Background of the Plan
McDonald's is an American fast food company. The company was founded in the year 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald in the Californian state of USA (McDonald's, 2019). Following the purchase of the chain by Ray Kroc in the year 1955, the company's headquarter was based in Oak Brook. However, in early 2018, McDonald's global headquarters was relocated to Chicago. Currently, McDonald's ranks as the largest restaurant chain by revenue, with the company serving over sixty-nine million customers each day. McDonald's operates in more than one hundred countries, serving in more than thirty-seven thousand outlets by 2018 (McDonald's, 2019). McDonald's deals mainly in food products, becoming famous for its tasty and unique hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries, as well as chicken products. The restaurant also deals with breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts.
The McDonald's restaurant has witnessed changing tastes and preference in its consumers as more people are becoming aware of the need to maintain healthy eating habits. In turn, the company has responded towards such changes by including salads, fish, smoothies, and fruit to its menu to help in attracting and retaining its broad consumer base. McDonald has faced several lawsuits concerning its advertising approaches, which makes it more frugal. For instance, the company faced a trial in California for violating California's consumer protection law when a mother of two, represented by the Centre for Science in the Public Interest sued the corporation to stop using Happy Meals toys, as they argued that McDonald's was using the toys to lure children (Baertlein & Levine, 2010). Such claims were also similar in the UK when two Greenpeace activists involved the company in a law battle. The most recent lawsuit against McDonald was in Canada, whereby the company was sued by a Quebec father who accused the company of breaking the youth consumer protection law which prevents companies from targeting children under the age of 13 in their advertisements (Murphy, 2018).
The restaurant has been accused several times of paying its employees fewer wage rates for entry positions compared to their legal wages. In the same way, the company was accused of paying its employees fewer wages in South Korea in 2015, thereby making it frugal in its payments. As a result, several employees of the company have held strikes over pay, with the company opting to start replacing the human resource with robotics (Tae-hoon, 2015). The employees have also filed cases with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The staffs alleged that low staffing, lack of protective gear, inadequate training and pressure to work fast led to employees experiencing high cases of injuries. In this regard, the workers alleged that the company exposed them to poor working conditions.
Since McDonald is a global business with a complex operating system, the following crisis plan is established mainly for the crises that would take place in the US and would have significant effects on the headquarters at Chicago.
McDonald Crisis Communication Plan
In times of crisis within the company, it is critical for McDonald's to revert to and emphasize the company's core mission and brand values. Since McDonald aimed at maintaining a high level of commitment in keeping the customer as the priority and supporting the customers' experience of the utmost importance. It is not possible to predict with certainty the future. However, it is important for an organization to have in place a plan that outlines the correct steps to be followed in case the unexpected happens in the future. In times of the crises, it is important for the restaurant to impeccably respond to ensure that all its stakeholders' interests are maintained and saved from further damages. In this regard, the McDonald is aware that its initial stage of the crisis involves the use of a detailed implementation plan to notify the crisis team. The crisis plan established and kept in case the emergency serves three main purposes.
The three main objectives of the crisis plan are to help it in maintaining the excellent image of McDonald's, improve the two-way communication between the restaurant and both internal and external stakeholders as well as provide the evaluation of internal procedures post-crisis to improve in the future.
This plan, therefore, outlines the procedures to follow in case McDonald's headquarters is urgently shut due to natural environmental risks such as the snowstorm and the system failures which would lead to a stoppage in most of the operations. In this plan, the critical steps to be followed in the communication of the steps to be followed for the construction and communication of the message is outlined. The messages also have a timeline of when to complete necessary actions to provide an open and transparent communication channel.
This crisis plan should be preserved and reviewed semi-annually or in cases of organizational changes. Crises management requires McDonald to be proactive to ensure that the effects are mitigated.
According to Section 13-196-205 of the Chicago Building Code, Lifestyle evaluation of a building must be conducted each year and must measure three significant areas; fire safety means of egress as well as the general security. In this regard, McDonald's will engage in a rehearsal of this crisis communication plan to take place at the time that the company conducts its evaluation of the building safety. This is aimed to take place in March or April. The rehearsal will occur twice per year. Three weeks before the rehearsal, the head of the Security and Emergency Preparedness Team will instruct all VPs to have their team fire warden request that all employees update the information on the team emergency contact list, including home address and contact particulars, as well as emergency contact name and contact particulars.
Purpose and Objectives
In the McDonald's daily interactions with all stakeholders, the provision of clear, timely and concise communication has always been the top-most goal of the food company. In this case, the communication plan, therefore, aims at maintaining the positive image which will continue to sell the brand of McDonald's, establishing and maintain sophisticated and effective two-way communication with both internal and external stakeholders as well as evaluating the internal procedures post-crisis for further future improvement. As such, the plan aims at protecting the stakeholders' financial and physical interests.
Crisis Communication Cascade
The McDonald's internal communication for urgent matters is in the form of a cascade approach, whereby the initial warning through emails is sent to the senior executive. The vice presidents then are warned, who engage their teams either face-to-face or through delegation of duties depending on the size of the teams. However, if the branch of the McDonald's is located in a remote area, communication is conducted through phones...
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