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Mcdonaldization of society 2

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Mcdonaldization of society 2

The McDonaldization of:

If you have ever had a meal in a restaurant (fast-food/formal dining), used an ATM in a bank, spent your vacation at an amusement park or simply browsed through a mall, you have been exposed to McDonaldization. McDonaldization is 'the process by which the principles of the fast food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of America society as well as the rest of the world' (Ritzer, 1996, 1). Nearly ever aspect of today's society has been affected by McDonaldization including the restaurant business, education, work, healthcare, travel, leisure, dieting, politics and the family (Ritzer, 1996, 1). I observed three East Side Mario's Restaurant's establishments while the dinner menu was being served on Saturday evenings between 6pm and 8pm to evaluate the ways in which McDonaldization has affected their company. On January 29th I visited East Side Mario's in London, Ontario, on February 19th I visited East Side Mario's in Plano, Texas (I used to hold a job as a server at this location) and on February 26th I visited East Side Mario's in Orange, California. With the diversity of locations I was able to observe, I compared and contrasted many angles of the East Side Mario's concept. East Side Mario's Restaurants Inc. is one of the millions of business' that has implemented the four principles of McDonaldization, which are: efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control.

With the assistance of Bernard Platt, Vice President of Marie Callender's Pie Shops, Inc., former Vice President of East Side Mario's Restaurant, Inc., I will offer a condensed presentation of East Side Mario's history to get you familiar with the business. East Side Mario's Restaurants, Inc., is a wholly owned division of Marie Callender's Pie Shops, Inc. In 1987 a partnership of restauranteurs developed the ESM (for the remainder of this case study I will us the initial ESM to refer to East Side Mario's Restaurants, Inc.) concept in North Miami, Florida featuring the excitement and energy of a New York City street festival, a blend of outstanding American and Italian food, a place where families felt welcome and comfortable offering exceptional value. Today operating as a separate division of Marie Callender's Pie Shops, Inc., there are a total of 38 American restaurants ' 11 corporate and 27 franchise ' and there are over 80 ESM restaurants in The United States and Canada.

Efficiency is the first dimension of McDonaldization and 'the optimum method for getting from one point to another' (Ritzer, 1996, 9). The parking lot allows ample amount of parking space for customers, including handicapped spaces directly in front of the building for efficient accessibility. The restaurant offers delivery to those who would like to spend their dinner in the comfort and convenience of their own homes. There is a small server to customer ratio to provide the best service expected throughout a customer's meal. A kid's bambino menu is offered for children to enjoy less expensive meals that suit their size, along with a separate lunch menu that offers smaller portions for a lighter meal. Happy Hour items are offered at certain hours for a quick snack fix, providing just enough time to satisfy your thirst with a favorite drink. Customers can pay with cash or credit card, whichever is more convenient for them.

To streamline the process of the kitchen work ESM simplified pasta dishes (their biggest items) to take only minutes to cook very large quantities. All employees have specialized jobs to divide the work load/streamline, including: host's/hostess', bartender's, server's, cook's, dishwasher's, salad bar attendant's, cleaning staff, cocktailer's and management.

To simplify the product the menu is limited and specializes in American/Italian food. They offer easy, quickly made finger food appetizers and unlimited soup/salad and bread which is prepared in just seconds.

ESM puts you, the customer, to work the minute you walk into the restaurant. Their may or may not be a host/hostess at the front. In the place of service staff you will definitely find a horn on a taxi stand so that a customer may call for service to the front immediately when they would like to be seated. Take-out boxes are available for the customer to take any leftovers home with them. However there is a catch, the box is merely dropped by the table and the customer is expected to put away their own leftovers. The employees and customers of ESM function efficiently together to produce a profit for the business and satisfy the customer.

The second dimension of McDonaldization, calculability, is 'an emphasis on the quantitative aspects of products sold (portion size, cost) and service offered (the time it takes to get the product)' (Ritzer, 1996, 9). Servers are paid $6.85/hr in Canada and $2.15/hr in The United States. The rest of their money comes from tips so if they expect to take home cash they will have to work to their greatest ability and place their wages in the hands of the customers. Management usually recruits minorities to work the back of the house because they will work hard for little pay.

Emphasizing quantity over quality is an important aspect of calculability. With any entr'e unlimited homeloaf and soup or salad is offered. For the bar flies free peanuts are always out in buckets for all to enjoy. Specials and promotions occur seasonally, like 15-cent wings on Tuesdays.

Bigger is seen as better and ESM has conformed to this idea, establishing this illusion with many of its menu items. Large plates are used to serve most meals and give the idea of large portions, with options of three different sides on dinner items.

Customers expect quick and accurate service, which ESM has provided by reducing the processes of production to numbers. To promise quick service, the server will initially take a drink/appetizer order to ensure that you as a customer receive prompt service immediately. The bread is brought out before the meal to snack on and give just enough time for transition to the main course. Customers do not like to sit in a restaurant without something in front of them. Each item on the menu has a preparation time, which is followed by the staff so customers can expect their food to be promptly served. ESM has successfully involved an emphasis on quantification.

As the third dimension of McDonaldization, predictability, gives 'the assurance that their [a company's] products and services will be the same over time and in all locales' (Ritzer, 1996, 10). ESM has establishments across Canada and The United States and no matter where you go you can expect the same service and quality in each and every store. The logo is a familiar sign that represents a promise.... the same meal and experience you had at any other ESM.

Every store that is built is a replicate of the previous one. The layout of each restaurant is similar, limiting the dining area to all non-smoking and only the bar area has smoking. The same colors are dominant in each store: red, green and white. The immediate feeling you will get when walking inside is that of a New York street with replica's of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Scallero Bros. and Costello's Markets (trademarks of ESM).

Interaction between the employees and customers is scripted and predictable at each visit to the restaurant. The customer is seated, informed of specials, drink/appetizer orders are taken, bread, soup and salad are brought before the meal, entrees are served with the offering of cheese or pepper, a desert menu is presented, dishes are cleared from the table and the check is presented and paid for. ESM provides each of its employees with a handbook that outlines server etiquette. The employees are expected to have the mindset of 'the customer is always right' which should convince the customer with the notion 'I'll be back'.

Employee behavior is predictably the same. The staff wears the same casual uniform at each restaurant with a rountinized order of operations. You can always expect to have your server offer you fresh ground pepper or parmesan cheese. With respect to birthdays a desert of choice is presented with the East Side Mario's famous birthday song.

The menu remains the same, introducing new items on promotion once in a while, producing the same predictable products. People expect to have the garlic homeloaf with unlimited soup and salad. The routine, uniformity and systematization of operations in ESM prove that predictability has been achieved.

The fourth dimension of McDonaldization is 'increased control and the replacement of human with nonhuman technology' (Ritzer, 1996, 101). ESM has integrated all forms of technology to better their establishment. From the fountain pop dispenser to timed broilers and appliances, every process is controlled by some sort of automation.

Under control is both the product and process of the business. The menu continually remains the same, limiting the items for customers to choose from. The Micros system is used to input orders which will be sent to the back of the house, organize each table's order and have the food out and arranged according to the server's timing. Server's and bartender's are expected to id all customers who look as though they are under the age of 30 for alcoholic beverages.

In regards to controlling customers, the guest is expected to honk the horn to get the attention of employees to serve them. If there is a wait a pager is given out to customers to be buzzed at the soonest opportunity a table opens up. When the customer is through with a meal, the check is brought promptly to encourage them to leave and allow the next table to be sat. A tip percentage is required for parties of 8 or more to ensure that the time spent on larger parties will be well rewarded in wages. Nonhuman technologies that have been implemented into ESM operations control the nature of the business.

The irrationality of rationality is recognized as the fifth dimension of McDonaldization. This is the downside of McDonaldization emphasizing the basic idea that 'rational systems inevitably spawn irrational consequences', 'serve to deny human reason' and 'are often unreasonable' (Ritzer, 1996, 13). In regards to efficiency people ...

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Keywords: the mcdonaldization of society 20th anniversary edition, the mcdonaldization of society 20th anniversary edition pdf, ritzer 2004 the mcdonaldization of society, is mcdonaldization good for society, what is an advantage of the mcdonaldization of society

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