrate this by supporting local sports teams, helping talented young athletes, and taking steps to improve neighborhoods.

Two example of this can be seen through McDonald’s involvement in the McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Games, and Camp Mickey D’s. Every year the company brings the top high school basketball talent in the nation together to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Camp Mickey D’s was created by Sybel Pici, owner of three McDonald’s franchise in Texas. This program helps students come to terms and grips with the challenges of the workplace, while making a connection between school and work.

One of the most widely recognized ways that McDonald’s shows it is customer driven is through its support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. According to the article The Ronald McDonald House Charities (2010-2012), the Ronald McDonald House Charities was founded on the idea of strength through numbers (p. 1). Through this customers and families find strength from staff, donors, and each other. The Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for families whose children are in hospitals or need medical treatment. Since 2002, McDonalds has brought together its franchisees, suppliers, employees, and customers to take part in a worldwide annual fundraiser. This fundraiser has brought in nearly $170 million for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and other various charities.

McDonald’s has many strong suits. First, they rank high on the Fortune Magazine’s food service companies that are most admired. They have global operations all over the world. McDonald’s has cultural diversity in the foods that are provided based on the location. This company has great locations in theme parks, airports, Walmart stores, and along well traveled roads. They have efficient operating guidelines in the assembly line fashion.

One weakness is that they are failing the pizza test market therefore limiting the ability to compete with fast food pizza providers. Their training costs are high due to high turnover. They have minimal concentration on providing organic foods. McDonald’s has large fluctuations in the net and operating profits making impacts on investors. There are quality concerns due to franchised operations. Last, they focus on burgers and grease fried foods and not on healthier options for their customers.

One opportunity that McDonald’s has is they are opening more joint ventures with several different retailers. They have become more responsive to the social changes and healthier options. They are advertising the capabilities of WIFI. The company has been expanding on the advertising in regards to being more socially responsible in the environment. They have expanded in to newly developed parts of the world. They have opened products up to allergen free options such as peanut free and gluten free foods. Last they have ventured into more enticing beverage choices.

One threat is that their marketing strategies are enticing people all the way from small children to adults and they take criticism because of it. McDonald’s has lawsuits for offering unhealthy foods with addictive additives. They have contamination risks. One threat is that there are a large amount of other fast food places that are open and serve as competition. The competition is focusing on healthier dieting by consumers. Last there is a downturn in economy which limits people to going out to eat.

Through the vision of Ray Kroc, a Fortune 500 company was formed. Through McDonald’s mission statement and seven core values, this company has had continued success over the years. The success of this company is a direct result of being a truly customer driven company.


McDonald Mission and Corporate Values :: AboutMcDonalds.com. (n.d.)._” Official Global Corporate Website :: AboutMcDonalds.com_. Retrieved March 24, 2012, from http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/our_company/mission_and_values.html

Ronald McDonald House Charities :: McDonalds.com. (n.d.). _Home :: McDonalds.com_. Retrieved March 23, 2012, from http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/our_story/our_communities/rmhc.html

The Ray Kroc Story :: McDonalds.com. (n.d.). _Home :: McDonalds.com_. Retrieved March 22, 2012, from http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/our_story/our_history/the_ray_kroc_story.html

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