201KM GROUP PROJECT
CASE STUDY 4
McDonalds and Hong Kong
McDonalds celebrated its 50th anniversary in April 15, 2005 and remained true to the statement "As far as I can tell, the only place you can't get a Big Mac is in outer space." (1990) The company operates as a global business through franchising. In 2004, the company reported to have established 30,000 local restaurants located in 115 countries across five continents. It is the biggest fast food retailer conquering markets worldwide. In almost every country in the world, there is a McDonalds restaurant and in a single state or region, there are several branches. The company has spread so widely that the term “mcDonaldization” (1998) was coined to describe the organization and culture of the company. The term has evolved to refer to the general business strategy of expansion. McDonalds opened its first restaurant in Hong Kong in 1975 at Paterson Street, Causeway Bay. Since then the number of McDonalds stores increased to more than 200 outlets with more than 10,000 employees. Apart from McDonalds, the company also opened McCafe offering a variety of cakes, pastries and muffins together with specialty coffee and tea to meet the different needs of consumers. To make its mark in Hong Kong, McDonalds was the first restaurant to implement a smoke-free policy as a move of the company to take responsibility for the health of its customers, mainly children, who deserve a smoke-free environment where they can eat and play. The company is concerned about employee delivery of customer service that McDonalds established Hamburger University in 1961 providing its staff with the opportunity for career development as they grow with the company and move up through the different levels of the organization. In 2002, the seventh Hamburger University was opened in Hong Kong. It is also through the university that a Ronald McDonald is trained to become an ambassador for the company. Ronald McDonald presents magic and educational shows in over 1,000 schools and hospitals throughout Hong Kong every year. As part of the integration of McDonalds into the local market as a company concerned with the plight of children, McDonalds opened the first Ronald McDonald house in Asia in 1996. The house welcomes families with critically ill children to stay at the house while the children are undergoing treatment in a nearby children’s hospital. The house provides the needs of the families and Ronald McDonald visits the children in the hospital to bring them joy during the time that they are undergoing the difficult process of treatment. McDonalds in Hong Kong celebrated the World Children’s Day together with deaf-mute children. Over 2,000 volunteers, both children and adults, joined in the singing of the Cantonese version of Aren't They All Our Children in sign language making the activity part of the Guinness records for the most number of people singing in sign language at one time. The company objective in relation to a foreign market is to be involved in the social services and charity work in the community. Giving back to the community is the core service policy of the company in recognition of the significance of the patronage of customers to the company in its expansion and continuity in Hong Kong. Apart from involvement in community service and charity, McDonalds adapted the local culture by celebrating Lunar New Year through a festive prosperity program with animal toy giveaways of the different animals in the Chinese Zodiac sign. The company is influenced by the culture in Hong Kong observed through its adoption of local customs and practices. However, the company also influences the local culture through its introduction of food products first marketed in the United States. The different aspects of influence to the company of the local culture are manifested in the company-employee relations, food product development,...
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