Essays on International Business - McDonalds Restaurant Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "International Business - McDonald’ s Restaurant" is a perfect example of a business case study. McDonald’ s restaurant was founded in 1937 in Pasadena California by brothers Maurice and Richard McDonald. The McDonald brothers later in 1961 sold the restaurant to Ray Kroc, whose first internationalization attempt was in Canada in 1967 (Vignali 2001). One year later, Kroc sold the license to operate in eastern Canada to George Cohon, who went ahead to expand the McDonald’ s restaurant in that region to 640 restaurant outlets. From the Canadian expansion, McDonald learned early that the key to international expansion was through franchising.

Through the franchise business, Vignali (2001) notes that McDonald’ s had expanded to more than 100 countries establishing more than 20,000 restaurants by 2001. Twelve years later, the expansion of McDonald’ s is no doubt characterized by its presence in more countries and more restaurants. One of McDonald’ s aims has been identified by Vignali (2001, p. 99) as the creation of “ standardised set of items that taste the same whether in Singapore, Spain or South Africa” . Having to attend to different tastes and preferences across geographical and cultural preferences has made standardisation a challenging aim to accomplish.

In response to the aforementioned challenge, therefore, Vignali (2001, p. 99) observes that McDonald’ s has adopted a concept dubbed “ think global, act locally” . In other words, the restaurant has realised the importance of adaptation and by so doing, it has been able to satisfy to match the laws, customs, tastes and preferences of diverse consumers across the world. Notably, however, most of the adaptations to local environments are just variations to the original McDonald’ s menu, which include a burger or a sandwich; fries, and a soft drink (Vignali 2001).

In China for example, and with respect to the emphasis that the Chinese place on family values, McDonald’ s introduced family-friendly offers (e. g. The Aunt and Uncle McDonald’ s) (Heer & Penfold 2003) Issues confronting McDonald’ s Restaurant Anti-globalization sentiments Anti-globalization sentiments are perhaps some of the biggest challenges that McDonald’ s has to contend with. While the firm is always particularly happy to announce its international expansion, anti-globalization sentiments often underscore the negatives that the restaurant takes with it to its new market.  


Emerald Publishing Company Limited (EPCL) 2007a, ‘It’s all McChange at McDonalds’, Strategic Direction, vol. 23, no. 11, pp. 5-8.

EPCL 2007b, ‘McMishaps and McVictories- the PR history of McDonald’s’, Strategic Direction, Vol. 23, No. 8, pp. 12-14.

Greenberg, J.R 2009, ‘McDonald’s Corporate Report’, McDonald’s Corporation, pp. 1-10.

Heer, J & Penfold S 2003, ‘True grits forget about McDonaldization: In the Age of Krispy Kreme and Burritoville, fast food chains may help preserve regional identity’, Boston Globe. D1. Proquest.

Johanson, J & Vahlne, J E 1990, ‘The mechanism of internationalisation’, International Marketing Review, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 11-24.

Molch, D 2007, McDonald’s Russia: Managing a Crisis, case study in the subject Economics / Business: Marketing, Corporate Communication.

Moon, Y & Herman, K 2003, ‘McDonald’s Russia: Managing a crisis’, Harvard Business Review, 503-020, pp. 1-23.

Ritzer G 1983, ‘The McDonaldization of society’, The journal of American Culture, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 100-107.

Schmeltzer, J 2008, ‘Oil makes grade on fries’, Chicago Tribune, 28 January. Proquest.

Singh, A, Upneja, A & Dalbor, M 2003, ‘Analysis of relative growth rates between domestic and international earnings of US based publicly traded restaurant firms’, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 25-41.

Spano, S 2003, ‘Shrinking world brings greater responsibility’, Pittsburg Post- Gazette, F.7. ProQuest.

Vignali, C 2001, ‘McDonald’s: “Think global, act local” – the marketing mix’, British Food Journal, vol. 103, No. 2, pp. 97-111.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us