McDonalds SWOT

SWOT Analysis McDonald’s

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Strengths

  • McDonald’s has been a thriving business since 1955 and 20 of the top 50 corporate staff employees started as a restaurant level employee. In addition, 67,000 McDonalds restaurant managers and assistant managers were promoted from restaurant staff. Fortune Magazine 2005 listed McDonald’s as the "Best Place to Work for Minorities." McDonalds invests more than $1 billion annually in training its staff, and every year more than 250,000 employees graduate from McDonald’s training facility, Hamburger University.

Weaknesses

  • Their test marketing for pizza failed to yield a substantial product. Leaving them much less able to compete with fast food pizza chains.
  • High employee turnover in their restaurants leads to more money being spent on training.
  • They have yet to capitalize on the trend towards organic foods.
  • McDonald’s have problems with fluctuations in operating and net profits which ultimately impact investor relations. Operating profit was $3,984 million (2005) $4,433 million (2006) and $3,879 million (2007). Net profits were $2,602 million (2005), $3,544 million (2006) and $2,395 million (2007).

Opportunities

  • In today’s health conscious societies the introduction of a healthy hamburger is a great opportunity. They would be the first QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) to have FDA approval on marketing a low fat low calorie hamburger with low calorie combo alternatives. Currently McDonald’s and its competition health choice items do not include hamburgers.
  • They have industrial, Formica restaurant settings; they could provide more upscale restaurant settings, like the one they have in New York City on Broadway, to appeal to a more upscale target market.
  • Provide optional allergen free food items, such as gluten free and peanut free.
  • In 2008 the business directed efforts at the breakfast, chicken, beverage and convenience categories. For example, hot specialist coffees not only secure sales, but also mean that restaurants get increasing numbers of customer visits. In 2009 McDonald’s saw the full benefits of a venture into beverages.

Threats

  • They are a benchmark for creating "cradle to grave" marketing. They entice children as young as one year old into their restaurants with special meals, toys, playgrounds and popular movie character tie-ins. Children grow up eating and enjoying McDonalds and then continue into adulthood. They have been criticized by many parent advocate groups for their marketing practices towards children which are seen as marginally ethical.
  • They have been sued multiple times for having "unhealthy" food, allegedly with addictive additives, contributing to the obesity epidemic in America. In 2004, Michael Spulock filmed the documentary Super Size Me, where he went on an all McDonalds diet for 30 days and wound up getting cirrhosis of the liver. This documentary was a direct attack on the QSR industry as a whole and blamed them for America’s obesity epidemic. Due in part to the documentary, McDonalds no longer pushes the super size option at the dive thru window.
  • Any contamination of the food supply, especially e-coli.
  • Major competitors, like Burger King, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, KFC and any mid-range sit-down restaurants.

McDonald’s is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 31,000 local restaurants serving more than 58 million people in 118 countries each day. More than 75% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women. Read more…

Last updated July 2009

Disclaimer:
This case study has been compiled from information freely available from public sources. It is merely intended to be used for educational purposes only.

  • The business is ranked number one in Fortune Magazine’s 2008 list of most admired food service companies.
  • One of the world’s most recognizable logos (the Golden Arches) and spokes character (Ronald McDonald the clown). According to the Packard Children’s Hospital’s Center for Healthy Weight children age 3 to 5 were given food in the McDonalds packaging and then given the same food without the packaging, and they preferred the food in the McDonald’s packaging every single time.
  • McDonalds is a community oriented, socially responsible company. They run Ronald McDonald House facilities, which provide room and board, food and sibling support at a cost of only $10 a day for families with children needing extensive hospital care. Ronald McDonald Houses are located in more than 259 local communities worldwide, and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs offers cost effective medical, dental and education services to children. They also sponsor Olympic athletes.


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  • They are a global company operating more than 23,500 restaurants in 109 countries. By being spread out in different regions, this gives them the ability to weather economic fluctuations which are localized by country. They can also operate effectively in an economic downturn due to the social need to seek out comfort foods.
  • They successfully and easily adapt their global restaurants to appeal to the cultural differences. For example, they serve lamb burgers in India and in the Middle East, they provide separate entrances for families and single women.
  • Approximately 85% of McDonald’s restaurant businesses world-wide are owned and operated by franchisees. All franchisees are independent, full-time operators and McDonald’s was named Entrepreneur’s number-one franchise in 1997. They have global locations in all major airports, and cities, along the highways, tourist locations, theme parks and inside Wal-Mart.
  • They have an efficient, assembly line style of food preparation. In addition they have a systemization and duplication of all their food prep processes in every restaurant.
  • McDonald’s uses only 100% pure USDA inspected beef, no fillers or additives. Additionally the produce is farm fresh. McDonald’s serves 100% farm raised chicken no fillers or additives and only grade-A eggs. McDonald’s foods are purchased from only certified and inspected suppliers. McDonalds works closely with ranchers, growers and suppliers to ensure food quality and freshness.
  • McDonalds only serves name brand processed items such as Dannon Yogurt, Kraft Cheese, Nestle Chocolate, Dasani Water, Newman’s Own Salad Dressings, Heinz Ketchup, Minute Maid Juice.
  • McDonald’s takes food safety very seriously. More than 2000 inspections checks are performed at every stage of the food process. McDonalds are required to run through 72 safety protocols every day to ensure the food is maintained in a clean contaminate free environment.
  • . McDonald’s was the first restaurant of its type to provide consumers with nutrition information. Nutrition information is printed on all packaging and more recently added to the McDonald’s Internet site. McDonalds offers salads, fruit, roasted chicken, bottled water and other low fat and calorie conscious alternatives.