Vice President of Operations: McDonald's

McDonald’s is an international fast-food company that has been operating in the global market for several decades. Despite company’s tremendous experience, McDonald’s is facing some serious challenges. The purpose of this paper is to determine the major weaknesses of the company, and provide effective strategies to cope with occurred issues. Innovative approaches, tools for data processing, new product selection and design, just-in-time concept, and other approaches have been suggested to strengthen the weaknesses and to make the company develop effectively. 

Two major weaknesses of McDonald’s company are associated with unhealthy menu and insufficient variety of products. The first weakness means that the company does not react to social issues and changes in preferences of their consumers. Today, thousands of adults and children suffer from serious health problems caused by obesity. Obesity, in its turn, has a straight connection to nutritional habits and unhealthy diet. The outcomes of eating fast food are scientifically proved and obvious at present time. Therefore, the company should take into account that sooner or later, customers will refuse from tasty and cheap meals. Such changes would inevitably hit the overall profitability of McDonald’s restaurant. The second weakness is relevant to the first, as it is also associated with the menu. However, the variety of products’ increase means attracting new customers. McDonald’s restaurants are located in different countries. Each country has its unique and interesting cuisine traditions that involve food serving, traditional food products and traditional meals. Unfortunately, McDonald’s does not use the opportunities provided by national cuisines and cultures, loosing the obvious benefits. It is vital to consider alternative menu, focusing on food preferences of both national and foreign customers. To strengthen the weaknesses, we have developed new menus to enrich product selection and product design for the company.

The first menu is an alternative to the existing traditional menu of the company. It involves healthy products, both meals and beverages that have been the most popular and trendy recently. The new healthy menu would include three healthy breakfasts, three healthy lunches and dinners, healthy beverages, and snacks. Three healthy breakfasts include: 1) one whole-wheat bagel, reduced-fat cheese with peanut butter and fresh fruits; 2) omelet with fresh vegetables and reduced-fat cheese; 3) cereals with milk/yogurt, two slices of French toast with-grain bread and honey. Three healthy lunches include: 1) tomato and bread salad with herbed chicken; 2) grilled pork with lentil and watercress salad; 3) vegetable tajine with couscous. Three healthy dinners include: 1) pasta with vegetables; 2) sushi; 3) bruschetta burgers with toasted bread and potatoes.

Moreover, the healthy menu would involve several types of soup and vegetarian meals. All the recipes are quick and easy to meet the requirements of McDonald’s culture. Also, the menu includes new ranges of desserts with fresh fruits and honey, such as muffins, multigrain waffles with fruits, and cheese desserts. A new design would be developed to attract more customers. Also, healthy range of beverages will be offered. The range will involve fresh juices and Morses from seasonable fruits and vegetables with honey instead of sugar. During a hot summer season, the menu would involve various smoothies, milk shakes, and herbal teas with ice. Eventually, safe sugar substitutes would be available in all of the McDonald’s restaurants to support customers who suffer from diabetes and other heath disorders.

The second menu will be designed toattract more customers in foreign markets. McDonald’s restaurants are located in different regions throughout the world. We offer to include several famous national dishes in McDonald’s foreign menus. National food is associated with obvious benefits: it is loved by local people; it is cooked from available and comparatively cheap products; it can diversify traditional McDonald’s menu. The national menu should not be complicated, but it should involve several most popular and cheap meals that are loved by everyone in the region. For instance, the national menu of Italy and Spain will be concerned with several meals, starting from pasta and various kinds of cheeses. In Asian countries, the national menu would focus on the dishes from rice and vegetables. The national menus of the Muslim world would include some of the most popular Ramadan drinks and dishes. With the help of national menus, the company will demonstrate its care and genuine interest in eating traditions of their foreign customers. The design of new products would involve elements of national symbols or traditional ornaments.

In order to strengthen the operation, the company should:

  1. Develop and launch advertising campaign in social media and local restaurants to present new healthy and national menu;
  2. Establish a tight cooperation with a famous sport apparel retailer, such as Nike or Reebok. McDonald’s may offer a famous sport brand to design cheap plastic bottles for their beverages and food containers. McDonald’s would serve food in these items, promoting a healthy lifestyle and advertising the sport brand at the same time. Both companies will benefit from this deal.
  3. Design tables with special sections that contain McDonald’s logotype, where all supporters of taking food photos can do it in an original way and post healthy meals in social media.

The key components of McDonald’s supply chain management are: suppliers of the materials; distribution centers where products are delivered from suppliers; restaurants and push shops where the products are offered by the customers (New, 2015). Also, the supply chain involves transportation system, facilities, and a temperature-controlled system for products storage and distribution. There are three major issues that could affect company’s supply chain: 1) as the company operates on the global market, it is difficult to meet the global standards; 2) a policy of transparency may have negative outcomes; 3) the company systematically faces problems with reputation that takes long periods to recover (New, 2015). To cope with the issues, McDonald’s should be cautions with its policy of transparency and focus on the establishment of trustworthy relationships with their customers throughout the world. This involves concentration on quality and customers’ gouts, rather than on company’s transparency. Indeed, company’s transparency is a norm, as all companies use this tool. McDonald’s should realize that transparency would not help the company to hold leading positions on the market. Finally, it is essential to avoid problems with reputation and large-scale scandals. Reputation is the top-prioritized objective of the company, so McDonald’s should organize effective reputation management team. The reputation management team would pursue three major objectives: promotion of growth and innovation techniques, deep appreciation of employees, partners and suppliers, and increasing relationships in every region, where the company locates its business. Innovations will help the company to face challenges with meeting the global standards. Good relationships with workers and partners will help to avoid scandals and contribute tto the improvement of reputation. Increasing relationships with the community, rather than policy of transparency, will provide the company with customers’ credit.

To analyze any future issues, we suggested using a method of the control chart that is also known as a statistical process control. This tool helps to predict and to research changes that will occur in future. A control chart includes three lines that correspond to their control limit. Therefore, the upper line refers to the upper control limit, the central line deals with the average control limit, and the lower line corresponds to the lower control limit (Tague, 2005). To conduct an accurate analysis of future issues, it is significant to use McDonald’s historical data. Then, the results of each line will be compared with the present situation to see whether the changes in process are in control or out of control (Tague, 2005). Control chats will be effective for the company to make a future prediction of currently developed strategies. Future analysis is beneficial, as it permits to envisage possible issues and uncontrollable processes in future and make effective solutions to avoid the negative consequences and future risks. Also, this tool will help to determine whether company’s new strategies should focus on some issues in particular or fundamental changes of the company in general. The tool is not sophisticated and involves six simple procedures: the choice of control chart, determining of the period, collecting data and data analysis with the help of control chart, results analysis and determining major “out-of-control signals” (Tague, 2005). After this, the company should suggest predictable problems and establish effective ways of their solution.

‘Just-in-time’ is a philosophy developed by the American automaker, Ford Motor Company. The philosophy focuses on excellent quality and customers’ satisfaction and is suitable for manufacturing companies. Due to just-in-time philosophy, McDonald’s can solve current topical issues and significantly increase its overall profitability. Just-in-time philosophy envisages production of high quality products and greater efficiency of existing production system (AIDT, 2006). According to the philosophy, the company should maintain a constant communication with their customers (AIDT, 2006). Customers’ opinions and customers reviews are highly appreciated and taken into consideration. The approach teaches how to react on customers wishes quickly and increase the level of customers’ satisfaction. One more evident advantage of just-in-time concept refers to its fundamental demand-pull approach (AIDT, 2006). With regards to this approach, all the manufactured products would be sold. For the fast food company, such an opportunity is extremely attractive because expiration period of food products is very short. Besides, the company operates in the global market, that is featured by highly unpredicted demand. Undoubtedly, just-in-time philosophy would have a positive effect on the quality assurance of the company. First, with the sales increase, the company would have a chance to invest production facilities and involve innovative methods of manufacturing. Second, constant communication with McDonald’s customers would help the company to be aware of customers’ tastes and to produce products they would obviously like and purchase. Third, greater efficiency of existing production methods would permit McDonald’s to improve the quality of their meals, even in small restaurants. For instance, the restaurants that are located in less developed countries and do not require updated facilities can benefit from modernization of existing production system.