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McDonalization! (Sovereign of all Burger Chain) by Edwin Lawrence

In Malaysia, during festive season, most of the food court or restaurants are fully packed with enormous amount of people coming from different background and cultural identities both locals and intercontinental. Last weekend was Lunar New Year, thus my family and I took this opportunity to spend a quality of time with each other. We headed to a nearest food court in a shopping mall back in my hometown, Sungai Petani. It’s a well renowned food franchise around the globe namely Mc’Donald’s.  Predictably, the food court was crowded and more than half of the food court was filled with Chinese as it was their festive season. As usual, we tried to find for our favorite spot near the lava-glass mirror and LCD screen area. Regrettably, the area was fully booked, so we had to sit at the corners of the food court despite the fact it was too tight for a big family like us. Then my mom and I, lined up at the back of a long queue to order our meals.  After an absolute 15 minutes waiting in the queue, finally it was our turn.  We placed the order as usual and I ordered my much loved Double Cheeseburger with a Butterscotch Sundae as a desert to go with it while each of my family members ordered their own preferred meals.

At the table, while we were eating, I pondered and thought about how a food court which sells burgers as their core item could succeed in the economic world and who were the parties involved in managing this much acclaimed franchise. Apparently, it is a difficult task to run a company or a food industry without a good management. Many parties are involved, well my mind might have clouded not knowing them exactly but beyond my curiosity even my own families are involved in this corporate business as customers.  And then, I turned around to peep on the workers in the restaurant. To my eyes, I witness the cashiers, promoters, restaurant managers, cleaners, as well as drive-thru staff, each were playing their own roles so hard and efficiently in order to contribute and reign the success of its corporate franchise. As I think deeper, my thoughts were moved towards the brilliant advertisement of Mc’Donald’s. The banners were tremendous both with its catchy phrase and exciting color codes to attract the customers rather merely starkly and tedious posters. Thus, media is one of its biggest influence and contributors to the success of the company.

On the contrary, in the midst of this acclaimed corporate success, there must be losers or victims since it’s a fast food franchise where it can deteriorate the health of its consumers. Despite the fact that eating in a fancy fast food restaurant, the customers loses much more than what they spend in the restaurant. Firstly, the customers would be deluded by the remarkable visualization of its advertisement and the catchy phrases much more tempting would be the discounts. In this case, the customers have to be really smart and not to lose their minds and fall into the trap of the advertisements. Secondly, they will have to pay the required amount of tax depending on respective fiscal policy of a particular country. And thirdly, I would like to make an umbrella term called as “Consequences”. Why I say so, is because the harmfulness that will be brought by those fast food mainly on our health. Obesity is one of them. Besides that, what the society or a nation really loses is the tradition or cultural food heritage. More consumers will fail to understand and attempt to cook their own traditional food in their houses.

Mc’Donald’s has become an exemplary of globalization sometimes referred as McDonalization of its society. Ever since I was 5 years old, I knew about McDonald’s. Since then, I would say I fell in love with the fast food as the tagline goes “I’m lovin’ it”. McDonald’s has journeyed its way from 1940’s till now with gradual success along the process. This is because they have catered to local tastes and culinary traditions respect to particular laws or religious beliefs. And this is something inevitable if a corporate business demands for a prosperous growth economically. But then, history has its own good and the bad sides. Though, McDonald’s had and has been part of the phenomenon globally but with its notable expansion into many international markets, the company has become a symbol of globalization and the spread of the “American way of life”. Its fame has also made it a frequent topic of public debates about obesitycorporate ethics and consumer responsibility. So, not all successful corporate entities are abundantly excellent.

A detailed look at the massive growth of this particular fast food franchise would awaken many of its consumers. Consumers should no more call it as fast food but to consider it as a junk food and to cut down their cravings towards it as well as to sustain a healthy living lifestyle. As I am one of the so-called loyal customers, it is definitely difficult to stop at once but with a good determination and commitment, many of us can achieve what we think it is impossible. People will crave it a lot less after a while. It’s an addiction just like any other. Step it down instead of outright stopping. It is said that it takes 30 days of doing something continuously to make it a habit, so make that “habit” avoiding junk food. Trust in willpower, and when you crave it, distract yourself in some way, whether it be through drinking a bottle of water or eating a piece of fruit. As for healthier food options, why not pack your own lunches? It would much more cost efficient in the long run too. If not, an assuming you are from Malaysia, Rainbow Fruit Bowl is a good option, as it consists rainbows of fruits like watermelon, mango, papaya, pomelo, orange, and pineapple slice.

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