Mcdonald's: Polishing the Golden Arches Essay

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PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

The main problem from McDonald's case, McDonald's Polishing the Golden Arches, is how to classify McDonald's strategy through Plan to Win into one of the five generic competitive strategies. Before we solve this main problem, we should determine the chief economic and business characteristics, the five forces analysis, and also the driving forces of the fast-food industry. After that we identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats by using SWOT analysis. Finally, we classify McDonald's strategy into one of the five generic competitive strategies.

ANALYSIS

The chief economic and business characteristics of the fast-food industry
In 2003 sales for the U.S. consumer food-service market
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Emerging social issues and changing attitudes and lifestyles can be powerful instigators of industry change. Consumer concerns about health and focus on value have emerged as the major drivers of change in this industry. Product and marketing innovations have been key driving forces in fast-food industry too. The other driving forces are growing use of the Internet and emerging new Internet technology applications, increasing globalization, changes in the long-term industry growth rate, technological change and manufacturing process innovation through lay out and drive-thru process, and diffusion of technical know-how across more companies and more countries.

SWOT analysis
Based on the explanation above, we can identify some opportunities and threats of fast-food industry. As we can read from this case, we know that the fast-food chains were recognizing the saturation of the industry in U.S. This condition can become a threat, but it can be an opportunity if the companies in the industry try to do international expansion throughout U.S. because growth in other countries was expected to be one of the only sources of growth for many of the top hamburger chains in future years. Consumer concerns about health can also become one of the threats, but it can be an opportunity if the company can serve this kind of niche market. We conclude that the fast-food industry is still attractive.
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