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Improving Customer Satisfaction at McDonald's

McDonald's performed well throughout most of the economic downturn by sticking to its strategy of rolling out a steady stream of new menu items at a range of prices—from inexpensive snack wraps to more costly fruit smoothies—intended to appeal to more consumers. It also remodeled and tidied up many of its 14,000 US restaurants. However, satisfying customers with speedy and friendly service was a persistent challenge.

The bad news about customer satisfaction became a companywide focus in March 2013 during a webcast with franchise owners. (Approximately 90% of McDonald's restaurants are owned by franchisees.) McDonald's executives noted that 1 in 5 customer complaints was related to friendliness issues and that the problem was “increasing.”

A slide from Steve Levigne, vice president of business research for McDonald's USA, stated ominously: “Service is broken.” The top complaint was “rude or unprofessional employees”; complaints and speed of service had “increased significantly over the past six months”; and some customers even found the service “chaotic.” The news was soon picked up in the business press.

McDonald's First Response. In the webcast, McDonald's asked franchisees to hire more employees and provide better training to deal with complaints. McDonald's, for its part, began to roll out a new system for taking orders, new software to better manage the workload and number of employees on the line, and a structure that provides managers more direct responsibility for specific areas of operation (e.g., the kitchen or customer service).

Admitting Its Mistakes. McDonald's has acknowledged its role in creating service challenges due to its aggressive expansion of the menu. “Jeff Stratton, president of McDonald's USA, said the chain introduced several new products and limited-time offers this year to give customers more variety,” reported The Wall Street Journal. It quoted Stratton as admitting, “The pace of product introduction in my opinion: too fast.”

The PR Battle. McDonald's made its effort to deal with such problems part of its PR strategy. “The company's response could serve as a case study in using customer criticism as a basis for a brand-building PR campaign,” writes Richard Brownwell, a content manager for the PRNews website.Brownwell praises the company for listening to its customers, then further improving communications with a new feedback system, and being open and candid about its troubles.

That openness was evident during the webcast wherein the company shared many steps it was willing to take to address customer satisfaction. For example, the company changed its 2014 business plan to invest in better food prep tables and improve training. Work in Process. McDonald's has further to go. Late in 2013 QSR Magazine, which routinely reports on the average speed of service of various fast-food chains, found McDonald's average service time not only lagged its competitors, but it was the slowest reported over the 18 years that QSR has kept track.Moreover, early in 2014 the company apologized further when the CEO, Don Thompson, admitted, “We've lost some of our customer relevance.” Thompson announced other likely adjustments to the menu, including customized burgers and a stronger emphasis on breakfast.

Employee Wages. Although McDonald's has been open on most topics, it has not talked much about one factor that may be affecting service—employee compensation. Articles and critics in the business press connect poor service to the high rate of turnover, which they connect to low pay. McDonald's does not publicly report its turnover rates, but fast-food restaurants typically run an average annual turnover rate of 60%.74 Taken together, this suggests that when unhappy customers are added to low pay, McDonald's may be experiencing even higher rates.

Apply the 3-Stop Problem-Solving Approach to OB

Use the Integrative Framework in Figure 6.5 (see below) along the journey through all 3-Stop to help identify inputs, processes, and outcomes relative to this case.

- Stop 1: What is the problem?

- Use the Integrative Framework for Understanding and Applying OB (see Figure 6.5 below) to help identify the outcomes that are important in this case.

- Which of these outcomes are not being achieved in the case?

- Based on considering the above two questions, what is the most important problem in this case?

- Stop 2: Use the Integrative Framework to identify the OB concepts or theories that help you to understand the problem in this case.

- What person factors are most relevant?

- What environmental characteristics are most important to consider?

- Do you need to consider any processes? Which ones?

- What concepts or theories discussed in this chapter are most relevant for solving the key problem in this case?

- Stop 3: What are your recommendations for solving the problem?

- Review the material in the chapter that most pertains to your proposed solution and look for practical recommendations.

- Use any past OB knowledge or experience to generate recommendations.

- Outline your plan for solving the problem in this case.

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McDonald's has been one of the company which is able to handle the economic downturn where the planning needs to be done for handling the strategy with the rolling out of the steady stream with the different menu pricing. It comes from the inexpensive snack wraps to the costly fruit smoothies that are more appealing to the consumers. The remodeling approaches are tidied up with the different 14000 US restaurants where there is a need to satisfy the customers with the speedy and the friendly services that holds the persistent challenges as well. the company has been handling the rude or the unprofessional behaviour of the employees along with handling the mistakes with the rolling out of the new system for taking the orders. It is working on the proper manner of the work with understanding the employees on the line and the structure will be able to provide the managers with the direct responsibilities under the specific operations for the kitchen and the customer services. The company will also be able to respond through the use of the customer criticism and the PR campaigning where the improved communication comes with the new feedback with the candid standards about the troubles.

Step 1:

There are different problems that McDonald's has been facing, where the company needs to focus on the handling of the admitting of the menu item pricing with the different ranges. The costly products and the speedy services have been the consistent challenge where there is a need to satisfy the customers. The problems are related to the customer satisfaction and the company has been working on the customer complaints with the issues of friendliness that needs to be addressed in a proper manner (Wilson, 2018). The business research for McDonald's USA has been involving with the understanding to handle the different employees who are able to work with the admitting of the mistakes and then taking the orders with the handling of the new software as well. The admitting of the mistakes and then handling the challenges with the aggressive expansion of the menu is also a major consideration.

But here, we will be highlighting about the understanding the financial impact of the customer dissatisfaction where there is a possibility of the impact on the revenue of the customer. Apart from this, the concerns are related to the customers focusing on the turning of the backs on the provider mainly because their previous experiences have not been better. The customer satisfaction approach includes the facilitation where the creation of the corrective and the preventive action plans have to be addressed in a proper manner (Luca et al., 2016). The problems of the controlling costs of the customer acquisition where there is a need to work on the aggressive marketing strategies and then focusing on the deploying factors with aggressive marketing standards. The aggressive marketing strategies includes the explosion of the customer acquisition costs where there are glaring lights on the limited budgets that are dedicated to the retaining of the existing customers. There are attractive ways to engage the customer where there are retaining and empowering of the existing clients with minimizing the factors with the social phenomenon on the expansion of communication and other information channels. The reinforcement is based on the approaches for the continued improvement where the quality of experience and then providing the satisfaction levels helps in identifying the measures along with the adequate offerings to the customers, behaviour and expectations.

Step 2:

The relevant factors includes the problems with the admitting of the instances where McDonalds have to work on the limited time offers and then giving the customers with the variety of the product options. There are PR battles that needs to be dealt with the problems of the PR strategy. The company response is related to the use of the customer criticism with the building of the brand through PR designing and campaigning. The planning needs to be done to ensure about the openness with the evidence about the webcasting of the company with the willingness to take the address of the customer satisfaction (Clegg et al., 2015).

Planning: The planning would be for the achievement of the organizational goals, where the company is able to motivate the workers to handle the expectations and then retain the employees. There is a need to work with the offering of motivation to the employees.
Organizing: The theory involves the organization with the employees working on the groups and planning with the individual with establishing the authority with the creation of the responsibility and the structural framework. There are functional involvement where the delegation of the authority is to assign the work and the tasks for the different group of the activities. It helps in defining the activities with the proper coordination in the firm.

Leading: McDonald's theory is about the embracing and the planning for the democratic leadership style, where the mangers of the company need to work with the granting of power to the employees. It includes the ensuring of the maximizing of the productivity with the understanding of how the employees are able to work with the invested motivational theories. The provisions are based on the acknowledging of the interview where the firm is able to work on the possibilities to motivate the staff (Dubey et al, 2016). There have been instances for the invested resource and how the manager is able to work on the distributed process with long enough stay with the company. The efficiency is important for the utilization of resources and how McDonalds is able to make use of the different human resource processes. The leadership and management is based on the factors where the collective and the individual efforts are used for the accomplishing of the shared tasks.

Step 3:

For the company, McDonald's need to plan about handling the different steps where there is a need to work on improving the communication with better feedback systems. There are approaches where the company is able to make the efforts to deal with the customer criticism and then handling the brand building of the PR designing. There are praising of the company for the listening to the customers with the improvement of the feedback system and processes. Here, the focus is on the feedback systems where the openness is to the webcasting and then handling the investments in the proper food and improving the training. The work in process includes the adjustments that needs to work with the customized burger and the major emphasis is on the breakfast. The employee wages need to be worked upon the affecting service. The employees compensation with the critics that involves the business process with connecting the poor services with the higher rate of the turnover. The connection is to the lower payments where the company needs to work on the suggestions with adding to the low payments with McDonald's handling the experiences with the higher rates. The analysis includes the theory and the practical aspects where there are workplace conflicts that needs to be handled along with the pressure which is created by the employee and the manager. The controlling situation includes the managers with understanding the reduced staff turnover. The manager should control and work on the guiding of the assigned tasks. The manager looks for the use of the directive behaviors where the workforce needs to plan about the use of the participative leadership approach. The behavioural benefits of the managers include the managerial behaviour and functions where the crisis management includes the control of staff and workforce that requires the proper style and management (Skinner et al., 2017). The controlling needs to ensure about the difficulty with anticipation of the theory and the practical aspects. The efficient managers tend to maximize the workforce with the nurturing and then training the best workers.
The path goal theory befits the managerial function where the manager tend to make use of the positions with the leaders focusing on the discussion with directive, achievement and the behaviour. The focus is on the goal accomplishment where the managers have the incentives to control and motivate the workers. The controlling and planning is important for the close interrelation because the plans are able to identify the control facilities with the ability to under the detection deviation and the corrections. The measures need to be taken for allowing the managers with the appropriate corrective measures. The human resource interview is based on handling the needs and expectations of the workforce. The employees need to work on the company with the organization planning to handle the use of services with the young employees with the firm to seek for the new opportunities and the higher paid jobs.


McDonald restaurant has been involved with handling the levels of efficiency and then working over the organizational behaviour challenges. The experiences are related to the achieving of the different set goals and then there are firms working on the distinct goals like planning and controlling, leading and working. The efficiency is based on the productivity of the staff where the problems need to be handled about the cut costs which is significant. The research is about how the firms are suffering with the higher labor turnover and then there is a need to work on the achieving of the long-term employee options which is difficult to retain. The motivation can never be the factor for the establishing of the proper job satisfaction among the workers. Hence, the finding and the analysis includes the need to review the roles with the enhancement of the retention of workforce.

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