In the world we live in every business and business owner wants financial
success, however over the last few decades many business owners have gained a
greedy, glutton-like appetite for a colossal success chain similar to
McDonald’s. Companies want to grow on a national and then a global level in the
hopes to get a stronghold in the world market. McDonald’s s is a prime template
to model a business after because it was started as a small, local establishment
by two brothers who owned one burger stand, then the business was bought by a
third investor who financially helped the business branch out on a national
level and who help established the McDonald’s bureaucracy..
The mold of the McDonald’s bureaucracy is structurally based on four strong
principal variables universally reinforced onto to employees to guarantee
ultimate customer satisfaction. The first important variable mentioned in the
Ritzer article “McDonaldization,” that McDonald’s guarantees on a global scale
is efficiency (Ritzer, pg 13). The fast-food chain achieves efficiency by
providing quick, adequate food service and delivery to patrons on the go.
The second variable McDonald’s assures customers is calculability (Ritzer pg.14). From the duration it takes to make your order ( i.e. burger, fries, shakes, hot
cakes, chicken nuggets, etc.) will be the same at any given McDonald’s around
the globe. McDonald’s promise of calculability to customers also includes
universal costs for the products displayed on their food menu as well as the
serving size of the food product ordered to be the same size and condition
(Ritzer, pg. 14).
The third variable McDonald’s uses, Ritzer mentioned in“McDonaldization,” is
predictability. Building off the first two variables, the reputation of
efficiency and calculability, the fast-food chain can imply service and food
product predictability to customers that no matter what McDonald’s they visit.
Whether it’s their local McDonald’s, the McDonald’s in another county, state, or
country, the great taste and experience of McDonald’s food will remain
consistent (Ritzer, pg 14).
The fourth variable McDonald’s has used in achieving national and global success, Ritzer stated was by control. McDonald’s as an institutional establishment has been able to exert a form on control upon their customers and those employed at the fast-food chain in a few different manifestations. The customers or patrons
are given a set menu to chose from with the pricing for each product enforced by
the register. Most of the McDonald’s restaurants are have recently designed with
a modern -starbucks-esk look to attract the young people as well as all customer
demographics to order, eat, hang out, have a fun time at McDonald’s ( as long as
you are a paying customer ordering, consuming, or intent to order more their
products). But they are still designed with seating consisting of steel stools
and plastic booths with the bare minimum patting to ensure customers cannot
loiter comfortably after consuming their orders.
Another two types of controls are the lobby lines customers mindless abide because of a routine they have followed since they learned the social norm upon their initial
visit to the fast-food chain. The customers also follow this form of control
because essentially humans are similar to sheep, in that if they see one person
do something, another will mimic that person’s actions, so on and so on. Lastly
on the control over the customers, McDonald’s has the drive-thru service and
window where customer/ and McDonald’s employee interaction becomes nothing more than a speedy transaction for a food exchange (Ritzer, pg. 15). The customer
still gets the same quality service they would receive in the fast-food’s lobby
however the auto-bound customers do not get the luxury of tasting their meal
because they are soon ushered away from the pick-up window to keep the line of
cars behind waiting for their orders moving.
The workers of McDonald’s get the harder end of the deal in regards to efficiency,
predictability, calculability, and control. If the employee or a particular
McDonald’s location staff fails to perform up in any of to McDonald’s
expectations the individual or group of employees will have their employment put
in jeopardy. If an employee does not obey a policy or code of conduct created by
McDonald’s, once again the individual will most likely be reprimanded by his/
her superiors or fired on the spot.
Weber’s opinion on this matter would most probably be to side with McDonaldization as something the mass population wanted to happen and the fact other companies want to attempt to duplicate that experience for customers and for the work force employed with them is not necessarily a bad thing. In the Ritzer article he states, “Weber praised bureaucracy... for it’s many advantages over other
mechanisms that help people discover and implement optimum means to ends
(Ritzer, pg. 25).”