“McDonaldization”: Bringing Benefits or Disadvantages

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Nowadays in every country we see McDonalds. The domination of fast food restaurants has introduced the ideology of “McDonaldization”. Companies are using the concept of “McDonaldization” to achieve success in the business world.

By implementing the concept of “McDonaldization,” it has changed the world we see today. The society has become a consumer society, where people are spending more and more money. According to Professor George Ritzer, companies applying this concept are a “new means of consumption” to consumers (Ritzer, 1998).George Ritzer discovered that “McDonaldization” was a phenomenon when he saw the response of the citizens towards the companies that applies this concept, which made him interested to study about “McDonaldization”.

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He also discovers that there were impacts in the American Society. The concept of “McDonaldization” has benefited the American Culture by increasing the availability of products and services and improves workers productivity. However, it has negative impacts on health, local culture and workers’ social life as well as morale.One of the benefits of “McDonaldization,” is it increases the availability of products and services provided.

The companies that implement this concept provide services and products that comes in packages are at a low cost that makes the products and services affordable for consumers to purchase. It is just like going to any fast food restaurant that serves their meals in sets. Besides that, this concept makes services available anywhere and at anytime, and people are satisfied with their services.For example, it was one of my visits to McDonalds and there was a “happy unhappy” container, which contains ping-pong balls.

Whenever a customer is satisfied with the service they will place the ping-pong ball that was given by the staff while he or she is buying their food was to be placed in the happy side. Most of my visits there, the happy side slot is more filled compared to the unhappy side. This shows that McDonalds is getting good response from the public, which encourages people to apply the same concept. For example, in America they have a childcare center called “McChild” (Hancock 1996).

Besides child care services, the “McDonaldization” concept is also applied in travel agencies where these agencies have online booking for flights to their customers destination which is available anytime of the day. The implementation of “McDonaldization” cuts down customers’ waiting time and brings in more customers by their quick, friendly and easy policy whenever they are serving their customers. Besides that, “McDonaldization” creates variety in products and services to fulfill the demand of various countries. For instance, McDonalds in Japan serves the Samurai Teriyaki Burger whilst in Philippines they have “McSpaghetti”.

By “McDonaldization”, consumers have more choices in selecting their products and services that suits their tastes. Also “McDonaldization” improves workers’ productivity. This is illustrated further by “McDonaldized” companies that provide products and services, saves time in preparation. This statement is supported because most of the food served in a McDonalds restaurant requires less physical work (Hancock, 1996).

Besides that, the standard operation procedure in manufacturing the product maximizes the productivity.For example, the Big Mac that is served in every McDonald’s restaurant tastes the same though the burger is prepared in a short time. (Hancock, 1996) Furthermore, “McDonaldized” companies conduct research on producing their products. For instance, McDonald’s researchers have studied thoroughly just to come up with a perfect method to fry fries.

(Hancock, 1996). According to George Ritzer, “McDonaldized” companies implement rules, regulations, laws, supervision and technological control to maintain the quality of their products.The staffs working in “McDonaldized” companies are trained in all aspects of making the product and providing services, which makes them productive. Furthermore, the process of McDonaldization has deeply penetrated into the mass culture and many aspects of daily life.

McDonaldization indirectly introduced a new culture among the people that include four key components: Efficiency, calculability, predictability and control. Efficiency such as drive through window or ready made burger at a fast food joint is meant to get customers in and out fast.Calculability is an emphasis on large quantities, such as the “Big Mac”, the “Whopper” or “Biggie Fries”. This has caused the change of the mentality among the people in the United States to believe that “bigger is better”.

The best example of this assumption is the increasing amount of Big K-Marts and Super Wall-Marts. In consequence people now choose the biggest, even if they know that there are better alternatives with more quality. Another component is predictability, as everything seems to be predicted. There will be no surprises among the people because they know what to expect.

For example, a Big Mac tastes the same in Florida, Washington as in New York City. Unlike other normal restaurant, people could experience surprise as their soup or steak that they ordered is not done according to your wishes. The predictable item prevents an item from being diversify into various types of products and thus create a dull and monotonous society. Ultimately, the McDonaldization introduced a controlled culture.

For example, fast food chains use arrangements such as limited menu options to force customers to buy the same thing.Besides, control also includes replacing human workers with machines, which are much easier for managers to manage. The culture of efficiency, calculability, predictability and control has influenced all the fast food industry, and are continuing to carry over to other parts of United States society and the rest of the world, which is going to threaten the local culture by creating a globalize society. Not only McDonaldization threatens local culture, but ideology in the food industry also creates health problems among the people.

Those fast food outlets such as McDonald, Burger King and Starbucks have one similarity, which is they stressed on profit earning and neglect the importance of health among the people. In order to have good business, first and foremost their food must taste good. The causes their product to depend heavily on chemical additives and artificial substances for their flavor, texture and materiality thus serve as examples of artificiality produce food stuffs. These synthetic ingredients originally created to combat the food crisis have contributed the obesity of Americans.

The saturated and salt content the food have also contributed to some chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The increased portion of food has caused Americans to consume more food. In year 2000, Americans spend 100 million dollars on fast food alone. Sweets and deserts make up 25% of Americans’ diets.

Salt and Fruit flavored made up another 5% all the calories consumed in the United States. (Schlosser, 2001) The food portion keeps growing and the delicious taste encourages people to consume more than required.Furthermore, the McDonaldization process also caused the number of fast food outlets business in America to increase tremendously until there will be one for every letter of the alphabet. If this continues to happen, no doubt the Americans will be labeled as “fat Americans” and obesity will continue to spread like wildfire throughout the society.

Besides all these negative impacts, “Mcdonaldized” companies also cause job dissatisfaction among workers. Due to little skills required for the job, the salary that are given to the workers who work in “McDonaldized” companies are low.With the insufficient pay given, it will cause stress on their workers to cover their increasing living expenses. Furthermore, the working environment in a “McDonaldized” company emphasizes the duration needed to get the work done rather than the quality of the product.

According to George Ritzer, “Workers at McDonaldized systems also tend to emphasize the quantitative rather than the qualitative aspects of their work. [Because] the quality of the work is only allowed to vary little, workers focus on such things as how quickly tasks can be accomplished”.Ritzer, 1998) Thus, workers are required to work fast and efficient while working on a big workload given by their employees. This will no doubt cause job dissatisfaction among workers who are required to work hard on a low pay.

In addition to that, the opportunity for career development is low in “McDonaldized” companies. In a McDonaldized company, the workers are divided and separated by their skill levels. Specialized workers would only expert on the work they do and do not understand the jobs of the other workers.For instance, a worker who is in charged of frying fries in McDonalds might not know how to prepare an apple pie.

This will prevent them from moving to a higher position in the company and develop their career there. The job which requires little skills also can affect the morale of the workers because the repetitive routine done everyday could be boring. The workers are trained in highly standardized way as “Standardized procedures allow companies to control production, meet legal regulations, and produce efficiently. (Ritzer, 1996)All of the workers’ ways of communications to the customers are based on scripts.

George Ritzer says that “In many cases, what they say and do is highly predictable. McDonaldized organizations often have scripts that employees are supposed to memorize and follow whenever the occasion arises. ” (Ritzer, 1998) This method only creates workers that are almost robotized, mindless and does repetitive work all the time. Workers will eventually get bored and this will cause job dissatisfaction among them which eventually affect the productivity of the company.

Also, McDonaldization affects the workers’ social life. Due to the high availability of the McDonaldized companies, the staffs who work there are required to work long hours. This will lessen the time workers spent with their family and mates. Besides that, the workers tend to communicate less with their colleagues because of the fast pace of work.

Everything is done so rapid and efficient until at times their break time is insufficient to socialize among colleagues. Plus, their conversations between customers are scripted causing highly predictable interaction between the workers and the customers.Staff turnovers that happen often in “McDonaldized” companies have resulted employees have difficulties in forming relationships among them. This is certainly not conducive for staffs to interact.

“McDonaldization” is an ideology that emphasizes efficiency, predictability, calculability, substitution of nonhuman for human technology, and control over uncertainty. Although this concept seems to bring more disadvantages to advantages, many companies had gone successful by practicing this idea and it is very much needed in our globalize world today.

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“McDonaldization”: Bringing Benefits or Disadvantages. (2018, Feb 24). Retrieved from


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