McDonald’s has proved to be one of the biggest business successes the world has seen. From a humble start in 1955 when Ray Kroc became the first franchise agent, the company has become a global behemoth catering to 68 million customers daily with over 36,500 stores in 119 countries.
Because of its demonstrated performance in achieving consistent profitability and a very high level of standardization, it has been hailed as one of the greatest business models. Some valuable lessons that you can apply in your own business:
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Be Consistent, Reliable, and Predictable
In a sector that thrives on offering different and distinctive experiences to the customer, McDonald’s has been able to achieve amazing success by offering customers a dining experience that can be expected to be the same across the world. The familiarity is not in just the way the food looks or tastes. Right from the distinctive golden arches that mark the location of each and every outlet to the menu, the interior décor, and even the food wrapping, every little thing is predictably familiar and lends to the customer a deep sense of comfort that he will not be surprised by anything. No matter where you have the famous burgers and fries, you can expect it to taste just the same.
The passion for uniformity and standardization run to such an extent that there’s even a Hamburger University for training staff on achieving consistency in operations, procedures, quality, cleanliness, and service. According to proven research, maintaining consistency in operations not only increases the feeling of assurance and comfort among customers but also goes a long way in enhancing productivity and efficiency.
Create a Brand
Among the many successes of McDonald’s, the one that has had the most impact on its fortunes is its ability to know how to create a brand that connects emotionally. Going beyond the visual mnemonics of the Golden Arches and the tagline I’m Lovin’ It, the real success lies in the emotional connection that takes customers back to their childhood. Because of this, many of its customers have an almost unbreakable bond with the company. Having a vibrant brand will help your business to build integrity and convert customers into lifelong loyalists.
Even though the consistency of the food is the pillar on which the success of McDonald’s primarily rests, it has never been afraid to take risks by introducing new items. The original McDonald’s menu comprised cheeseburger, fries, beverages, and shake but over the years it has expanded to include breakfast, Happy Meal, and a whole lot of other stuff. A few of them like McPizza and McLobster has failed but this has not deterred the company from constantly tweaking its menu in an attempt to serve its customers better. For example, the menu in India does not feature beef in consideration with religious sensitivities and has lots of vegetarian options inspired by local cuisine to cater to the large vegetarian population.
Adapt To Changing Customer Preferences
McDonald’s has willingly experimented with its menu simply because it realizes that at all times it must keep customer preferences and tastes in mind. Because over time, customer preferences change, you also need to adapt accordingly. The company has also not hesitated to take into account the local palate; a case in point is again the Indian menu where many of the offers are substantially spicier than the standard fare elsewhere. The format also has taken into account the composition of the local population – from quick-service restaurants to fine dining outlets to drive-ins, McDonald’s has them all. It is a lesson that you can learn from – be where your customers are and serve them well.
The McDonald’s business model has been perfected over long years of grueling competition. It has yielded many valuable lessons that have been not only copied by others in the fast-food sector but also capable of being adopted by almost every retail business. Consistency of service, branding, agility, and a serious intent to serve the customer to the best of the ability is the most valuable takeaways.
Article By: Jeff Royd is a journalist reporting on the retail sector for a reputed business magazine. He has followed the developments in the fast-food industry, especially the way global chains have been adapting themselves to the local environments. Jeff was among the first to review MCDelivery.co.in as a trendsetting development.