The Success Story Of McDonald’s: From A Small Restaurant To A Global Fast-Food Chain

History of McDonald’s

McDonald’s is perceived as the world’s most successful fast food restaurant. They are mostly known for their burgers which were introduced by Dick and McDonald in 1940. Over the years, the corporation has revolutionized the food industry thus resulting in impacting people’s lives, particularly those who prepare the food and the consumers. Additionally, the organization possesses a long-standing commitment towards the society by being the official sponsor of special events such as the Olympic Games back in 1976. The organization has attained major success such as establishing over 30,000 franchising stores in over 119 nations. The organization struggles to ensure that consistency, cleanliness, as well as quality is maintained. As a result of this, Hamburger University was founded by Roy Kroc in 1961 with the intention of offering Bachelor of Hamburgerology degree thus emphasizing on consistency, cleanliness, quality, and professional service.

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 McDonald’s is the leading fast-food chain globally that accommodates people’s daily lives. Dick and McDonald’s started the burger brand in 1940 by operating the first McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino, California. The two brothers began by selling hotdogs, where they owned a hotdog stand and sold barbequed hotdogs before they established their restaurant at Sa Bernardino (Ullah and Lai, 2013, pp.4). Nonetheless, in 1948, they closed the restaurant but later reopened to sell milkshakes, hamburgers, and French fries. This restaurant continued becoming progressively famous which resulted in franchising the restaurant in 1954. Among the first franchisees were Neil Fox and another in Fresco, California. As an entrepreneur and milkshake-mixer salesman, Roy Kroc attained McDonald’s franchise outside California’s city in 1955. It was followed by the opening of his own McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois and this led to the formation of McDonald’s Corporation.

In 1961, Roy approached the McDonald’s brothers and purchased all the business rights for $2.7 million. The Hamburger University was formed in the same year. As part of the marketing strategy, the first appearance was made by Ronald McDonald in 1963 as McDonald’s’ mascot and is aimed at attracting more customers in the United States (Tiago and Veríssimo, 2014, pp.705). In 1967, the first McDonald’s was opened outside the US in Richmond, Colombia, Canada. The corporations successfully progressed and in the year 1974, the 3000th McDonald’s restaurant was opened in Woolwich in the US. Additionally, the corporation became Summer Olympics’ major sponsor in 1984, and the same year Roy Kroc passed on. In 2003, McDonald’s campaign of “I’m loving it” was launched. In 2006, McDonald’s published all its products’ packaging materials with its nutritional information aimed at benefiting its clients as well as being environmental user-friendly (Telang and Deshpande, 2016, pp.374). Due to its brands’ high reputation and the huge success, McDonald’s Corporation has developed to be the most popular food chains that have its restaurants spread across the world, particularly in the globe’s main cities.

Global Expansion

The Corporation is the most preferred fast food chain in Malaysia. This is because the restaurant offers a variety of fast foods that range from fried chicken, nuggets, burgers, chicken muffins, ice-cream, French fries, milkshakes, apple pies, including beverages that include Coke, Honey Dew, Pepsi, coffee, Sprite, and Milo. As a result, it has become difficult for the clients to dine in Malaysia’s other food joints. Also, the corporation has become the most preferred fast food chain in the region due to the offered specialty sets and the affordable as well as the reasonable prices (Shen and Xiao, 2014, pp.295). Additionally, McDonald’s strategic location within the region makes it convenient and easy for the clients, especially the students to dine at the restaurant during lunch hours. Nonetheless, the promotions such as money-saving packages that are offered by McDonald’s has made it be the most preferred fast food chain in the region.

Currently, McDonald’s holds the title of being the biggest fast-food organization internationally. The corporation began its operations back in the mid-1950’s with its headquarter in Illinois. As a result of its good recipes and a powerful team, the company has managed to operate in 119 countries. This family-oriented corporation operates as a chain thus giving it an opportunity of delivering a Big Mac (signature burger) which has got the same taste in all its restaurants (Schuckert, Liu and Law, 2015, pp.613). The strategy adopted by the company is powerful since it has helped it create a solid foundation for its customers that come at different ages and from different areas of life. Since the franchise is family oriented, this is an asset due to the fact that it will always cave into the children’s desires. As a result of the many children that visit the restaurants, the Happy Meals have proven to be successful (Yang, Yang and Plotnick, 2013, pp.1861). The wave of young adults is also attracted to the restaurant as a result of the corporation’s slogan of “I’m loving it” as well as “Forever young”.

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McDonald’s Corporation has assisted in revolutionizing the manner in which restaurants make use of technology. Throughout their operation, the company’s fascination with advancing its technology has become an obsession to the IT department. Recently, the company has installed WI-FI hotspots in most of its global restaurants and is free for use by customers (Mattei, et al, 2014, pp.361). The company has also adopted the electronic payment model to help quicken the process of ordering and paying for food, hence putting a system that helps shorten the processing time, time used in preparation as well as payment. McDonald’s also makes use of the Nintendo system as a tool for e-learning training for its new employees. 

Technological Advancements

The gaming systems help in training the new recruits and grades them according to their performance (, 2018). The technology has reduced the company’s use of paperwork and facilitates employees’ enjoyment on the job learning experience. The company also uses the ACS system that provides a wide range of services to the company (Majidi, 2014, pp.8). These services include offering a mainframe and midrange server support, data center facilities and engineering as well as network operations. 

The ACS system additionally offers security and executive administration, service desk functions, messaging services, user access, desktop support, and an end-to-end application performance monitoring service (, 2018). The end-to-end application service assists in improving performance issues’ diagnosis across core technology stacks as well as supporting testing, development, as well as quality assurance processes.

Further, McDonald’s has devoted its operations such as marketing and sales to the use of social media. Social media has been an asset for the organization since it has played a crucial role is outreaching young adult demographics as well as new teenagers (Luftman, Lyytinen and ben, 2017, pp.33). The engagement of content in the right context has proven to be a success with the attempt of capturing the focus of the generation that is more focused on becoming more “social”. It is evident that McDonalds Corporation is well rounded and thus has got the strategy of reaching out and serving customers of all ages successfully. This has resulted in frequent visits from different kind of demographics that ranges from young families to the adults.

McDonald’s faces technological issues as it operates in Malaysia which is a developing country. Technological issues that face Malaysia and which affects McDonald’s that seeks to automate its operations to achieve maximum customer experience are discussed: being a developing country, Malaysia has limited access to capital to venture into technology innovation. Due to the high risks that are associated with new technologies, financing costs tend to be very high and due to the capital intensiveness of these technologies, the region may not have enough resources. Generally, the first adopters of a technology which are the developed countries obtain benefits due to their resources compared to the developing countries (Leung, et al, 2013, pp.14). Nonetheless, the developing nations have poor access to information. Recognizing that the technology and the information desired are available is one thing, but it is a totally different thing to access them. This is because these developing nations such as Malaysia have not strengthened their link with the rest of the world. Thus, they lack the necessary infrastructure that is required in receiving and gathering information.

McDonald’s in Malaysia

A communication and information system that is modern provides an up-to-date technical information as well as facilitates communication among scientists across the globe. Additionally, there is the issue of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) which is not strictly adhered to in these developing nations. Hence, this makes it difficult for private organizations to share their technology (Law, Buhalis and Cobanoglu, 2014, pp.741). Lastly, the developing countries’ needs are far much different from those of developed nations. The developing nations are generally focused on huge capacities of cheap and reliable power that requires low technical risk, thus having new technologies as a lower risk. However, the developed nations lack the infrastructure necessary to assimilate riskier and new technologies.

Having an online presence makes an organization to be ‘sparkling visible’ to its customers. Nonetheless, building an online presence only seeks to tap the customers’ shoulders and story tell them about the great restaurant. What matters to the customers is the efficiency, customer service, costs, or even quality of product and service offered. As a result, adopting the robotic technology would transform McDonald’s Corporation in all its operations (Eguchi, 2014, pp.6). Like in any other sector, there is no technology that is considered complete without having to mention man’s other best friend which is the robot. Basically, robots are already here as Chowbotics, an organization in Redwood City, California notes. 

The company manufactures a boxy robot that is used to prepare salads that are ordered through a touchscreen. In a restaurant that is located in Nagasaki, Japan, customers experience the spectacular sight of having their food being prepared by several humanoid robots which have a passing resemblance to the terminator (, 2018). At this restaurant, the “head chef” commonly known as Andrew only specializes in okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake. The robot is observed to stir the mixture into a metal bowl by use of his two long hands and pours the mixture into a hot grill (Cobanoglu, et al, 2015, pp.6). As he waits for the batter to get cooked, he cheerily speaks in Japanese regarding how he enjoys doing this job. Additionally, his teammates meanwhile fry donuts, mix drinks, as well as layer soft-serve ice cream into cones. Additionally, a nearby hotel also has got robots that are specialized in checking in clients into their rooms as well as helping them carry their luggage.

Employing robots to carry out dirty, dull or dangerous tasks enables the humans to become more focused on other tasks. 

Challenges Faced by McDonald’s in Developing Countries

 For instance, the international chain CaliBurger seeks to install Flippy, a robot that is capable of flipping over 150 burgers in an hour (Eater LA, 2018). According to John Miller, Cali Group’s CEO, he observes that the staff does not like to man the hot and greasy grill. Employing these robots in the kitchen will facilitate human staff to interact with the clients in ways that are more targeted, such as bringing extra napkins to the customers and asking them if they are enjoying the corporation’s burgers.

When it comes to the restaurant industry and particularly at McDonald’s Corporation, the use of robotic technology will have significant positive effects on the overall business. Regarding delivery, use of self-driven cars and drones will eliminate the many drivers that work in the organization. This will facilitate a quicker and more efficient delivery process. Additionally, when it comes to the kitchens, this technology would help automate food preparation as well as recipe building (Audretsch, Lehmann and Wright, 2014, pp.310). This would not only result in labor-saving but automating the kitchen could significantly drive down the company’s food costs. This is because the robots would be more precise when it comes to ingredients measurement and consistency. As a result, this would improve the customer experience by providing food that is consistent, cheaper, and faster (Ashley and Tuten, 2015, pp.17). The robotic technology will add over to the restaurant’s time, labor savings, as well as efficiency. However, it is hard to tell if with the implementation of this technology if the customers will be willing to give up the human interaction that they have been used to. Despite that robots are more efficient, it is only humans that are able to provide the personal experience that people look for when dining.

Moving forward, the best way for McDonald’s to grow the business as well as create value for its stakeholders is through serving more customers more often. Thus, they should focus on giving clients what they want which is a hot and delicious meal that is served quickly (Childress, et al, 2015, pp.103). The service and product offered should give an overall experience and value to customer’s money, which should meet their rising expectations. The company should focus on retaining the current customers, as well as fortifying and extending their areas of strength and regaining the lost customers through quality and taste improvement. Nonetheless, the company should convert the casual clients to more committed clients with snacks and coffee (Aral, Dellarocas and Godes, 2013, pp.10). Additionally, the company’s strategy should be to elevate the customers’ experience in the restaurants by adopting new technology. This entire strategy as seen can be driven forward by adopting the use of robotic technology that brings maximum experience to the workplace and the customers.


Technology is shaping the restaurant industry such as the McDonald’s case. The corporation has put in place several technologies to help in serving the customers better. Such technology includes installation of WI-FI hotspots, use of electronic payment system as well as the Nintendo system. However, there are certain technical issues that face international organizations as they seek to expand to developing countries. For instance, these nations lack the strong technical knowledge base, skills, and financing required to innovate. Adopting the robotic technology would be beneficial to business especially in the restaurant business because there will be consistency in production and it will be cheaper and fast to prepare affordable meals. (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Aug. 2018].

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