What is McDonaldization?
McDonaldization is a sociological term coined by a man named George Ritzer. Through a book that he released back in 1993 entitled “The McDonaldization of Society”, he likens the cultural and social development of man to that of the famous fastfood chain. The main concept of McDonaldization involves some form of rationalization of certain ideas and methods to coincide with how the society evolved in general. In simple terms, he describes the present culture reflects similar characteristics to that of the popular restaurant.
Ritzer laid out four main components of his McDonaldization concept. The first component is Efficiency and this pertains to the way tasks and problems are supposed to be handled. In Ritzer’s point of view, the most efficient way to solve concerns is to handle it quickly. The faster you are in handling a concern then the more efficient you are. Ritzer relates this concept to the way McDonald’s serve its customers, wherein the crew is tasked to move fast in preparing the food for customers. And because customers are served quickly, more food items will be sold and more customers will be served. This relates to the second component which is Calculability. By serving more customers, McDonald’s gives the notion that quantity equates to quality. If the customer’s are served quickly, then it is assumed that they are also served with quality.
The third component is Predictability and this pertains to the standardization of the McDonald’s food-preparation process. One person may hop from one restaurant location to another, but he/she will be served with the same quality of product and service. This concept may also be applied to the real-world where consistency should also be aimed for. The last component is Control and this refers to the uniformity in the restaurant’s procedures in which every employee does not have to think deeply regarding his/her tasks but rather is subjected to pre-defined duties. By substituting human with non-human technologies and processes, great control can be achieved.