[Recommended]• Rising social consciousness

• Rising social consciousness Running head: MCDONALD’S SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS McDonald’s Situational Analysis Samuel A. Sample BUS 330 Principles of Marketing Avisha Sadeghinejad February 16, 2016…

• Rising social consciousness
McDonald’s Situational Analysis
Samuel A. Sample
BUS 330 Principles of Marketing
Avisha Sadeghinejad
February 16, 2016
McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast food chain with over $25B in annual sales and more
than 35,000 retail locations in more than 100 countries (McDonald’s Corporation, 2015).
Core Products or Services
Beyond the burgers, French fries and milkshakes that they have, they have been selling
since its founding, McDonald’s sells a variety of wraps, salads, sandwiches and beverages – more
than 200 items in all (The Economist, 2015). McDonald’s locations are typically open for
breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night dining and many feature drive-thru service.
A Brief History
The first McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1948 by Richard and Maurice McDonald.
It brought production line techniques to the burger business and challenged the dominant carhop
drive-in business model. Ray Kroc was one of the earliest franchisees and the key figure in the
rapid expansion of the business after he bought out the McDonald brothers 1961. McDonald’s
became a public company in 1965 and opened its first international location in 1967. Sales and
locations have continued to grow every year since (Comoletti, 2014)
Key current competitors
Historically, McDonald’s primary competitors were identified to be the large fast food
burger chains like Burger King and Wendy’s. But given McDonald’s size and the expansion of
their menu, the competitive set must be viewed more broadly to include sandwich shops like
Subway, other fast food concepts like Chick-fil-A, more upscale fast casual restaurants like
Panera and Chipotle, as well as coffee shop chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.
SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to assess the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, threats, and trend of an organization, company, project, plan, or venture
• Anytime, anywhere convenience
With over 14,000 locations in the U.S. alone, there is a McDonald’s within a short drive of
almost everyone and most are open from 6am to 11pm. The number of locations also means that
McDonald’s can purchase media nationally which is more cost efficient than buyinglocally.
• Brand equity
Because of its many locations, consistent brand experiences and hundreds of millions of
dollars spent on marketing each year– McDonald’s has developed a very strong brand. For
example, they ranked 5th on BrandZ’s 2014 most valuable global brand list (Rooney, 2014).
• The Best French Fries
McDonald’s french fries are universally loved — even by people who don’t otherwise like
McDonald’s food. McDonald’s fries were voted #1 in a 2015 YouGov study (Peterson, 2015).
• Kid appeal
McDonald’s is a popular destination amongst younger kids. Many locations have indoor
playgrounds and there are menu items such as Happy Meals which combine several kid friendly
food offerings in a fun box that includes a toy. The brand does a lot of advertising on kid
targeted programs and Ronald McDonald is a highly recognizable spokesperson.
• Inexpensive
With its well- known dollar menu, McDonald’s is perceived by most consumers as an
inexpensive place to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner — or a between meal snack.
• Menu bloat
In their attempt to compete with a wide range of competitors, McDonald’s menu has
swollen to more than 200 items. This is driving down operational efficiency as it takes longer for
consumers to order and longer for the food to be prepared (Walton, 2015). Franchisees also have
to invest in additional kitchen equipment and training.
• Dining environment appeal
Many McDonald’s locations are outdated relative to chains like Starbucks or Panera which
offer comfortable seating, amenities like fireplaces and greater cleanliness (Walton, 2015).
• Low customer satisfaction
In a 2014 ACSI survey, McDonald’s ranked last with a rating of 71%, some 7 points below
competitors like Wendy’s and Subway (Comoletti, 2014). The rating reflects factors such as
order accuracy, food quality, staff courtesy and menu variety.
• Low employee wages
McDonald’s does not pay its restaurant workers what most would consider to be a “living wage”.
As a result, McDonald’s does not always attract the highest quality employees and turnover can
be high, resulting in a constant need for re-hiring and re-training.
• Healthier eating trends
While McDonald’s menu does feature some healthier items like salads and wraps, they
are still primarily associated with burgers, french fries, mass production and processed food. As
such, healthier eating trends represent a threat to McDonald’s business.
• Aging of the population
The percent of population in the United States over the age of 65 is growing. From 10%
in 1970 to a projected 20% by 2030 (Ortman, Velkoff, & Hogan, 2014). The aging of the
population is a threat for a business whose core consumer franchise has historically been families
with younger children.
• Rising social consciousness
While McDonald’s business or environmental practices have likely improved over time,
the level of scrutiny surrounding the triple-bottom line and associated negative publicity has
increased in recent years. Popular documentaries like Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation have
not portrayed McDonald’s food or its business practices in a positive light.
• Positive childhood associations
Regardless of people’s current perceptions or level of satisfaction, most McDonald’s
consumers have fond childhood memories associated with the brand that can be potentially
activated with the right messaging or product offerings. This creates an opportunity with the
next generation of parents.
• The prolonged U.S. economic recession
The more people’s budgets are pinched, the more they are apt to “trade down” to
less expensive options like fast food. With its well known dollar menu, McDonald’s has
the opportunity to benefit from a prolonged economic downturn.
• Growth in specialty coffee
The percentage of Americans drinking specialty coffee in the US has more than
doubled since 2009 (Ward, 2004) and teenagers are a particularly high growth segment.
McDonald’s McCabe specialty coffee product line should continue to benefit from this trend.
Marketing Plan Focus
There is an opportunity to significantly grow the after-dinner snacking business
(i.e., french fries and McCabe beverages) amongst teenagers and young adults. This is
also a way to showcase updated facilities and amenities like Wi-Fi to customers who may
not have visited McDonald’s recently. It is important to re-establish brand liking with this
age group prior to them having kids of their own. This will be the focus of the marketing
The Frie-day night with Redbox marketing plan should be approved for funding because it will succeed
in leveraging America’s favorite french fries to drive increased trial of McCafe beverages by
teens and young adults. It will also increase consideration of McDonald’s as an evening snack destination
and help cement the brand’s association with Friday night movie get-togethers. It will also help build
brand affinity amongst this future generation of parents.
References Comoletti, J. (2014, June 19). America’s favorite fast food chains. Retrieved from
McDonalds Prices. (n.d.). Retrieved from
McDonalds Menu Prices

McDonald’s: When the chips are down. (2015, January 8). Retrieved from
McDonald’s Corporation. (2015). 2014 Annual Report.. Retrieved from
Ortman, J. M., Velkoff, V. A., & Hogan, H. (2014, May). An aging nation: The older
population in the United States. Retrieved from
Peterson, H. (2015, July 13). The best fast food french fries in America. Retrieved from
Rooney, J. (2014, May 20). Google beats Apple as BrandZ most valuable global brand. Retrieved
from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferrooney/2014/05/20/google-beats-apple-as-
Walton. (2015). McDonald marketing plan 1 [Infogram]. Retrieved from
Ward, H. (2014, December 10). Specialty coffee consumption: A look at the numbers.
Retrieved from http://www.scanews.coffee/2014/12/10/specialty-coffee-
McDonalds Menu Prices

McDonalds Menu Prices


Core Products or Services
A Brief History
Key current competitors
SWOT Analysis
 Brand equity
 The Best French Fries
 Kid appeal
 Inexpensive
 Dining environment appeal
 Low customer satisfaction
 Low employee wages
 Aging of the population
 Rising social consciousness
 The prolonged U.S. economic recession
 Growth in specialty coffee
Marketing Plan Focus

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