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Efficiency as the Most Ubiquitous Principle of McDonaldization

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The prosperity and the significant increase of fast food chains is now a correspondingly commonplace trend that symbolize the society we live in today. Society as a whole is propelled by concerns for heightened rationality, speed, and efficiency that we are able to witness in terms of the way the universally recognized fast food chain such as that of McDonald’s operates. Components such as food, packaging, and service are all devised to thrust customers at an efficient and cost worthy speed in and out of these restaurants, thus granting them a fleeting experience of the utmost modernity synonymous with contemporary society. Being able to have speed, convenience, and standardization has now replaced the desire such as that of comfortable interiors, friendly customer service, availability of options, etc. McDonalds has now extended “Far beyond its point of origin in the United States and in the fast-food business. It has influenced a wide range of undertakings, indeed the way of life, of a significant portion of the world’ (1).

In the book ‘The McDonaldization of Society’, this symbolization I mentioned earlier is further explained by author George Ritzer who describes the term McDonaldization as “the process by which the principles of the fast food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world” (1). In this regard, Mcdonaldization success has allowed the chain to grow so omnipresent, if you were to venture virtually anyplace in the world there will be a variety of instantly recognizable chain restaurants, stores, hotels, and other familiar institutions of commercial exchange. From this, a resulting effect is the increased consisty of society’s culture and life, alongside a set of rational, efficient, and impersonal principles.

McDonald’s can credit its success “because it offers consumers, workers, and managers efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control” (14). One of the most ubiquitous factors of those four, and the focus of my paper, is the principle of efficiency.

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Ritzer states that efficiency is “the optimum method from getting to one point to the other” (14), in other words, in implementing the use efficiency, businesses and organizations can constitute a multitude of tactics to create a more convenient environment for their customers. If you were to compare back to 50 years ago, life as of now is unquestionably more convenient. If we were to look from fast-food to even online classes, an individual’s demands can bet met in the most advantageous time achievable. Even though the principle of efficiency has mainly became popularized through fast-food chains and moreover, businesses who have now implemented efficiency in hopes of obtaining their share of success likewise to McDonalds. Owing to the cost effectiveness in addition with the capability to further expedite operations and customer satisfaction, a multitude of companies have acknowledged the benefits of efficiency in order to be able to establish business continuity.

Within the book, Ritzer describes the principle of efficiency and how it is a significant facet of mcdonaldization. He mentions examples in where the use of efficiency occurs from education and entertainment to hospital and even church services. Although Ritzer does not really delve into the pros and cons efficiency has on contemporary society, he acknowledged a few complications that concern the consumer. He argues that “for increasing efficiency in a McDonaldized world is to put customers to work” (70), which results in consumer restrictions and limitations. Consumers will have to customarily follow by a business’s menu and standards for improved efficiency. A case in point illustration of this is when “customers with the temerity to ask for a less well-done burger or well-browned fries are likely to cool their heels for a long time waiting for such ”exotica” (69).

Granting all this, although a multitude of businesses and organizations accordingly stand by the rules of efficiency, consumers can no longer make personalized requests to cater to their tastes. A observation of this is where the customer is required to do the work for instance, “McDonald’s came up with the slogan we do it all for you in reality at McDonald’s we the customers do it all for them” (70). In this regard, the consumer is presumably expected to wait in line, place their own order, clean their area, etc.

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Efficiency as the Most Ubiquitous Principle of McDonaldization. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Efficiency as the Most Ubiquitous Principle of McDonaldization.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022,
Efficiency as the Most Ubiquitous Principle of McDonaldization. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
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