Big Mac to Rice Burger Globalization: McDonalds in Japan
INTRODUCTION• The first McDonald‟s was launched in Los Angeles in 1954. At that time it was Ray Kroc, a salesmen of paper cups and mixers, who signed a contract with it‟s owners, Dick and Mac McDonald, to further spread the McDonald‟s concept.• A McDonalds restaurant is operated by either a franchisee, an affiliate, or the corporation itself. The corporations revenues come from the rent, royalties and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company- operated restaurants.• McDonalds primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, shakes and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, wraps, smoothies and fruit.
McDonald’s Globalization McDonalds has become emblematic of globalization, sometimes referred to as the "McDonaldization" of society. Globalization has affected almost every aspect of life in almost every nation. From economic to social to culture, this widespread exchange of goods, services and ideas have influenced changes around the world. McDonalds has about 31,000 restaurants in 118 countries! Out of 193 countries in the world. One of the most influential changes came with the introduction of fast food restaurants like McDonald‟s into foreign countries. Transformations have taken place which could be perceived as beneficial or corrupting to that culture. Before the introduction of McDonald‟s overseas “fast food was almost unknown. McDonald‟s was the first company to try to export America‟s love of fast food and changes in eating habits of other nations.”
Globalization is always an uneven process where there will winners and losers. Even though there has been many changes in the eating habits of the nations influenced by the introduction of McDonalds there has been many positive aspects. With the advancement of technology and communication the world itself seem to be moving at a faster pace. The advent of fast food into foreign cultures allows the opportunity to keep up with this fast pace. Culture is ever changing and thus McDonalds marks another step in the evolution of culture with the changes in has brought about. The menu has given people a new choice over the traditional foods eaten in the past.
ENTRY IN JAPAN In 1971 the chain reached Japan. McDonald‟s Japan was the same concept as McDonald‟s America, but they did adjust the menu a bit to suit the Japanese taste. McDonald‟s was initially a symbol of America; or, a symbol of America as perceived by the Japanese. McDonald‟s food is actually considered a snack instead of a meal, and therefore has never posed a serious challenge to the Japanese lunch or dinner market. McDonald‟s food cannot be shared as sharing is an important part of the Japanese dinner or lunch time because it brings a sense of community. McDonald‟s food consists mostly of meat and bread. To the Japanese, meat has always been a part of the Western diet and not of their own traditional lifestyle.
The major reason for unadaptation of McDonald‟s food was lack of rice in it. McDonald‟s food lacks rice makes it unsuitable for a proper dinner or lunch: according to Japanese, a real meal always includes rice, which is not only seen as good nutrition but also as a metaphor for Japanese national identity. Introduction of new food as well as new way to eat. McDonald‟s did not only introduce a new type of food to Japan, it also introduced a new way to eat. These table manners are actually the opposite of the Japanese way to eat. At McDonald‟s, you eat whilst standing instead of sitting, and you use your hands instead of chopsticks. Although all these things were previously considered very negative, McDonald‟s gave a positive twist to them. „In the public sphere the “new” forms of etiquette gradually became the norm; the fashionableness of eating fast food wore thin as the restaurants became a routine feature of everyday, working life‟ . McDonald‟s became an ordinary feature within Japanese society.
McDonald‟s has actually become „local‟ in a certain way. Japan adapted McDonald‟s to suit it‟s own society. Japanese can eat a Teriyaki or Rice Burger, drink Oolong (green) tea, and read the Japanese McJoy magazine. McDonald‟s is embedded in Japanese culture now, and the concept of McDonald‟s is not interpreted the same way all over the world: each culture, like Japan, fits this into society the way they find appropriate. In this way, no matter how globalized the world will be, we will still have diversity in cultures: global will just become glocal.
McDonalds in India McDonalds wanted to position itself as Indian and a promoter of family values and culture, as well as being comfortable and easy. Simultaneously, the brand wanted to communicate that, operationally, it was committed to maintaining a quality service, cleanliness and offering value for money. McDonald‟s earlier hurt the religious sentiments of Indians by using beef flavoring for its "Vegetarian" French Fries. McDonald‟s introduced flavor of beef or pork in their food items but soon after the introduction controversies around McDonalds products started.
This made McDonald’s react quickly as a result of which:
This made McDonald’s react quickly as a result of which : "Products like McAloo Tikki burger, Veg Pizza McPuff and Chicken McGrill burger were formulated and introduced using spices favored by Indians. McDonald‟s ensured that for special sauces they use local spices do not use beef and pork Introduction of McAloo Tikki burger in addition to other western foods also helps to understand the concept of glocalisation- where we can see a global company introduces food items mingling them with the local food items.