Critical Analysis of McDonald’s Total Quality Management Essay Example

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3Critical Analysis of McDonald’s Total Quality Management

Critical Analysis of McDonald’s Total Quality Management

Critical Analysis of McDonald’s Total Quality Management


Started in early 1940s, McDonald is a world renowned franchising company specialized in production of fast foods such as Egg Muffin, McNuggets, and Hamburgers, among other fast food varieties. Currently, McDonald serves over 70 million customers in more than 117 countries worldwide. Such immense success comes from the company’s strategic total quality management (TQM) approaches (Wang et al. 2012, p.127). TQM approaches focus on continuous improvement of an organization by involving the potentiality of employees and success-determinant factors such as customers, benchmarking, quality circles, cycle time and six sigma aspects (Chase & Apte 2007, p.385). As such, this paper seeks to present a critical analysis of McDonald’s TQM by focusing on management requirements, supply chain management and restaurant management.

Contextual analysis

Management requirements

In the context of management requirements, first, McDonald focuses mainly on employee involvement in every aspect of the organization’s service provision to the customer. In this regard, the employees follow particular set standard operating procedures that allow timely and quality service (Qin, Prybutok & Zhao 2010, p.435). This means that the organization requires the employees to stay tidy, clean and alert when at work. Second, unlike other organizations, McDonald invests in quality training of the employees that is why the company retains professional employees. The professional employees ensure that preparation of food occurs in clean environments while wearing appropriate outfit not only to meet the health organization’s health standards, but also to increase the safety of the working environment. Third, the organization uses the qualified staff in the process of decision making. In this regard, the organization addresses the employees’ issues on a timely manner thereby increasing the employees’ confidence in the organization. Consequentially, the inclusion of the employees as part of McDonald’s family does not only motivate the employees to work hard, but also encourages them to strategically contribute to the strategic management of the company. As a result, the employees serve the customers satisfactorily which in turn increases customer loyalty (Hyun, 2010, p.264). Moreover, employees form a close relationship with the customers. Such relationships open up a route for the management to access customer feedback. This means that they act as sources of feedback on the services and products offered by McDonald. From the feedback, the management tailor-makes the products and customizes services to fit the preferences of the customers. Finally, the organization forges team work by promoting mutual interaction and communication amongst employees. According to Ashill, Rod & Carruthers (2008, p.437), team work is a key factor in the success of any business. Whereby, teamwork saves time, increases efficiency, improves employee skills and encourages hardwork. Therefore, unlike other companies, McDonald shows that employee involvement in all aspects of the business is the key to business success and the sole requirement of business management. However, the employee involvement needs guidance using set standard operating procedures to prevent employees’ laxity, low turnover, incompetence and poor service delivery (Wall & Berry 2007, p.65).

Quality management in the supply chain

Good supply chain management contributes to the success of large business organizations (Curkovic & Sroufe 2007, p.560). McDonald is one such outlet that its success depends on the effective management of the supply chain. Effective supply chain management ensures effective movement of raw materials and finished products which in turn increases the efficiency of the company. The effectiveness of the supply chain, therefore, contributes to the value of products and services that customers receive. One factor that supply chain contributes to enhance customer value is time efficiency. McDonald is one of the largest fast food chains in the United States and most of its customers operate with time. Taking in to account that most of McDonald’s customers are office workers who take snacks for lunch, time is an important factor to them. Effective supply chain ensures that materials are distributed on time to all McDonald restaurants thereby enabling customers to receive what they ordered on time. Time efficiency is one factor that McDonald has worked on to increase the value in services offered to customers (Qin, Prybutok & Zhao 2010, p.425).

Distribution is also another important component of the supply chain. Effective distribution ensures that goods are delivered on time. McDonald is famously known for its quality food and effective distribution is one of the factors contributing to such. McDonald uses its effective distribution to ensure that fresh supplies are delivered into each of its restaurants. This in turn enables the restaurants to deliver fresh food products to their consumers every time. Fresh and quality food enhances customer value and in turn creates loyal customers (Hyun 2010, p.155). Distribution also ensures that fresh products are distributed to some of the largest retailers on daily basis. This helps to maintain the fresh quality of McDonald food products at retail stores thereby enhancing customer value.

Good supply chain management also ensures proper information flow between the producer and the consumer. Many successful organizations have used information flow to enhance the value of services and products they offer to their customers. McDonald use this approach to respond to customer preferences. It is not possible for all preferences to be implemented but most of them completely ensure that customer value is enhanced according to their preferences.

Quality management in the restaurant

TQM ensures that McDonald handles its operation with one specific goal of enhancing and maintaining good customer value. Through this particular approach, McDonald is striving in every way to ensure that its customers receive quality services which in turn enhances customer value (Ashill, Rod & Carruthers 2008, p.440). McDonald’s quality management team ensures this by focusing on the customer as the central element. Putting the customer in the center ensures that all resources are channeled into satisfying the customer’s needs. As evident in McDonald, all their employees have been prepared to handle customers effectively and ensure that quality services are delivered. This on the positive side ensures that customers receive good value for what they paid for.

Another possible way that McDonald uses to ensure that customer values are achieved is through continuous improvement of both products and service delivery. This ensures that they stay abreast with the competition while at the same time offering complete customer satisfaction. Trends in fast food enterprises change with time and more so in lifestyles. People are becoming more health conscious and are changing the amount of calories they take based on the activities they are doing. McDonald, therefore, utilizes this segment of continuous improvements to ensure that customers receive quality services on most of the occasions (Namkung & Jang 2008, p.144). This is done as the company tries to introduce new diets with the specific number of calories that the clients ordered. Another strategy that ensures quality service provision is through benchmarking. As part of the management team, it is important to benchmark what the other top players are doing to stay ahead of the game. This is done by the quality assurance team in order to receive new ideas that can help on what customers prefer and what can be done to enhance service quality (Gazzoli, Hancer & Park 2010, p. 60). All these factors are availed in the McDonald due to their strong employee etiquette. McDonald depends highly on its employees who are well trained to deliver quality services.


In conclusion, this paper presented a critically analysis of McDonald’s TQM by focusing on management requirements, supply chain management and restaurant management. As such, employee involvement in all aspects of the business including the management of supply chain and restaurant proved as the key factor that determines quality service delivery, customer loyalty, work safety, work profitability and positive customer feedback. This means that, according to Mc Donald, the satisfaction of the employees pronounces the satisfaction of the customers.


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Wang, CH, Chen, KY & Chen, SC 2012, ‘Total quality management, market orientation and hotel performance: the moderating effects of external environmental factors,’ International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 119-129.