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Diffusion of McDonald's

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Kathleen Robertson

on 12 March 2015

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Transcript of Diffusion of McDonald's

The Hearth
Once upon a time there lived two brothers named Maurice and Richard McDonald in a magical land called San Bernardino, California. One fine day in 1940, these two brothers decided to open up their own barbeque stand and name it "McDonald's Bar-B-Q", a slightly abstract combination of their nicknames "Mac" and "Dick". Well, as time would tell, their hamburgers were a huge hit, and it occurred to the brother's that in fact hamburgers should be their main product to sell, along with some other select items. So, in 1948, the brother's cleaned up their kitchen, and re-established themselves as "McDonald's". And that is where the world's largest fast-food franchise in history began.
McDonald's was becoming so popular they decided they needed a franchise. The next McDonald's stand to open up was in 1953 in Phoenix Arizona.
Here we move back to California in a sunny place called Downey, where the 3rd McDonald's opened in 1960.
I would love to go through the opening of every single McDonald's in history, but you would be here all night looking at this presentation, so instead let's take a look at a map of McDonald's in the U.S. by 1971.
That's right, by 1971 McDonald's had reached all 50 states of America. It had spread like wild fire throughout the U.S. So, what next?
I'll tell you what next. Just like any other fast growing restaurant chain, McDonald's needed to be introduced nationally to the rest of the world. And what better place to start than Richmond, B.C.?
This is an interesting one, as opening 20 McDonald's in Moscow is the largest agreement the Soviet Union has made with any food company, as well as the first restaurant opened in Moscow continues to be the largest McDonald's in the world, seating a whopping 700 people.
As you can see, McDonald's has spread to every continent and to over 100 countries. So, the question now is, how did it expand to vastly?
Expansion Diffusion
Contagious Diffusion
McDonald's originally diffused by spreading to locations near the hearth
started in California, the next two to open were in Alaska and California
the restaurants were popular at the hearth, so it made sense to originally expand to a places closet to the hearth where culture, geography, demographics would be similar

Hierarchial Diffusion
McDonald's s spread so quickly throughout the States, because it catered so well to Middle Class, suburban Americans living the American dream
during the beginnings of McDonald's the trend of suburbanization was growing rapidly, and McDonald's was the perfect place for suburban families to go who wanted cheap, delicious food for the whole family at a family-friendly place
because small-town America exists in many states in the U.S., it allowed for a fast-food restaurant like this to reach those far away from the hearth who lived a similar lifestyle
Stimulus Diffusion
because McDonald's is so widespread, it has had to adapt to the different cultures it enters around the world
ex. in India because of religious and cultural purposes, many people do not eat cows, which essentially rules out the standard beef patty McDonald's is famous for. So they adapted their menus to have veggie burgers
ex. in China rice is a staple food, and none of the standard McDonald's menu items involve rice, so they adapted their menu to have rice patties and rice buns
Here's a map I found comparing countries that had McDonald's from the 1940's to present.
I also find it quite amusing that in an area of the world that seems to be quite inhabited by McDonald's, North Korea has managed to remain untouched, so I thought I'd point it out
It is also notable that Africa has mainly not been infiltrated by McDonald's. This could be for a number of reasons, and it is hard to generalize for a whole continent which contains numerous diverse regions within it. However, one of the biggest reasons is that the majority of countries in Africa are developing countries, and placing McDonald's in these locations would most likely not be profitable, because people simply would not have the money to spend on going out to buy food. In many of the local villages, the people are self-supported by their own agriculture, and even then, regularly eating meat from one's farm is very rare as it is still so expensive, never mind going out to buy pre-cooked meat in a hamburger. However, this is just a generalization to try to understand the absence of McDonald's throughout the continent and in no way does it apply to every single country.
McDonald's rice burger in China
McDonald's menu modifications in India
McDonald's "Yin Yang" burgers in China
McDonald's Nurnburger in Germany
The prosperity burger in Malaysia (beef patty with black pepper sauce)
Perhaps they can name their next one "Propaganda burger"
Oreo Pineapple Mcflurry in Columbia
Noodle Bowl in Austria
Ebi- Filet-O-Shrimp Burger in Japan
McDonald's Spaghetti in the Philippines
As you can see, McDonald's restaurants all around the world have adapted their menus to cater towards the varying cultures of the people they are serving. It is widespread throughout the world and incredibly successful, all thanks to diffusion.
Hope you enjoyed becoming more familiar with the expansion of McDonalds! :)
pure bliss.
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