McDonaldization and Starbuckization

February 19, 2010
Posted by: Chad M. Gesser
Twitter: @profgesser
Email: chad.gesser@kctcs.edu
“I’ll have a Big Mac, Filet of Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries..icy Coke, Big Shake, Sundae, and Apple Pie…”–yeah, I didn’t need to Google that to find the lyrics, that was from memory.
That was a popular “nursery rhyme” when I was younger, a chippy jingle by McDonald’s that served its purpose: to lure me in like the sad fast food sap that I am.
I’m sure you can relate, but what is it that can be made of this “McDonaldization of Society”?  George Ritzer uses McDonald’s as the primary example to illustrate the modernization of society, a move from cultures built on tradition to cultures that are mechanized and highly organized.
The principles that Ray Kroc used to build his food empire have been modeled in businesses from motor companies to coffee: 1. efficiency, 2. predictability, 3. uniformity, and 4. control.  Look at the pervasiveness of both McDonald’s and Starbucks in the world.  This graph dates back to 2003, so imagine the extent this pervasiveness has grown over the past seven years. Notice the profit versus the gross domestic product of Afghanistan.
To what extent have these principles of economic productivity spilled over into the various groups and institutions by which we associate in daily life?  How has the fast food culture come to characterize how we live?
Ritzer built on his ideas surrounding McDonaldization and provides an updated and extended version of his analysis with the concept of Starbuckization.  Hear some of Ritzer’s thoughts on the role and influence of Starbucks as a global business chain at the video below.
Ritzer mentions his focus on structures.  How do businesses and the models they employ promote efficiency, predictability, uniformity, and control?  Why are these important in terms of profit?  How do the business structures affect employee productivity?  How do they affect creativity?  Innovation?  Morale?  In what ways is a highly organized bureaucracy good or bad?


  1. Chapter 4: McDonaldization and Starbuckization
    30 points

    1. How do businesses and the models they employ promote efficiency, predictability, uniformity, and control? (10 points)
    Efficiency models how quick the food is prepared, the way the food is served, and how one full meal is put into one sandwich. Efficiency also models how the cleanup is operated in most fast food we the people clean up ourselves. Predictability models how food is prepared. Most food is all prepared the same way using the same recipes. Uniformity deals with uniform meals. The same meal every time. Mass production also deals with uniformity, You get the same cheese meat and containers every time. Control deals with being simple. The food is cook at the same temperature every time the machines are also timed for certain foods. Just like the cook machines you can push a button for the size drink you are felling and it feels it up without running over.

    2. Why are these important in terms of profit? (5 points)
    These are important in terms of profit because it keeps everything thing organized and the same. If a person loves the big mac hamburgers, they want it the same way every time they order it no matter who cooks it. As long as everything is uniform the people are happy.

    3. How do the business structures affect employee productivity? How do they affect creativity? Innovation? Morale? (10 points)
    The productivity of the employees will always be the same, there is no need for improving, which doesn’t let anyone stand out and do a better job. It should be done the same way every time, fast and convenient. There is no need for creativity and innovation. Everything needs to be the same no creativity is need. Everything is already uniform, just do the job and go home. There is really no morale either for the employees because doing a good job is doing the same thing everyday right. You can’t get a pat on the back for creativity because you opinion doesn’t count.

    4. In what ways is a highly organized bureaucracy good or bad? (5 points)
    Well I believe it’s good because it is usually very profitable and brings in money and it keeps things uniform. But on the other hand, it also gives too much power. It’s just like Wal-Mart you can get everything there you need, and everyone goes there. It’s like they almost own us they get all of our money.

  2. of course when you dont have time to cook, fastfoods would always be the best option ,-`

  3. I’d have to check with you here.Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think.Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  4. For me mcdonaldazation,coca colonization and starbuckization are the types of neo colonialism for it undermine the crea

  5. I just think it’s among the most paramount information I believe. And additionally i’m lucky examining a document. Although will want to thoughts within variety of typical elements, The site model is right, all the articles is generally fantastic.

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