McDonald is one of the world’s largest fast food retailing chain with 30,000 stores over 119 countries. The fast food chain target customers from children to adults and also launch salads and fish burgers as healthier choices to target a new demographic of customers. Although McDonalds has tried to present themselves as a positive piece of America, there are still many negative aspects of the business that has been exposed over the years by employees and consumers.
McDonald is a multi-million fast food business founded in 1940 in California, USA. In 1950s a new style of eating was introduced to Americans by Richard and Maurice McDonald. Entrepreneur Ray Kroc later on bought the brand in 1955 and started to uniform their burgers and fries with frozen beef patties and fries.
McDonald since has received a lot of backlash on their food because of the unhealthiness of frozen products. In 1965, Ronald McDonald the clown has been chosen as McDonald’s mascot to target children. The Golden Arches symbol of McDonald was trademarked in 1968 making it one of the most memorizing logo as we seen today. McDonald has sharply expanded oversees for the last three decades to foreign countries introducing the American fast food life style to new customers. McDonald restaurants over the world still carry the same appearance, atmosphere and exact menu items including same ingredients, making customers feel comfortable even traveling to a different country. Your favorite Big Mac, fries, and cheeseburgers might be the same but McDonald does add specialty foods to its menu like Halal meat to Muslim countries (McArabia), adding rice into its menu in several Asian countries including McDonald Ho Chi Minh city, The Bulgogi Korean pork barbecue sandwich, and adjusting their menu over the years in China and Middle Eastern countries. McDonald also donates a portion of their earnings to charity to support children with life threatening illness.
It is hypocritical for McDonald to try to portray their brand as an American family owned brand and support children yet their diet has been linked directly to obesity, heart disease, asthma, etc. Healthy eating is promoted in the U.S, but at least 59 of the nation’s 250 children hospitals have fast food restaurant in them. McDonald has tried to change their image by coming out with “healthier options like salads and oatmeal but in reality their salads contain more calories and fatty than a Big Mac or cheeseburger. A salad with dressing and croutons contains 425 calories and 21.4g of fat, compared with the 253 calories and 7.7g of fat in the standard burger. As clearly, McDonald is not fooling anyone with its claimed “healthier” options that has more fat than their complained unhealthy burgers.
The dangerous side of McDonald is children and teen are their focused customers. The fast food chain targets the younger demography by their cheap prices, happy meals, and variety of toys for children. We all talk about how bad McDonald is, but McDonalds are in every corner and becoming a staple in every big city.
McDonald meat has been a big controversy, David Whipple, has come forward in 2003 showing his incident burger that has not been eaten since 1999 with receipts of the burger showing no sign of decomposing or mold. Wellness educator and nutrition consultant Karen Hanrahan has also kept the infamous McDonald burger since 1996 and the burger is still looking like a new one up to date. McDonald has attempted to clear its name in 2014 by releasing a video on how McDonald patties are made and reinforced that they do not use pink slime in their products. Although it should be known that they have used pink slime before in their products but only discontinue it as late as in 2011. Meat in McDonalds are loaded with antibiotics, despite a report showing two million Americans are resistant to antibiotic every year causing at least 23,000 deaths. McDonald chicken nugget also went under fired by the media when people found out their chicken nugget only contain 50 percent of chicken; The other 50 percent is a mixture of corn derivatives, leavening agents, sugars, and completely synthetic ingredients.
The McRib pork sandwich also received some eye brow raised when people found out that their ingredients contain azodicarbonamide, a chemical used to bleach and in used to make gym shoes and yoga mats. Last but not least, the McDonald fries, containing TBHQ; antifoaming agents, color stabilizers, beef flavor, and preservatives. Beef flavoring in the U.S might not be a very big problem except for vegans and vegetarians, but in Muslim and Asian countries people have outraged because McDonald has offended their belief and religion by not releasing any disclaimer about their fries. Not until “Supersize me”, a documentary on strictly eating McDonald diet was released, media around the world start focusing on the unhealthiness of the restaurant chain. The result of the document was very alarming, after 30 days of eating a McDonald diet, Morgan Spurlock, director of the documentary himself, has gained 11.1kg (24lb), a 13% body mass increase, increase of cholesterol to 230mg/dL, and experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver.
It took Spurlock 14 months to return to his original state following a strict vegan diet. The McDonald quick meal has not only a massive impact on Americans, but spreading around the world. People coming to McDonald not looking for an experience but for a cheap quick meal without realizing the damage it brings to their body. With countries obsessed with the American culture, McDonald is spreading like a plague in disguise. McDonald also went as far as breaking the law of Japan by including the country’s banned ingredient, azorubin, in their apple pies that were purchased from China. Besides their extremely unhealthy foods controversy, McDonald is also known for unhappy workers. The multi-millionaire pays their worker minimum wage, the same as factory workers on assembly line and has experienced multiple strikes in the past.
The company biggest scandal yet is probably the controversy in Beijing; the media has exposed McDonald for selling expired food to their customers and workers and committing unsafe practices on their food. This scandal has brought a big shock to Chinese society and has big news media like CCTV and Xin Hua news agency criticizing the corporation. McDonald has struggle with multiple ethic problems in the past over the world. McDonald has shown that they will violate laws to make profit by selling expired products to customers and including cheap harmful ingredients in their food. The business is not honest and will only issue a reply when the scandal get big and threaten their sales.
The company has so much problems that it has gone large and becoming a CSR issue. McDonald has offered some solutions to their scandals and one of them is cancelling their supersize portions as a reply to obesity epidemic in America. They have also added 3 salads, fruits, and yoghurts in their happy meal. They have to deal with two lawsuits about the risk of eating Big Mac and chicken McNuggets in 2004 by the federal court in New York. The company has promised to clear up and adjust their menu drastically in the late 1990s. Five size options have been lowered down to three options with the biggest now being the 6 ounce fries, their drinks are also being adjusted smaller. Other changes McDonald has made to reply to all the backlash is including bagel and oat meal in their breakfast menu, dropping 2 percent milk to 1 percent.
McDonalds has recently making the biggest decision yet- switching to antibiotic free chicken. Antibiotic in meat has always been a very big issue throughout the years and thanks to media and the famous “Meatrix” bringing light to the problem. March 2015, McDonald announces they will no longer use chicken fed with antibiotics in their product in an attempt to compete with other much healthier fast food chains like Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Chick-Fil-A. This will not only help McDonald in improving their low sales but an example for other brands to follow. The brand also confident that they will use milk from cows that have not been treated with artificial growth hormone rBTS.
The corporation has tried hard to fix their image over years but only doing it to cover the public eyes, since one of the most controversy item of all time, Big Mac, is still being sold over the world. The firm’s action is not effective because McDonald is still a brand known for its unhealthy cheap foods. In response to the unhealthy option backlash, the corporation added salads that have more fat than their burger and they’re doing things to cover themselves up, without really having to change their most important issues being cheap meat patties and their meat are still selling, and have been sold to people around the world for decades.
McDonald also made an apology to people that were offended about beef flavoring in their fries in 2002. If I am the one managing the firm, the first thing I will do is making sure the ingredients in the meat are safe to consume. The franchises will be recommended to buy local meat and produce them in store instead of buying frozen patties filled with antibiotics. One McDonald patty currently “contains meat from more than one thousand cattle, raised in as many as five countries”, by changing the meat, McDonald will suddenly have a big change and do not have the bad name that people have given them. I would make sure managers follow the strict standard in food making process and increase supervising and monitoring in its franchises.