Advantages cheap, widely available, quick
Disadvantages unhealthy, dubious ethics
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McDonalds have tried to revitalise their unhealthy image. Despite introducing salads, this hasn’t been that successful in the fact that they contain more fat than a burger with all the toppings and dressings!History: McDonalds was started by Ray Krock in 1955 in Illinois. Mac and Dick McDonald had made him the first franchisee. In 1961 Ray Kroc bought all rights to the McDonald's concept from the McDonald's brothers for $2.7 million. In 1974 The 3,000th McDonald's restaurant was opened in southeast London. The company admitted that nobody went in and later decided to target children with TV advertising. It opened in the UK and has been expanding ever since. From Montreal to Macau, from Beijing to Berlin, McDonalds is everywhere. Well over 1000 UK restaurants now exist.
Inside: Walking in you are hit by bright lights and the strong smell of food. All McDonalds seem to have a white tiled floor. The seats are plastic and quite hard. It’s not the sort of place you would want to spend too much time in, indeed, I avoid sitting inside whenever possible. The clientele where I live seem to be mainly gangs of townies dressed in their ‘bling bling.’ Not the most pleasant place to eat in.Ethics: McDonalds is keen to stress how much it supports community programmes etc. There has in fact been a lot of literature about rain forests being destroyed, farmers in South America being paid very badly and lots of environmental damage. McDonalds however denies all claims. It is interesting to note that McDonalds spends more than $2 million a year in Public Relations costs. They also happen to sue a lot of people. Many of their containers are not recycled and either flung in a bin or discarded on the pavement. Couldn’t McDonalds at least ensure that in the restaurants themselves, rubbish is recycled? To keep production high, pesticides are used so much that pests have actually developed resistance.
There are the issues of Marketing aimed at children-Why do McDonald's sponsor so many school events and learning programmes? Are their Children's Charities genuine philanthropy or is it simply self-promotion? Trade Union’s hate McDonald’s as the company tries to destroy any attempt at unionisation saying the staff are happy and they don’t need a third party to sort out difficulties. The staff have a reputation of working hard for very little money. The animals used are apparently kept in appalling conditions before being slaughtered. McDonalds have sued many media organisations in the past as well, they are not fans of free speech and apparently intimidate people into silence. There are a lot of anti McDonalds websites, which you will find listed at the bottom.The Food: There is such a large range of food. Burgers of all types, chicken nuggets, fries, veggie burgers, fish, drinks and deserts. You’ve been in a McDonald’s I’m sure! Let’s take a look at the contents of a meal. A McDonalds Big Mac, for example, has 590 calories, 34 grams of fat and 11 grams of saturated fat. If you also consume a medium-sized order of fries, you'll get an additional 450 calories, 22 grams of fat including 4 grams of saturated fat.
The Prices: A Cheese quarter pounder meal is around £3. A Happy Meal is £1.99. Evian costs 89 pence when Tesco sells it for 37pence.The Taste: Delicious. Despite it being unhealthy it actually tastes good most of the time. At certain times of the month girlies are known to get a certain craving for McDonalds.
New ‘Healthy’ Food: Consists of salads, fruit and wraps. I have yet to see anyone consuming these products.Happy Meals: I must admit I like these. They are cheap and have small portions and you get a free toy! It’s no wonder children are hooked. Through some kind of deal with Disney, a lot of the toys are Disney themed. This month’s is the Carebear. So cute! They must cost about 2 pence to make and yet can become collectors items. Small portions don’t make it healthy though; a typical Happy Meal contains 590 calories, 20 grams of fat and 36 grams of sugar.
Staff: They never seem happy and who can blame them? Looks like an awful place to work. You can occasionally encounter an eager and enthusiastic trainee you calls you sir or madam but this is quite rare. Most of the staff seem to be quite young and miserable. They all wear blue polo shirts and name tags and caps on their heads. The managers seem to wear shirts and waist-coats. It seems like a depressing place to work and they must get some really rude customers. I once witnessed an assisant manager lose it and throw a cheeseburger at the wall before shouting at a young 'crew member' for making the wrong burger.World Domination: McDonald's was planning to have enough franchises developed in the near future so that no one would ever be more than four minutes away from a McDonald's, either by foot or by automobile. Every day three new McDonald's restaurants open. The yellow arches are famous worldwide. ‘Big Mac’ is a universal phrase. It has even been suggested that McDonalds represents the USA’s domination. In 1999, President Jacques Chirac gave his support to farmers who wrecked a McDonalds being built in France.
Bottom Line: Not my favourite place at all. Useful when you have little money on you, are PMT-ing or have a major hangover. Then it’s recommended. Otherwise I’ll pass. The occasional Maccy D’s is fine it’s when it becomes a regular outing that it’s bad.And to end? The famous words of Geoffrey Guiliano, the main Ronald McDonald actor in the in 1980's who resigned and publicly apologised,
"I brainwashed youngsters into doing wrong. I want to say sorry to children everywhere for selling out to concerns who make millions by murdering animals."Links:
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