Evolution of Fast Food Research Paper

The evolution of the fast-food industry became a culture largely because of civilization. As early as ancient Greece and Rome, inns were meant to serve people who needed food on a limited budget and time frame. With time, civilization and globalization took control of both the economic and social spaces. People needed efficient and reliable food services, and this is where fast-foods bridged the gap. In light of this growth, McDonald’s is one of the forces to reckon with in the fast-food industry because of its brand image, constant evolution, and revolution of its products. This is an annotated bibliography on the evolution of the fast-food industry.

Research Question: How did the McDonaldization of the fast-foods industry become a culture?

Annotated Bibliography
DiPietro, R. B., Khan, M. A., & Bufquin, D. (January 01, 2017). Customer perceptions of “McService”’: Relationship with return intention. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 20, 3, 286-303.
DiPietro et al.’s article extends the argument that McDonaldization of Japan’s food industry is a manifestation how global evolution influenced Japanese diet, culinary skills, and social patterns. It traces the history of Japan’s fast-food industry and how it continues to adapt to the country’s dynamic culture. The study showed that McDonald’s products and other types of fast-foods that have been culturally ingrained in the Japanese culinary culture are an embodiment of the country’s long-standing cultural patterns. The Japanese culinary fluidity in making fast-foods facilitates human intimacy and warmth that would not be achievable with the more traditional inexpensive foods served among the citizens. Consequently, these developments in the fast-food industry show that the McDonaldization of Japanese food meets Japanese cultural expression in a unique way.

By tracing the history of Japan’s food culture and how civilization influenced the consumption of fast-foods, the researchers helped expound on how culture influences or limits the adoption of McDonald’s. For instance, the economic history of the conveyor-belt Sushi shops and how it combines the traditional and modern characteristics of fast-food delivery shows McDonald’s efforts in customizing its food to meet Japanese tastes and preferences. Secondly, an exploration of how Japan’s traditional fast-foods overlap with their western counterparts provides a picture of what constitutes Japanese fast-food. In line with the research question, this background information expounds on the significance of culture in service delivery.

Conversely, the study failed to deliver on explaining the economic aspects of the fast-food developments since there was more focus on the social impacts of McDonaldization. The researchers failed to analyze the quantifiable micro and macro factors in Japan that led to a behavioral change in preparation for McDonaldization. Even though it was qualitative research, it would have been more sensible if the researchers quantified the social changes and explained what they meant for the Japanese society at large. Other than that, there was no justification provided for drawing data used in the research from the provincial city of Mizusawa, yet the information could have been critical in contextualizing the results from the study. Lastly, it would have also been useful if the researchers covered facts on standard traditional Japanese recipes and how they influenced the adoption of western fast-food.

The study is important in explaining how McDonald’s successfully penetrated a foreign market in Asia and positioned itself as a culture there. Japan is one of the few countries that has managed to retain its traditional culture despite embracing modernity in the social, economic, physical, or political realms. Background information on how McDonaldization overcame these barriers explains how globalization influenced Japan’s gastronomic culture. The research also reiterates the basics of foreign markets’ response to new products and new market environments. McDonaldization in Japan is a manifestation of how consumer behavior depends on a company’s marketing strategies.

Bathini, D.R. (January 2017). McDonaldization of work in Indian fast-food Industry. The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 52, 3, 386-399.
Bathini’s article explores the process by which fast-food restaurants and other industries across the world are adopting McDonald’s standard of operation with specific reference to the Indian market. The results of the study showed that fast-food businesses are increasingly adopting McDonald’s model of business operation to increase their presence in the Indian market. There is also a discussion about how the four dimensions of McDonald’s operations maximize production and increase the efficiency of product delivery. Besides, it also focuses on how Pizza production for the Indian market influenced the operationalization of the fast-food industry by focusing on quick and efficient service delivery.

By drawing from the typical Indian market’s production processes and comparing them with McDonald’s standard operating procedures in service delivery, this study provides an accurate picture of the functionality and efficiency of McDonaldization. Specifically, the study explains a step-by-step process of production and services at Pizza-Indian which reinforces McDonald’s principle that limited menu aids in the standardization process. Standardization guarantees sustainability of quality services. The researchers also covered how the work environment at McDonald’s encourages employee productivity. A comparison of India’s pizza-making restaurants and McDonald’s revealed that India’s fast-food joints do not invest in training their employees. Lack of proper training is a huge detriment to the delivery of quality services.

On the flip side, this study did not delve into the details of how the Indian culture affects product and service delivery. Researching about the social and cultural factors that influence India’s service delivery explains how McDonaldization fits in India’s labor system and how it influences their social and cultural inclinations towards a product. Other than that, the research was more employee-centered than customer-oriented. Therefore, feedback from the interviews would mainly focus on managerial competence without incorporating client feedback. Client information affects the kinds of adjustments made on service delivery.

This article explained how the labor organization in McDonald’s facilitated its expansion into foreign markets without compromising on the quality of its products. It dissects the dimensions of McDonald’s work ethics and how they sustain the company’s consistency in delivering quality products. Additionally, an assessment of the feasibility of McDonald’s helps in understanding how it fits in the Indian market. It emphasizes the fact that producers must always have functional systems to support their revenue creation. Otherwise, they risk spending a lot of money on maintaining the business.

Traphagan, J. W., & Brown, L. K. (January 01, 2002). Fast food and intergenerational commensality in Japan: New styles and old patterns. Ethnology: an International Journal of Cultural and Social Anthropology, 41, 2, 119-134.
The study evaluated the motivating factors behind the attitudes of return-customers to fast-food restaurants in the US, and how McDonald’s had been a pace-setter for delivering quality service in fast-food joints. The data was collected outside two different McDonald’s in the US. The results of the study showed that food quality was the primary indicator of customer satisfaction. Customers were likely to return to the joint because of consistent food quality. Specifically, the perceived taste and freshness of the products significantly influenced the customers’ repeat intentions. Moreover, the convenience of the services played a huge role in customer satisfaction.

Tracing the history of the growth of McDonald’s clarifies how social and economic factors influenced the development of the industry. An analysis of the options available in the market and the widespread appeal for healthier alternatives to fast-foods explains the importance of the changes in the market. These changes determined the market responses to McDonald’s products, and they also influenced their marketing strategies. Also, a discussion of previous studies on fast-food diners’ perceptions and the service quality factors that influence their repeat intentions helped evaluate the demographic factors that promote embracing McDonaldization.

Despite the abovementioned positive qualities, the research would have been more reliable is the researchers used a bigger study sample. Having access to a wider sample would have been more effective in allowing for better generalizations of the study. Moreover, restricting data collection to a reduced time during which the researchers could select their potential research participants reduces the randomness of the research. Moving away from bigger sample size, social desirability may have negatively influenced the results collected. This is because often people would not want to admit that they have been taking fast-foods consistently. During qualitative interviews, interviewees have the potential of changing their responses to fit the perceived ‘acceptable’ social responses.

Customer perceptions determine the brand image’s influence in a specific market. The results of this study explain how McDonald’s has successfully managed to build and protect its brand image for a long time. It reinforces the significance of investing in quality products and services and how they influence a brand’s image. Fast-food restaurants thrive on efficiency and convenience, and therefore, managers must always ensure that the menu options and service delivery focus on this principle.

To conclude, the evolution of the fast-food industry grew into a global culture because of the dynamic needs of civilization. This growth is a reflection of the impact of globalization on culinary skills. As companies seek to expand their clientele base globally, they must incorporate the cultural expectations into their brand. These research studies confirmed that the fast-food industry will always change depending on the social and cultural affiliations of a target market. Business people have an uphill task of conducting feasibility studies that will help modify their products to fit a specific market. Customization of menus and providing alternatives has been the main reason why McDonald’s is successful in different parts of the world.

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Traphagan, J. W., & Brown, L. K. (January 01, 2002). Fast-food and intergenerational commensality in Japan: New styles and old patterns. Ethnology: An International Journal of Cultural and Social Anthropology. 41, 2, 119-132.
Bathini, D.R. (January 2017). McDonaldization of work in Indian fast-food Industry. The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 52, 3, 386-399.
DiPietro, R. B., Khan, M. A., & Bufquin, D. (January 01, 2017). Customer perceptions of “McService”’: Relationship with return intention. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 20, 3, 286-303.