Cross-Cultural Perspectives McDonald’s is one of the largest and most recognizable fast food restaurants around the world. McDonald’s clearly stands out with its bright, large yellow sign with the letter, “M.” The symbol of McDonald’s can easily attract people to McDonald’s because of its effective and efficient method of preparing and serving meals in a timely manner. McDonald’s went from just one store in 1955 in California to 36,000 restaurants across the world (McDonald’s, 2015). The culture of McDonald’s stretches far and beyond the borders of America. Throughout the world, McDonald’s is known for its fast service, standardized menu, and products. In 1996, McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in New Delhi, India and since then has built 89 additional restaurants across India (McDonald’s, 2015). McDonald’s became one the first American companies to introduce the concept of fast food service to India. In doing so, McDonald’s was forced to study the Indian market and culture to implement new products into its standardized menus.
Initially, McDonald’s received a lot of criticism from India because of the vast cultural differences that existed between the two. India was very skeptical if McDonald’s would be a successful and accommodating company because of the primarily dominant hamburger menu. Most Indians do not consume beef due to religious preferences and were concerned about whether or not McDonald’s would support Indian customs. Even though, McDonald’s products and current business strategies contradicted with Indian ethics and traditions, McDonald’s made necessary modifications to its social responsibility and made compromises to reduce the cross cultural differences.
McDonald’s Cultural Issues in India: Food preferences
It was very important for McDonald’s to consider the life choices of the Indian population and the religious preferences. Hindu, is the major religion of India and Hindu religion prohibits the consumption of beef. McDonald’s would not be successful in India if it did not make the necessary business and ethic changes of eliminating beef from its menu. McDonald’s addressed the issue by experimenting and implementing chicken, bean, and potato patties to replace the standardized McDonald’s hamburger menu. Before the first restaurant opened in India, McDonald’s addressed the cultural differences and concerns by creating a menu that only serves vegetarian and non-vegetarian food without the beef. When McDonald’s finally introduced its first restaurant in India, another consideration that needed focus was the overall taste of the food. McDonald’s has an almost standardized taste for its products that may appear tasteless or bland for most of the Indian population. Indian food changes drastically across the different regions of India but the majority of the dishes are all based on rich flavors and full of spices. Indian food is unique and stands out because each dish looks and tastes completely different from another. McDonald’s would need to perfect a menu that appeals to the tastes of Indians. McDonald’s improved its standardized menu by incorporating spices and more Indian food culture into its menu. In addition to addressing customer food preferences in India, McDonald’s designed kitchen sections in its restaurants to keep vegetarian and non-vegetarian food separated. By addressing the conflicting issues between McDonald’s and Indian culture further elaborates on McDonald’s efforts to adapt to the different restaurant locations and its local markets.
McDonald’s Cultural Issues in India
India is still considered a developing country as it has only won its independence from British rule about 60 years ago. Therefore, India is a young country that still has an old culture embedded into its core. Also, India is a large country with a very diverse population, each region has its own distinct customs, traditions, and food preferences. The older Indian