The multinational enterprises have incorporated in their mission statement and business model the ethics and the social responsibility. McDonalds is not the exception to this trend, the company with more than 37,000 restaurants in the world have a presence in the most important cities of the world exposed to critics of citizens and non-government organizations related to the quality food and the marketing techniques. McDonalds changed its business model toward ethical behavior and to improve their economic performance.
McDonalds Corporation is the owner and franchise operator of the McDonalds restaurant in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. The company was incorporated on December 21, 1964. The company has been very successful in its business model: The Company has a standard menu of hamburgers, salads, sandwiches, desserts, and coffee, it owns the land, and the edification of the restaurants and the franchisee pays for all the equipment, employees, royalties, and capital reinvesting. The business model is used in more than seventy countries and 32,000 restaurants The number of restaurants includes the operated directly by the company and by franchisees.
. The company from 1970 until 2016 had a steady growth in the value of its stock and increased its price by ten times from 2003 The most important fall in the stock price was in 2003 after protests and restaurants closures in Europe (The Economist, 2015)
. The company has adapted very well to the requirements of the client and took the approach of its brand.
In the other hand, the company its conceived by many detractors as a junk food restaurant that is affecting the alimentation of several generations of children, teenagers and adults. McDonalds reading those comments and surveys is taking action to improve their products and their commitment to the community.
The ethics in business (Schröder & McEachern, Morven G, 2005) affects all the companies and McDonalds as a multinational company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange is not exempt from this consideration.
The McDonalds Corporation owns the most important restaurant chain in the world with more than 32,000 restaurants. Being the biggest restaurant chain, it will convert the company objective of critics around the world. Junk food, manipulation of kids through TV commercials and the representation of the United States dominance are the slogans used by the critics of the company. In the 1980's and 1990's it was very common in Europe In the Cold War period, the McDonalds restaurants were a common target of protests (Chandler, 2015)
, Latin America and other countries protest against McDonalds restaurants as a measure to criticize to the United States of America and the economic powers of the world. McDonalds saw that situation and took several measures to change the perception of the community against the company.
The company affronted the dilemma to increase grow, increase revenues and be one of the most important multinational companies McDonald's Corporation is the number 110 of Fortune 500 and 434 in the Global 500. (Fortune, 2014)
Of the world with the ethics (Carrigan & Attalla, 2001), social responsibility and the delivery of health products with his clients. To get over that dilemma McDonalds changed to change its mission, vision and objective introducing the social responsibility and ethics in its business model, changing the way the company do business and relates to its employees, providers, and clients. The company introduced seven principles that are today the basis of its Conduct and Ethics Code:
■ The client experience is its core business. The company changes its main goal to sell and deliver burgers to involve in the client experience before, during and after the restaurant visit.
■ The company is committed to its people. The company strengths the relation with its employees. That responds the argument of bad salaries and motivation lack in the workplace.
■ Strong believe in the McDonalds system. This recognizes the company's value chain from providers, employees, and clients.
■ The business is operated in an ethical way (De Blasio, 2008). The company is not only committed to respecting the national and international laws, but there is also a strong commitment to an ethical way to do businesses. The ethical way of business affects the suppliers, employees, and clients.
□ Buy local or national products reducing transport footprint and costs.
□ The use of natural and unprocessed food, avoiding the use of chemicals and ecological farming. The last case of McDonalds was the retirement from all its restaurants of antibiotic-treated chicken for ethical reasons The process will take two years from 2015 until 2017 (KESMODEL, BUNGE, & GASPARRO, 2015)
□ Work together with the suppliers to reduce the packaging and recycling incentives.
An ethical way with the clients is:
□ Give information to the clients of the nutrition facts of all its products.
□ The company adapted its original menu introducing local food.
□ The company is offering new "healthy" products as salads, natural juices and other products with fewer proteins.
An ethical way with the employees is:
□ A carrier plan for all the employees
□ Employment opportunities for disabled and special need people.
■ Community retribution: The McDonalds Corporation has a strong relation with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, a network of House Charities around the world that help kids and families with disease and drugs problems, homeless children, scholarships and other community activities in 60 countries around the world. McDonalds in the most important donor, using the organization as an instrument to show the world how the company gives to the community.
■ Revenue generation to grow the business. It is part of the ethics conduct that the only way to make the business grow is by the revenue generation.
■ Continuous improvement: Inspired in the Deming Improvement Cycle, the company has his commitment to improvement every moment and offers the best products and services.
For the company the stakeholders are not only the shareholders who owns the equity of the company, that is, more than 1676 institutions and mutual funds but, an universe of citizens, institutions, organizations, governments, employees and clients that are affected by the operations of the company and has the right to be considered by the management of the company.
In order of impact and priority, the Non-Government Organizations has a very important participation in the decision-making of the company. The quality of the food served in the restaurants, the labor conditions of their employees, the sanitary conditions of the restaurants and the food supply chain changed from the original restaurants until today thanks to the pressure of the NGO of the five continents forcing the company to change their way to do business.
The company did important changes in the past twenty years, but there are improvement opportunities for the company in all the countries where it does business:
■ Use only organic and local food: This recommendation is with the goal to be a company that is against the genetically modified foods that several Non-Government Organizations complaint of McDonalds to support, especially in United States of America and Europe. McDonalds must reinvent its menu and itself to be an organic food restaurant maintaining its seven principles of ethics and social responsibility (Strategic Direction, 2002). The principle to create an experience to the clients with tasty but healthy food without creating problems with the environment
■ Support a fitness and healthy way of living: The company must support healthy and fitness initiatives and introduce them to their products. The company must change from a place when the people can eat food and get fun to a place where the people can feed healthily and contribute to their physical development.
McDonalds Corporation is the most important franchise and operator restaurant in the world with more than 32,000 restaurants. It is one of the best performing companies in the world on the New York Stock Exchange, and it is considered by its detractors and critics to sell "junk fund" and represent the interests of the economic powers and the United States of America.
Thanks to those critics, the company evolved to have a social responsibility and ethics code which introduced important changes in the way the company makes business taking into consideration all the stakeholders of the company as the suppliers, employees, clients, governments and non-government organizations. With those changes, the company considers the ethics in business as a key to be successful in business, but there are some opportunity areas than the company must consider. The use and promotion of local and organic food and the support of a healthy and fitness way of living are the opportunity areas that the company must consider.
Carrigan , M., & Attalla, A. (2001). The myth of the ethical consumer – do ethics matter in purchase behaviour? Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 18 Iss: 7, 560-578.
Chandler, A. (2015). How McDonald's Became a Target for Protest. Obtenido de The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/setting-the-symbolic-golden-arches-aflame/390708/
De Blasio, G. G. (2008). Understanding McDonald's Among the "World’s Most Ethical Companies. EJBO - Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, Vol. 13.
Fortune. (2014). McDonald's. Retrieved from Fortune: http://fortune.com/worlds-most-admired-companies/mcdonalds-100000/
KESMODEL, D., BUNGE, J., & GASPARRO, A. (2015). McDonald’s to Curb Antibiotics in Chicken. Retrieved from Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/mcdonalds-to-curb-purchases-of-chicken-raised-with-antibiotics-1425482366
Schröder, M. J., & McEachern, Morven G. (2005). Fast foods and ethical consumer value: a focus on McDonald's and KFC. British Food Journal, 212-224.
Strategic Direction. (2002). McDonalds jumps on the CSR bandwagon. Strategic Direction, Vol. 18 Iss: 9, 8-11.
The Economist. (2015). Why McDonald’s sales are falling. Retrieved from The Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/01/economist-explains-7