Mcdonalds Case Study

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In order to understand McDonald's structure and culture and why they continue to be the world's largest restaurant chain we conducted a SWOT analysis that allowed us to consider every dimension involved in the business level and corporate level strategies.

Our research indicated more viable strengths than weaknesses. Strengths such as brand recognition, steady growth in global markets, and strong leadership. McDonald's has become part of America's culture and now the same can be said for the global arena based on the demonstration of growth and continued dominance over competitors. Business Week Magazine even ranked McDonald's as "one of the ten most recognized brands in the world", a position that creates significant opportunities for the company. An important strength that continues to have the most dramatic impact on McDonalds is their top level management. Even though this is classified an as internal strength, McDonald's has capitalized on a management style that helps to infuse a strong culture. A dynamic aspect of the McDonald's culture is the willingness to innovate and adapt, thus making necessary changes when the need arises.

Top level management includes Jim Skinner, the concepts of the late Charles Bell, and the late James Cantalupo. James Cantalupo was a former vice-chairman who had overseen McDonald's successful international expansion in the 1980's and 1990's. He came out of retirement and took over as CEO in hopes of quashing the potential downfall McDonald's was facing. He was instrumental in developing a strategic plan called "Plan to Win" which was the starting point for the turnaround at the beginning of 2003. This Plan contains aggressive goals and measures for success based on the critical drivers of customer experience or the 5 P's: People, Products, Price, Place and Promotion. (Chief Executive, Salad Days) Today sales are strong in domestic markets and even higher in the global markets. The plan focuses on existing customers and by changing their image to promote healtheir menu items. This was the long term goal set by Cantalupo, followed by Bell and now Skinner.

With strength ultimately comes weakness and McDonald's has its fair share, especially in the last few years. Many weaknesses are due to the external environment which includes market saturation, increased price competition, and food and labor costs. These weaknesses affect many firms in the fast food industry so McDonald's is trying to effectively combat these forces using a differentiation strategy. Developing new products such

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