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Background of topic

Discuss about Positive And Negative Aspects Of The Mcdonaldized Hospitality And Tourism Industry In The 21st Century.

Background of topic

McDonaldization is considered as the process through which fast food restaurant principles dominate a various sector of society (Kellner, 1999). Ritzer had mentioned that McDonald is termed as the trademark or either the role model for different organizations of food supply for providing the quality and excellent food services to the customers (Lockwood, Medlik & Muller, 2001). McDonaldization holds the common points that are linked with Taylorism that only bring changes in American culture, but even bring change in global culture. McDonaldization is also used in many organizations like kinder care, Toys R, USA Today, Bookstores, and many other companies (Lockwood, Medlik & Muller, 2001). McDonald is famous due to its quality food and service, customer service, decisions, management techniques and business controllability. The five key factors on which the concept of McDonaldization relies predictability, efficiency, control, and calculability (Lockwood, Medlik & Muller, 2001).

Efficiency-this method is adopted through McDonald for the meeting the objective such as attaining high profit through spending less effort and budget (Hartley, 1995). The key point of enhancing the efficiency is depicting the interest that is beneficial for customers like a drive by food, serve on your own, and supermarkets, etc. Lastly, the customers do for themselves, which was earlier done by companies (Lockwood, Medlik & Muller, 2001). Efficiency could be attained through maintaining the rules and regulations of the enterprise.

Calculability- it is explained in the context of quantity in the context of items and services offered to the customers within the stipulated time. As per McDonaldization, the volume is considered as equal to the quality and the right way in that the services is offered by the customers (Lockwood, Medlik & Muller, 2001).

Predictability- McDonald provides the predictability with the tender to provide the similar items and services all-round the year (Bryman, 2004). It’s a process to build the structured environment through quality services by the year. It mentions that the burger that is sold at the outlet in the UK need to have the similar taste while eating at the American store (Lockwood, Medlik & Muller, 2001). The staff working in the company, and the one following the McDonaldization are predictable and follows the rules and regulations given by the enterprise (Ritzer, 1996).

Control- Control is considered as the technique that follows the McDonaldization through which the employees are given pre-instructions to complete specific tasks, in which few are standing at the counter of cash and deals with the money and orders that are not made by selling the burgers, and there are few who make the burgers and are not permitted to stand at the counters of cash (Lockwood, Medlik & Muller, 2001). This type of working of staff is monitored by the managers in particular stores (O'Neill, 1999). Organizations that make use of technology in the process of McDonaldization supports in serving the customers in a consistent way (Martin, 1991).

Efficiency, Predictability, Control, and Calculability

The theme statement of the essay is to analyse the positive and negative aspects of McDonaldization in the hospitality and tourism industry in the 21st century.

McDonaldization is the rationalization process that is taken to the extreme level. Rationalization is referred as the sociological term, which implies the substitution of logical consistency for the traditional rules and regulations (Ytreberg, 2001). On the essential aspect of the McDonaldization is that all the tasks could be rationalized (Poynter, 2002).

Critical analysis of the positive and negative aspects of the McDonaldized hospitality and tourism industry in the 21st Century

The basic picture drawn through various travel authors is that people think to go and experience something that is quite ordinary and gains tourism experience to some degree, which covers up the features that try to generate the tourist gazes, which is variant from the day to day experiences left by the tourism. Ytreberg (2001) argues that despite for searching strange things, various other components of the tourist experience production might go familiar to the visitor, to make them feel comfortable (Ytreberg, 2001).

The combination of known and familiar along with unknown and unfamiliar within the society is related to Ritzer and Liska; that is named as McDonaldization, and the same is attained through the modern viewpoint, that is” McDonaldization of society (Yeganeh, 2011). George Ritzer mentions that the world is becoming increasingly more calculable, efficient, dominated and predictable as the same is controlled by the non-human technologies (Ytreberg, 2001). The most interesting aspect in our case is to understand how the tourism is increasing more and more McDonaldized (Ritzer, 1998). If the concept of McDonald is manifested through the society rationality in general terms, Disney could be represented in the tourist industry (Ytreberg, 2001).

Ritzer and Liska consider the theme parks of Disney being the key contributor in coming up with McDonaldization principles in the tourism sector (Ritzer, 2007). Therefore, they produced the actual phenomenon such as McDisneyization of the hospitality and tourism industry. The influence creates by the theme park of Disney in the tourism sector as per Ritzer, and Liska had led the McDonaldization in the less part of travel (Ytreberg, 2001). They refer the McDisneyizing in the examples like an amusement park, casinos, cruise ships, and theme parks and they even argue over the fact that tourist attractions increasingly tries to embrace the McDonaldization principles such as predictability, calculability, non-human technologies and efficiency (Ytreberg, 2001).


Tipurić (2002) had studied that the Disney theme park case of using the McDonaldization process and discovered it is quite similar. The theme park of Disney is quite efficient and is even handled through numerous visitors (Tipurić, 2002). They had even set cost and packed tour that to certain extent tries to ensure about the visitors to particular calculability level, as the signs try to indicate about how long one could expect to wait at the specific attraction (Bruenderman, 2009). With the weekly or day to day passes that cover up rides going inside the park and the high standards of cleaning including the animal dropping cleaning, visitors often try to avoid all the unpleasant surprises and therefore, the park is entirely predictable (Ritzer, 2002). The accomplishment of technologies in the theme park is various (Tipurić, 2002).

The rides and attractions are quite electronic and mechanical, and even the performance of human being are highly controlled by the techniques of non-human like lip synchronizing (Ursell, 2003). Anyone who had visited the theme park of Disney will be reluctant to agree with every component of Bryman analysis (Tipurić, 2002). By the theme parks are rationalized, however, it often seems to appear the inefficient and irrational due to the attractions of a long line (Can-Seng, 2002). The most expensive restaurants often take a risk in making the vacations incalculable and don’t mention about all the additional offers of the toys and gifts. It implies that due to the incalculability, the visit might go unpredictable (Tipurić, 2002). As it is worth mentioning that today tourism had moved from the post-modernism to modernism. Although, Najam, Runnalls & Halle (2007) consider the package tour for inflexible standardized to get reduced that are in opposition towards the claim of tourism of McDonaldization.

Ritzer and Liska find Urry in the context of change through rigid towards flexible, but not package tours. They think that there is a shift in the flexibility level offered in the package tours, who even believe in McDonaldization (Najam, Runnalls & Halle, 2007). The reason behind why the tourism fails inflexibility is because most of the vast society are mcDonaldized. The example that is used is related to standardized food, which tries to ensure about the tourist having the familiarity and predictability level (Najam, Runnalls & Halle, 2007).

It can be easily argued that all the above aspects, which add in the dehumanising tourism character, is the central point of McDonaldization of the industry of tourism and hospitality disagree with the MacCannell that even depict about how the travelling is related with experiencing the unfamiliar as well as new things that are linked to authenticity quest (Najam, Runnalls & Halle, 2007). They can argue that the concept of McDonaldization is quite challenging, and the underlying reason is tourism, and its authenticity fails to exist (Erik, 1988).

Importance and core definitions

Therefore, McDonaldized tourism often signifies the idea of homogeneity that goes in contrast with the specialized niche tourism, which depicts about diversity (David, 1997). Ritzer and Liska often argue over the fact that more niche tourist items are provided, and still they believe in McDonaldization (Najam, Runnalls & Halle, 2007). They had realized that the future exists in whether the industry will be able to spread in the niche markets. They are even highly convinced that people will also continue to visit places and travel within niche markets (MacCannell, 1989). They are even convinced that most of the people will either visit or go to places just for leisure, and yet they try to acknowledge about virtual touring in the context of visiting such as the internet (Najam, Runnalls & Halle, 2007).

Benefits of McDonaldization

There are four factors, which explained the concept of McDonaldization and indicate that this complete process is mainly used for offering the better services as well as quality food (George, 1993). It’s mentioned by Robert Samuelson, who is the Economic Columnist that the objectives of the structural business model explain about McDonaldization and even claim that the McDonald is the best restaurant that could easily place the goals of McDonaldization all over the globe (Smart, 1999). Organizations even embraced that the concept of McDonaldization holds various positive impact and customers attain the better options that are in wide range of items and services, such as:

A wide range of services and products that are readily made available to the customers along with different options and choices (Benjamin, 1968).

Availability of all the favourite items under a single roof (Smart, 1999).

Product and service uniformity by the companies that embrace the McDonaldization.

Expensive food goods and services that are easily made affordable by people

Enhancement in organization efficiency

Better quality, service, and enhancement in profits (Smart, 1999).

Negative Aspects

Differentiation in Culture happens due to the changes taking place within the society, intercommunication between two people, culture or group, and changes taking place in the lifestyle of individuals (McManus, 1994). Cultures often get a change in the context of changes in technology, politics, and ideas. Tourism importantly create influence on the changes that are induced by the contact among the societies of differing cultures. Tourism plays a significant role in transforming the culture (McManus, 1994).

As per McManus (1994), tourist are viewed as the medium for bringing change in culture. Widening of cultural components like a drink, ideas, and food that impact the culture is known as diffusion of culture. The cultural elements that get change due to the dissemination of culture are food, languages, music selection and various other (McManus, 1994). As per McNair (1997), demands of customers and requirements are changing continuously due to the pressure for business and for the personal entertainment taking place in the tourism industry, which is becoming day to day part of the person (McNair, 1997).

Critical analysis of the positive and negative aspects of the McDonaldized hospitality and tourism industry in the 21st Century

Diffusion of culture is used for the purpose of explaining the few common factors existing among two cultures, but the same is also criticized (Keith, 1999). Although this concept is mainly applied in discussing the culture similarities, the same could be criticized to imply in different cultures for understanding, whether it’s capable of development or it’s competent for cultural diffusion (Taylor & Lyon, 1995). Although the concept of McDonaldization is mainly used for bringing the two cultures, which hold certain negative aspects related to the theory in the 21st century (John, 1990). McDonaldization supports in improving the cultures in various nations through different cultural components like drink, food, and clothes, but the same can change the country's cultural tradition that impacts the evolution of people mind-set, in which people often try to adapt the new traditions and cultures by dropping the age-old customs and traditions (Taylor & Lyon, 1995).

As mentioned by Taylor & Lyon (1995), the ideas and techniques are mainly used for minimizing the prices and for enhancing the manufacturing industry efficiency, but this method could be highly undesirable for all the service providers (Taylor & Lyon, 1995). As per Turner (2006), all the internal problems only try to give birth to all the increasing inefficiencies, such as it provide fast growth to all the fast food restaurants that enhance the health problems of the customers and even impact the environment (Turner, 2006).

Ritzer (2004) also adopt issues, which link with quality and services affecting the hotel industry. Ritzer failed in addressing all the adverse impact of American society efficiency, as did by many other scholars. In many articles produced by the business and economics college, professors had claimed that outsource jobs by efficient market had limited the ability of job, skills and performance (Ritzer, 2004).

An example of same could be viewed by staff of McDonald, who cook and prepare the food in the assembly line, in which staff is highly limited in the functions of the job. For example, the food dresser implies the food condiment, where else other people tries to wrap and build the food (Schlosser, 2001). In this manner, McDonald works to reduce the responsivities of food, so that staff of restaurant does multi-tasking and even remove the experience of learning through remaining humans at the cost (Roland, 1992). While this seems to appear to be quite active through the formulating process and products into more efficient for all the customers, and the same might leave a negative impact on staff members (Schlosser, 2001). For example, Walmart and Kroger, in which staff holds an opportunity to buy the products at the self-serve kiosk that might affect the employees in a negative way. Jobs that look healthy for individuals could now be easily done by the computers (Schlosser, 2001). It reduces the chances of human errors in the transactions and tries to create the short line, and even make life more efficient for the buyers. It also minimizes the jobs for the people and even limits staff duties (Schlosser, 2001).

While consumers and businesses view the positive impact on the modern society, but Bruenderman, who is a professor believe this thing to be contrary (Emiko, 1997). Efficiency had led to fast pace society, in which people can easily attain what they want in less time and that too with fewer efforts (Schlosser, 2001). Although these things make the life quite easier, the same might look negative in the long term. It includes offering the limited opportunities, outsourcing of jobs, providing creativity to staff, and replace the human jobs with the technology. From fast food restaurants, shopping centres, open heart surgery, people in America are accustomed to reside in the fast lane (Schlosser, 2001).

Individuals can quickly move to a grocery store for the purpose of microwaveable, food, made to order, frozen or either with the support of efficiency and technology (Mike, 1990). However, the question is what does this implies for the economy and job market? With various jobs that are taken by the computers, robots and outsourcing, this thing had given a boost to McJobs, which implies low-paying jobs, including little skill, which affords not significant advancement in opportunity (Smart, 1999). It creates one question, which affects the efficiency of the future society and individual ability to cope up with the regressing market of the job.

While the one who accept the arguments about cultural imperialism often stress over the negative impact of McDonaldization over the local customs, and in this way, we should not forget that the McDonaldized system imperialism comes with numerous advances in the local way of completing the things (Smart, 1999). For instance, in Taipei and Hong Kong, McDonald had invented virtual cleanliness and had even served as the catalyst to improve the conditions of sanitary at various restaurants of the city (Smart, 1999).

While one argues in the context of the position related to cultural imperialism in the context of McDonaldization, it is not possible to provide the single generalization, which applies to all the nations. For instance, In Korea, similar to other East Asian countries, there exist long history related to anti-Americanism and there exist a fear among the people of Korea to encroach Americanism and then lost their identity of Korean (Smart, 1999). Therefore, one can try to anticipate about the formidable opposition, but still, McDonaldization had spread in many nations (Smart, 1999).

Finally, there exist a significant threat from the existing indigenous culture, but there are many counterexamples, which clearly depict that McDonaldization had contributed to the local traditions revitalization (Arjun, 1996). For instance, fast food restaurants had increased in Taipei, as the same had supported in revealing of traditional food like betel nuts. In the book, Jihad vs. McWorld, written by Benjamin Barber 1995 argues over the point of McWorld Enhancement along with the local fundamentalist movement development (Benjamin, 1995).


McDonaldization of the society is referred as the theory that is mainly used by various fast food restaurants or organizations for the purpose of offering the globalized and for providing the quality food as well as services. Societies make a change as per the cultural components through making massive changes while adopting the nation culture. It could be viewed that differentiation in culture often occurs due to the reason of cultural homogenisation, in which companies originate through various cultures, and they even try to develop the different nations, which were inherited from different cultures; therefore they bring the changes within the culture in different countries. 


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