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For decades McDonald’s has been the undisputed king of global food franchising. With more than 34,000 restaurants in over 118 countries and serves more than 69 million customers every day.
So how did McDonald’s become such a global powerhouse? It certainly didn’t get there through hamburgers alone. Since it first began expanding overseas, McDonald’s has been careful to include regional tastes on its menus along with the usual Big Mac and French fries. For instance, in Thailand patrons can order the Samurai Burger, a pork-patty sandwich marinated in teriyaki sauce and topped with mayonnaise and a pickle. If fish is more your taste, try the Ebi Filet-o shrimp sandwich from Japan.
McDonald’s is also careful to adapt its menus to local customs and culture. In Israel, all meat served in the chain’s restaurants is 100 percent kosher beef. The company also closes many of its restaurants on the Sabbath and religious holidays. McDonald’s pays respect to religious sentiments in India as well by not including any beef or pork on its menu. For more examples, go to www.mcdonalds.com and explore the various McDonald’s international franchises websites. Notice how the company blends the culture of each country into the restaurant’s image.
McDonald’s main global market concern as of late has been Asia. So far McDonald’s strategy seems to be working. In Shanghai the company’s Hamburger University attracts top-level college graduates to be trained for management positions. Only about eight out of every 1,000 applicants makes it into the program, an acceptance rate that is even lower than Harvard! McDonald’s is reaching out further in Asia where it opened its first store in Vietnam in 2014. The Vietnamese location in Ho Chi Minh City is the country’s very first drive-thru restaurant. Bringing McDonald’s to Vietnam is a dream come true for Henry Nguyen, founder of Good Day Hospitality, who has been wanting to introduce the brand to Vietnam for over a decade. Nguyen brought in 20 top McDonald’s employees from Australia to help aid in the opening while also sending prospective Vietnamese employees to Queensland to learn the ropes in a real-life restaurant setting. In the end, one can only hope that McDonald’s remains dedicated to quality as it continues adapting and expanding into the global market.