McDonald’s Operational Analysis

This paper will discuss the operational process of McDonald’s which is the worldwide chain of foodservice retailer. McDonalds can be found in 118 countries operated through the system of franchises owned by the citizens of that particular country. In total, McDonalds has 31000 restaurants worldwide which daily serves more than 58 million people. The foods that McDonalds provide are the symbol of taste and hygiene. They are the trusted brand name worldwide and are liked by people of every age, race and class. (Walker 2008)
Positive Aspects of the Operation
In its quest to satisfy the diverse group of customers, McDonalds has added lots of variety in its traditional menu. Items such as cheeseburger, hamburger, coffee and milkshake, fries and soft drinks have been added. In addition many promotional products are being added through out the year to attract the interest of the customers. Some of them are Chicken McNuggets, Quarter Pounder, Egg McMuffin, Big Mac etc. Moreover many gifts and presents are included into the Happy Meals of the children. Also there is always some new items being invented and tested into McDonald’s kitchen.

If the new items pass the test, they are included into the market. McDonald’s food items are very sensitive to the changing taste of the customers, not nationally but even internationally. Such as Teriyaki Burger in Japan and vegetable nuggets in India. The McDonald’s food also is in line with the local customs and religious traditions of the country. In Muslim countries of Middle East, South Asia and East Asia, special care is taken so that the food that is served is Halal according to the injunctions of Islam. Read about Golden Arch Hotel Switzerland
McDonald’s is very famous for its unique bonding with its customer. Research has shown that McDonalds is the only restaurant where customer feels excitement and happiness while visiting it. McDonalds is the trusted name and the products that it sells have the famous brand names that are recognized worldwide and have generated a loyal group of customers. Especially McDonald’s is a place of fun for the children. The wholesome Happy Meal with the toy, recreational play palace and friendly Ronald McDonald is a complete treat for small kids.
Overall McDonalds has become an internationally accepted chain of restaurants and its golden arch penetrates in every social class, communities and races. One of the strength of McDonalds lies in the quality service of its employees. McDonalds trains its employees to be courteous, fast and efficient. McDonalds runs its own management training center, Hamburger University in Illinois. This center has provided quality and committed employees to McDonalds and its various franchises worldwide.
Employees are the lifeblood of any organization and until the human resource of especially restaurants are not efficient and courteous any operational strategy will not be successful. McDonald’s operating system “Made for You” is a success in itself for its very efficient, cost effective and quick in serving the customer. It can handle large variety products very efficiently. It is a best system for introducing new products for the customers to enjoy. This system has always served the customer with fresh and hot meals which is a source of customer satisfaction and loyalty with the restaurant.
A big advantage of this system is the flexibility it provides in labor assignments and equipments. If one machine has broke down or gone for maintenance the entire operation does not get stop, the work can be transferred to other equipments and machine. Moreover employees can be rotated among jobs in order to add variety to their work. For example an employee at the counter can be transferred in the kitchen where general equipments and skills are used to make meals. Therefore McDonalds restaurants can never fail to deliver customer with its exciting food.
It is ever ready to serve its customer with increasing commitment and honesty from its well trained staff. Negative Aspects of the Operation McDonalds has process oriented system and therefore its machinery is very general purpose. Hence the skill level of the employees should be high to operate them properly. Any mistake or irresponsibility on the part of employee can ruin the customer service and experience. Moreover mishandling of the order can delay the serving to the customer and their norm to serve customers in 45 seconds can not be followed.
These instances of employees’ mistakes and mishandling of the order is seen in many outlets and franchises of McDonalds. There are often cases of serving wrong order, break down in equipments and mismanagement of petty issues and problems. In one of the outlet, there was only one computer working at the counter which increased the load while others were corrupted. There was no prompt action by the outlet manager or the employees to set correct the corrupted computers so that more customers can be catered at a time. McDonalds has introduced self serving by customers to reduce costs and increase the efficiency.
However in restaurants like McDonalds this creates certain problems such as overcrowding at the counter because more customers are standing at the counter for ordering food. This overcrowding has negative psychological effect on the customer. Customer’s mind is not relaxed enough to decide their deal and ends up in ordering something which he actually does not need. This also creates problem for the personnel standing at the counter and his efficiency and courteousness vanishes when he sees lots of people standing for making their order.
At peak time there is a condition of hustle bustle, lots of noise and messiness in the restaurant. This self serving style is very stressful and wearisome for the customer. They lose half of their energy and vitality in finding a good place to sit as well as quickly registering their order at the counter. Although the phenomena of self serving increases the productivity of the service sector firms but this thing fails in restaurants. Customers expect good treatment in a restaurant but self serving style puts the whole responsibility on the customer to arrange for his place and food.
McDonald’s main focus is to serve the customer efficiently and promptly. This is the reason they have introduced “Made for You” production system in which orders are made as they are placed by the customers. This also helps in serving the fresh food which is just cooked. For this purpose they precook the meat patties and keep it in heated cabinet. If they are not used within 10 seconds, the meat patties in the heated cabinets are discarded. In times when customer’s turnover is low lots of meat patties are thrown in the bin which is the waste of food and is adding the cost.
This is the big negative aspect in the operation and some new technology should be introduced which can reduce this wastage. Current Operational Process McDonald’s believes in speed and promptness in serving the customer so that the waiting time for customer reduces. This is the reason McDonalds continuously strives for bringing in more efficiency into the production process. Moreover McDonalds has recently introduced a major innovation which has made mass customization of the food possible.
Now with McDonald’s “Made for You” kitchen system, customers can now tell how they would like their burgers to be made and served so that the customer gets exactly what he wants, hence leading to greater satisfaction. With this new kitchen system, the food is always served fresh and hot. (Walker 2008) “Made for You” production process has made possible for McDonalds to provide customized products to its customer and also facilitate the introduction of new products. This process does not prepare food in advance except the meat patty which is always kept hot in an oven.
The total time from ordering food to serving it to the customer takes up 45 seconds with this system. (Walker 2008) As soon as the customer orders his meal, the worker in the kitchen reads the order viewed on the video screen. Then immediately the process of making the meal starts. The employee takes buns from the cabinet and puts it in the toaster. With the advanced technology, the toaster in this innovated system takes up only 11 seconds to brown the buns. This fast toasting has eliminated the need to pretoast the buns.
Then the next employee in the assembly line takes the heated buns and puts on the condiments, ketchup and cheese according to the customer’s specification. This process of assembling the bun takes 20 seconds. Then the bun passes to the next person in the line who is near the heated cabinet full of meat patties. He places the meat on the bun and then wraps up the burger or sandwich taking up 14 seconds for this task. In the end the meal reaches the heated landing pad near the counter. (Walker 2008)