Globalisation is a force that became the buzzword of the 1990s. Various countries around the world have experienced a thrilling increase in trade, innovation transfer and cross-border investment flows in recent years. The effects of globalisation and the evolution of the most developed economies are difficult to separate and a few authors believe the effects of multinational enterprise to be a defining feature of globalisation (Strange, 1986). In this essay, I am going to deliver a wider understanding of globalisation through the study of a fast food restaurant, subway to be precise. I am focusing on a branch of the restaurant in Bradford, paying attention to the sorts of customers who patronise it as well as the staff who work there. I will contrast the restaurant with another establishment close by to see if people act differently at the two venues. I will also evaluate the company as a whole and how it adapts to the various cultural differences it faces at its branches worldwide, thereby giving the theory that cultures are becoming more similar in a globalised world some support. Finally, I will conclude by drawing together a summary of my chosen model of globalisation and because globalisation is such a large phenomenon, majority of the focus will be split between the financial and the cultural theories of globalisation.
The Ethnographic Study
Subway Restaurant Bradford: The Place
The SUBWAY® Restaurant system is the world’s largest submarine sandwich franchise, with more than 33983 restaurants in 95 countries worldwide. Their main product is the submarine sandwich, or "Sub". The stores also offer Cookies, muffins, and Danishes which may be purchased in a variety of flavours. The store is part of a multi complex building sharing its location with Sainsbury’s and Gregs, the building also faces the main road as its easily visible by people driving by, and it also has large windows so people inside the building get a good view of what’s going on outside as well. The building has stairs and also has disability facilities. The decor is mainly green with wooden tables and tiled floors; I think it aims at giving a healthy atmosphere aura to the place. It’s a pretty small restaurant with few places to sit. The serving area is right in front of the restaurant with all the food options laid out strategically in an effort to speed up the service. After some research I found that the decor is pretty standard for any subway branch. Subway Restaurant Bradford: Description
Most people come in and head straight to the counter, usually individuals or in groups of two’s and three’s. The people who come in groups usually sit and eat their meals at the venue engaging in various conversations whilst the people who eat there alone tend to occupy themselves with magazines etc. People seemed to be dressed casually for the most part, usually students from the university which is really close by. Lunch time was the busiest as there was a flooding in of a variety of people from different ethnic backgrounds and different ages. People ranged from office workers dressed in suit and ties, students probably from a nearby college dressed in uniform and little kids who come along with their parents. The place was sort of overcrowded due to the small venue, the queue stretched all the way to the door, although the three members of staff working at the time seemed to do a pretty good job of serving everyone quickly. Most people present in the area seemed to be Asian and Middle Eastern descent and everyone seemed to relate really well with each other. The staff was also Asian and seemed to be friendly as they engaged in conversation with customers whenever they could. Most people also seemed to go for the meal deals, probably because of the layout of the food and the customer loyalty cards which gives people and incentive (they get discounts and free meals when they accumulate a certain number of points).