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McDonald's in Hong Kong: Consumerism, Dietary Change, and th

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by Denisse Santana on 16 September 2013

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Transcript of McDonald's in Hong Kong: Consumerism, Dietary Change, and th

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
McDonald's in Hong Kong: Consumerism, Dietary Change, and the Rise of a Children's Culture
Transnationalism and the fast food industry
Eating Out: A Social History Of Consumption
Mental Categories: Snack Versus Meal

In Hong Kong hamburgers, fries, and sandwiches are known as snacks, not meals.
Stopping at fast food restaurants is ideal for socializing.
Chinese restaurants do not command a great deal of time or money from customers.
McDonald's entered the Hong Kong market as a purveyor of snacks.
Only by a younger generation is McDonald's treated as a meal.
In America we consider a hamburger as meat, in Hong Kong they only see it as bread or "Bao"
From Exotic To Ordinary: McDonald's Becomes Local
Hong Kong franchise promoted McDonald's basic menu and didn't include chinese foods.
The best selling product was fish sandwiches and hamburgers. Big macs were favored by children and teens also.
Breakfast foods were introduced in the 1980s which included hamburgers and fries, not our traditional breakfast foods. Later on they transitioned to regular breakfast items.
From 1975-1985 McDonald's was the "In" spot to associate.
The early generation of Hong Kong patrionized McDonald's because it wasn't Chinese foods.
McDonald's caught attention and became and still is today, a place with people packed wall to wall.
What's In A Smile? Friendliness And Public Service
American consumers expect to be served with a smile but in Hong Kong this friendly gesture is not a sign of honesty or openness.
Crew members were trained to treat customers with a smile and friendliness.
The traditional format of friendship known to the Hong Kong culture is based on loyalty to close associates not strangers.
Friendliness is more seen in younger Hong Kong citizens.
Hong Kong workers still make less effort to smile or behave in a manner like Americans do being friendly.
For the food business to work consumers must be educated or disciplined.
The corporation will provide cheap fast service if we the customers carry our own tray, seat ourselves, and clean up for ourselves.
Fast service is offered in exchange for speedy consumption and prompt departure.
This system has revolutionized the American food industry.
During McDonald's first decade in Hong Kong the cost of hiring extra cleaners was set by low wages.
Does the success of McDonald's and its enemies in fast food industires mean that Hong Kong's culture is under siege?
Younger generations of Hong Kong culuture are avid consumers of American foods, does this make them less "Chinese" than their elder relatives?
The people of Hong Kong have embraced American-style fast foods.
In the late 1990s Hong Kong constituted one of the world's most heterogeneous cultural enviroments.
By 1975 the idea of fast food was known.
Industries delivered mid-day meals to work places.
In the 1960s and 1970s food vendors were producing snacks and simple meals.
Speed and convenience were key in Hong Kong fast food restraunts.

Consumer Discipline?
Hovering and the Napkin Wars
When finding a place to sit at McDonalds people will hover over a table when they look like they are ready to leave.
Hovering was the norm in Hong Kong back then in regular restaurants. Now we wait to be seated whenever there is a "Please be seated" sign.
Since Hong Kong is so over populated its normal to hover or go in and find a seat first then go order your food.
In Hong Kong napkins are dispensed one at a time to save money, unlike most buffets where people can abuse those privileges and can affect profits.
Many older people liked to steal napkins and many others like to abuse public facilities, it became known as the "Napkin Wars".
Children as Consumers
Kids were expected to eat whatever was ordered for them and not be able to order for themselves.
Since McDonalds children had the opportunity to order what they wanted.
Children as young as 2 or 3 in Hong Kong now have their own taste and know what they like and dont like to eat.
McDonald's was one of the first corporations to recognize the potential of the children's market, making it possible for even the youngest consumer to choose their own food.
Kids now prefer McDonald's to dim sam or Chinese-style restaurants, which created controversy for the conservative communities in Hong Kong.
Ronald McDonald And The Invention Of Birthday Parties
It was not until the 1980's that birthdays were celebrated .
It was a very big thing in Hong Kong, any child that was anyone had to have a party.
The most popular venue of course would be McDonald's which ranked above all competitors.
McDonald's would be packed every Saturday and Sunday with birthday parties.
They even provide a party hostess and a special room called the Ronald Room where it would be held and much more.
McDonald's as a Youth Center
On weekdays McDonald's is packed with kids coming home from school to get a snack.
80% of their customers that come in late afternoons appear in school uniforms, ages ranging from 10-17.
Kids go in groups to eat snacks, hang out with friends, or even study for exams.
Managers instead of getting mad about it welcome it. They believe students create a good atmosphere which is good for business
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Video
Do you think McDonald's has had a positive or negative affect in our country?
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