McDonald's Marketing Program
The story of McDonald’s began in 1940 when Dick and Mac McDonald open their first car hop in San Bernardino, CA which had a large menu and employees served customers while they sat in their vehicles. In 1948 the brothers redesigned the location to include a walk-up self-service counter and drive-in, simplified the menu to only 9 items and opened a second location. In addition to burgers and fries, the McDonald’s brothers served milkshakes made with an appliance called a Multimixer which they bought from a salesman by the name of Ray Kroc, who, in 1949 visited the brothers in San Bernadino to supply them with additional Multimixers. Kroc was extremely impressed with the efficiency and success of their operation and discussed the brother’s interest in expanding. Ray Kroc caught the vision of the franchise model by becoming McDonald’s franchise agent and in 1955 officially opened the first McDonald’s franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois. The restaurant was constructed using red and white tile and with large golden arches which famously became the signature look for many years. Four years later they opened their 100th store Fon Du Lac, WI in 1959. McDonald’s first international locations were opened in Canada and Puerto Rico in 1967. One of the main components of McDonald’s success came in 1961 with the establishment of Hamburger University which opened in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Ray Kroc knew that to orchestrate a successful expansion the McDonald’s system must be taught and duplicated with exactness. The success of Hamburger University was proven in 1963 with the opening of the 500th location in Toledo, OH. McDonald’s began to market to families in 1962 by including indoor seating and introducing the Ronald McDonald character in 1966 which was instantly popular with children. The company has continued to grow throughout the years into one of the most recognized restaurant chains in the world. Since its inception 56 years ago McDonald’s has grown to more than 33,000 restaurants in 118 countries with approximately 1.7 million employees worldwide (McDonald’s website, n.d.). The company also currently boasts $24.1 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in net income (Kowitt, 2011). In addition to a popular menu, services include a play area for children, Redbox video rental in most locations along with Wi-Fi so customers can access the Internet on compatible devices. McDonald’s operates each facility with calculated exactness based on years of experience in field trials, internal research in test kitchens and customer surveys and feedback. All of this information is taught at the Hamburger University training facility which is duplicated with perfection in each restaurant around the world. The result of this operating strategy is staggering. “Last year average per-store sales jumped to $2.4 million, from $1.6 million in 2004” (Kowitt, 2011). Most people when asked about fast-food almost immediately recant the name McDonald’s. The name is synonymous with low cost, high flavor, eat-on-the-run food. McDonald’s for better or worse has carved a niche in the world’s eating habits and it doesn’t show any signs of giving up that position. “Every day 64 million people in 118 countries eat at its restaurants, which generate revenue that trumps Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell combined” (Kowitt, 2011). Over the years McDonald’s has become a major player in the world’s fast food industry. Their unique blend of marketing has allowed them become one of the most recognized brands in the world. Although, the product is low priced the amount of marketing dollars that McDonald’s spends is not; this translates into $2 Billion dollars annually and ranks them amongst the top 15 advertisers of the world ("McDonald’s looks for marketing chief", 2010). McDonald’s has carefully and strategically marketed their brand as one that stands for low price, high...
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