[Video] McDonald’s: Entrepreneurship in Fast Food

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Entrepreneurship is technically defined as “balancing risks and rewards to create entirely new sources of value and wealth.”

But, is entrepreneurship just for Silicon Valley start-ups?

Despite its size, McDonald’s has successfully sustained the same kind of enthusiasm, passion and teamwork that defined its humble, entrepreneurial beginnings.  It has accomplished this through an enduring commitment to implement the Mindset, Mandate and Model, or “3Ms”, of Entrepreneurship.

First, McDonald’s promotes the right MINDSET that promotes the idea of employees becoming independent franchise owners. With underlying cultural principles, such as “In business for yourself, but not by yourself”, McDonald’s creates an “entrepreneurial spirit” where prospective franchisees are empowered and encouraged to make the risk/reward tradeoffs that can result in their becoming a business owner.

Second, by creating formal financial incentives and rewards for creating new sources of value and wealth, the company has granted an explicit  “MANDATE” for employees and franchisees to engage in corporate entrepreneurial activities. This principle has resulted in many of the company’s most iconic menu items—like the Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish and the Egg McMuffin— being created by franchisees outside of the corporate entity.

Finally, by organizing around individual, team, group and enterprise level entrepreneurial activities, McDonald’s has deployed the right entrepreneurial MODEL. For example, at the enterprise level, the company’s worldwide franchise model itself is inherently entrepreneurial. Through this structure, the corporate entity enables independent franchisees to purchase and operate new or existing restaurants under mutually beneficial terms. With more than 80% of its worldwide restaurants owned and operated by franchisees, this entrepreneurial model is not a “side-show…it is fundamental to the success of the company.

By successfully implementing the 3Ms of Entrepreneurship, McDonald’s has effectively combined the resources of the corporate entity with the entrepreneurial spirit of employees and franchisees.  By taking these deliberate steps, McDonald’s has created a unique “I’m lovin’ it” corporate environment that positions the company, its employees and its franchisees for sustained growth for decades to come.

About the Author:

As co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of Opptiv, Wayne Simmons was previously the Global Head of Service Delivery for The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center.  As a thought leader, change agent and an expert experience strategy consultant, he led a team dedicated to delivering the legendary ethos, practices and systems of the Ritz-Carlton brand for client organizations across industries. Wayne leverages the principles of Horst Schulze, Cofounder of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and creator of that brand’s legendary reputation for service excellence and customer-centric culture. As a Trusted Advisor working at the intersection of HR, CX and C-Suite leaders, Wayne coaches, trains and consults with businesses and brands on their journeys to maximize customer growth, loyalty and attain competitive advantage through service excellence and customer experience culture, leadership and operations.

This article was informed by personal experiences as the Global Head of Service Delivery at The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center and working with businesses and brands on their must urgent customer and service challenges.

About Opptiv:

 What to learn more?  Check out our services page.

Opptiv is the Service Excellence Consultancy. We help businesses and brands win through service excellence culture, customer-centricity and exceptional customer experience. Unique in the industry, we take a playbook approach to help clients achieve business outcomes at enterprise scale. We start by applying Design Thinking to activate leaders and engage frontline talent in the co-creation of purposeful culture platforms and unique service propositions that all levels can understand, embrace and hold each other accountable for. We then create brand-aligned playbooks to document the underlying elements of the culture as actionable guidance, practices and function-specific “plays”. Finally, we use these playbooks to inform the internal communications and tailored training needed to align, integrate, reinforce and sustain service excellence across all parts of the business.

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