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What are some good and bad elements of McDonald’s status as a multinational corporation?

by on May 11, 2012

What are some good and bad elements of McDonald’s status as a multinational corporation?

McDonald’s is arguably the world’s largest chain of fast food restaurants, boasting more than 33,000 restaurants in over 120 countries around the globe. As a multinational corporation, it has an enormous influence on a number of cultures –but is this a good or a bad thing?

One plus is that a company as giant as this can provide literally thousands of jobs across the world; therefore, McDonald’s can also also set certain service standards applicable to all of its restaurants in each country. This then compels other restaurants in that country to rise to meet or even surpass those standards in order to keep their customers. On the other hand, a job at McDonald’s is nothing to brag about. A slang term, “McJob,” which echoes the restaurant’s very name, was even created to describe jobs that require none to few skills, pay low wages, and offer little chance of advancement within the company. McDonald’s may have created thousands of jobs, but whether they are worth one’s time is a different matter.

Aside from the (perhaps not so desirable) prospect of jobs, McDonald’s world renowned status also allows the corporation to sell its products to literally millions of people every day. What McDonald’s has to offer to these customers is a quick, inexpensive meal acquired by way of an efficient drive-through option. However, in order to make and accept food that is fast and cheap, both restaurant and customer (respectively) must sacrifice opportunity costs such as fresh preparation and health. For food to be fast, it is often cooked and prepackaged ahead of time, and then reheated for delivery. Furthermore, to allow this to happen, the item must also be filled with fats and preserves in order to last throughout the day without getting old. In the long run, the fats and preserves negatively affect the body, leading to obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. It is bad enough for one country to be accustomed to this, but it becomes increasingly dangerous when other countries, first-world and developing, turn to this damaging approach to eating; if the method becomes even more popular, there is the far-fetched yet realistic possibility that all wholesome, nourishing food may disappear from earth altogether in the future.

McDonald’s food is acceptable, though, if taken at prolonged intervals as the occasional “I don’t have much time” take-away meal. In a case like this, McDonald’s is ideal. People who are on the go do not have to wait long for their food to be prepared, and therefore can spend the extra time being more productive with other duties. McDonald’s helps itself to be more productive, as well, for faster the customers leave, the sooner the restaurants can serve incoming customers. Although the “drive-thru” is a brilliant example of technology, ushering paying customers through without their having to stop, it send a subliminal message of sorts, inadvertently adding an unhealthy pressure to the customers’ time-management psychology. Unfortunately, in this haste to hurry and to be more efficient, people often get caught up in the momentum of working and being productive, so that they end up neglecting other aspects of their lives such as enjoying food, spending time with loved ones, and relaxing. Such activities are soon considered trivial and are gladly sacrificed in the name of success, when they are in fact essential to keeping a low stress-level and to living a full, happy life. This scenario is a common criticism of the typical American lifestyle –a lifestyle that has been rapidly globalized through the ever-growing influence of the company that so substantially represents America: McDonald’s.

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2 Comments
  1. emilyhannahteraoka permalink

    OH MY GOD. I just found that my post somehow ended up in the trash! The date says May 11, can I still get credit for it?

  2. msmuntz permalink

    “preserves”-> I think you mean preservatives?

    You talk about Mc Donald’s influence in terms of working conditions and wages, you could have used the vocabulary term “market power”!

    This is a 10/10 post, come talk to me about the fact that it is late.

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