HRO Today Global Spring 2014 - 13

Cover Story
Tomorrow's Fast Food
Like all mature brands, McDonald's yearns to innovate
without affecting its core competencies, brand value
proposition, or the expectations of consumers. Rather
than develop cookie-cutter franchises across APMEA, its
restaurants and menus are customised to the particular
culture and its denizens' tastes. In China, for example,
patrons can order a Big Mac with a side of several different
rice dishes, which are not available in the U.S.-well, not yet.
Since the U.S. is a melting pot of the many cultures
represented by APMEA, it would make great business sense
for the company to take what it learns overseas and apply
it, where appropriate, to domestic and other markets. The
operational challenge is the complexity this would present
for the company's supply chain. Fast food is a business based
on volume-a focus on ground beef dishes can assist a price
point appealing to large groups of people watching their
pennies. In short, McDonald's will apply its lessons from
APMEA gradually.
On the other hand, Ruming says the company's experiments
in restaurant design may take root a lot sooner. " We're
always learning how to make our physical plant and
restaurants more contemporary and appealing, with cafes
and wireless, " he notes. " We're also looking to do things
where people order a Big Mac and fries from their tablets or
smartphones and a guy on a motorbike delivers it. "
In these various instances, APMEA will be both a testing
ground and McDonald's new playground. In fact, the latter
is already the case. More than 250 of its restaurants dot
such faraway places as Brunei and Singapore. There are 15
McDonald's in Oman, 18 in Cyprus, and 28 in Qatar. Even the
tiny Pacific Islands can count 14 locations where locals can
buy their McNuggets.
Who knows? Someday one of the employees at the three
McDonald's in Mauritius could become the company's next
CEO. As McDonald's itself would say, " I'm lovin' it. "
Russ Banham can be reached at www.russbanham.com
SPRING 2014 | www.hroglobal.com
[13]
http://www.russbanham.com http://www.hroglobal.com

HRO Today Global Spring 2014

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