Case Study - Mcdonalds and Hindu Culture

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McDonalds & Hindu Culture
Presentation of Facts:
McDonald’s Corporation of the United States opens 4.2 new McDonald’s restaurants daily and by 2003 had 30,000 restaurants in 121 countries that collectively served 46 million customers each day. While expanding into new regions, McDonald’s entered a new country for expansion, India. India offered a large customer base but also a cultural challenge to McDonalds. The local Hindu culture has revered cows for thousands of years and McDonalds is the world’s largest user of beef. McDonald’s decided to approach the situation by not offering the offending primary ingredient and instead substituting with a new type of protein for their menu, mutton. They recognized the two categories of local customers, vegetarian and non-vegetarian and created separate lines by customer type. McDonald’s in the USA was using beef extract in the frying oil and were sued by three men in Seattle, two of which were Hindu for fraudulently concealing the existence of beef in McDonalds French fries. McDonald’s issued an apology to Hindus, vegetarians and others for failing to provide the kind of information they needed to make informed dietary decisions at their U.S. restaurants. However, news travels fast and the Hindu nationalists in India grew angry enough to vandalize one McDonald’s restaurant, causing $45,000 in damage; shouted slogans outside of another; picketed the company’s headquarters; and called on India’s prime minister to close McDonald’s 27 stores in the Country. McDonald’s Indian franchise holders quickly issued denials that they used oil that contained beef extract, and Hindu extremists responded by stating they would submit McDonald’s oil to laboratory tests to see if they could detect beef extract.

Questions:
1. Was the mistake that McDonalds made with this new market advancement was to not consider global business practices vs local business practices and global response to local issues? 2. Were enough...
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