Learning Activities

Idea Development, Question 2: McDonald’s (LA02)

Question 2.

  • Use the Internet to research the history of the fast food chain McDonald’s and explain which parts of the SCAMPER model are evident in its development into its current success.

McDonald’s is one of the world’s most popular fast food chains, like most of us already know. McDonald’s is known for its good food and prices. Mac and Dick McDonalds, also known as the McDonald brothers opened their first burger store in California in 1940. The brother’s idea was based on cheap prices, big portion sizes and quick service. They had ten drive-ins going by 1954, and were quite happy with only one store really. The drive-ins at that time were only McDonalds by name, not their vision and passion. They didn’t achieve success until a business man named Ray Kroc entered the picture.

Ray Kroc was a “go getter” and he wanted to be the best, regardless of what he was doing. The McDonald brothers agreed to his help and this is where McDonald’s started growing. After Kroc’s help, the business grew, and by each year the number of restaurants grew rapidly. 

Like stated previously, Ray Kroc was a “go getter”, he did not settle for less than first place. He was not happy with the income and the percentages he received from the McDonalds brothers. In 1961 he therefore bought the company from the McDonalds brothers. 23 years after Kroc bought the company, he died, leaving behind his success of nearly 8000 restaurants worldwide. In 2008 the number of restaurants had grown, and the number of restaurants was approximately 23,672 restaurants. But what factors are evident in its development into its current success? Kroc took the brothers original idea and modified it into an innovative and modern idea. He invented the concept of fast food. 

He made franchising his biggest priority; by combining the business with real estate. The company bought the property of where the store was located, then leased it to it’s operator. This lead to enormous success and resulted in McDonald’s growth.

Tv dinners became popular around the 60’s, where owning a tv was a symbol of wealth and status. More people started enjoying their dinners in front of the tv. This was an innovative invention created for a modern society, just like the drive-ins. TV dinners were well received by the public, now they could combine two activities and join them into one satisfactory event; dining and watching TV. With the popularity in cars increasing during that time as well, this might be one of the reasons why McDonald’s was such a hit. You now had the chance to combine being on the go and eating, which resulted in people saving time and money. People discovered it being convenient. 

Kent made low prices one of his key priorities. The poverty rate in the US in 1960 was at 22%, which might also explain McDonald’s appeal to the public. They stripped down every process to the bare minimum to gain the cheapest prices for their customers. This is a good example of where eliminating something from your project can make an idea even better, just like it did for the McDonald’s company. By trimming down on supplies and concentrating on keeping the costs down, a lot more people could afford to eat at McDonald’s. Their idea of a fast food store went from a good idea to an innovative master plan. By eliminating initial ideas and creating new ones, it turned a good idea into a golden recipe for success.

In 2017 McDonald’s had 37,241 McDonald’s restaurants operated worldwide. The road to this success story wasn’t one final idea. The Mcdonald’s brothers idea was reconstructed and adapted by Kroc which resulted in McDonald’s major success.

Sources:

https://futureblind.com/2009/10/26/the-mcdonalds-success-story/

http://www.newgeography.com/content/004852-50-years-us-poverty-1960-2010

https://www.statista.com/statistics/219454/mcdonalds-restaurants-worldwide/

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