This paper analyzes consumer behavior while purchasing items at McDonald's. Some
of the criteria covered in the paper includes: influences on the customer, customer
mannerism while ordering, what items they purchased and interactions with McDonald's
When doing this project I went to the McDonald's closest to my house. I went
inside and ordered off the dollar menu, my order consisted of a 64oz. Sprite that is
currently on sale for 69 cents, and a crispy chicken sandwich. I knew going into the
restaurant that these were items that McDonald's carried. I had seen the advertisement
about the drink on T.V. and on signs the restaurants display exteriorly, and have always
purchased chicken sandwiches from this restaurant. Going into the restaurant I was
greeted by the cashier whom asked: "Welcome to McDonald's, how may I help you?" I
replied back by saying "hi" and proceeded with my order. I ordered the crispy chicken
sandwich with no tomatoes and the 64oz. Sprite. It took me about 73 seconds to get my
food. While eating, I sat down and monitored other consumers purchasing food. Here is
what I saw.
Consumer's purchasing techniques and mannerism
I would say 75% of everyone who went inside was accompanied with someone. I
have a feeling that amount would be much lower if I was observing the drive-thru lane.
Almost 80% of everyone accompanied asked their companion what they were getting to
eat before actually purchasing anything. It seemed to me most girls that were
accompanied with a male whether it would have been boyfriend or husband, purchased a
salad. I believe that the girls were trying to show their companion that they were
I estimated only 5% of the people I watched knew exactly what they wanted without
looking at the menu. About 40% of the people stood back away from the counter about 4
feet while looking at the menu even though they were next in line. Roughly 20% of all
people started with the work "um" before saying what they actually wanted to eat. Many
people put their hands in different places while they were ordering. The most common
was putting their hands on the counter. Also, placing hands in pocket which may be
attributed to reaching for their money. Another, was that people would point to the menu
when they said their order.
Many customers asked questions as you probably assumed. The biggest question was:
what's on the blank? Blank means the type of sandwich being asked about. I estimated
that 55% of all people that asked about the condiments on the sandwich requested a
special order when purchasing it. Another big question that I heard was about substitution
of an item, whether it was a milk shake in replace of the soda or a salad in replace of
fries, this only applies to value meals.
Since McDonald's has been around so long many people know their menu by heart. I
am one of those people. I can tell what sandwich comes with certain value meals. For
example the #7 is a crispy chicken sandwich, which comes with a medium fry and drink.
I would say a "typical customer" would be one that maybe spends about 30 to 40 seconds
looking at the menu, and then proceeds to order. This is opposite of ordering food at a
nice sit-down restaurant, where it may take you 5-10 minutes to look at your options.
Those who have been to McDonald's a million times and like me have the menu already
mapped out in their head as they're driving there, can walk right up and order. People that
don't go to McDonald's very often, are either more tight with there money or are healthy
eaters, and would require more time looking at the menu. Kids are probably the easiest
to buy for, the kid knows he wants a Happy Meal® but has to decide on either a
hamburger, cheeseburger or McNuggets. Normally kids either like cheese on...