Information Technology In Mcdonald


The integration of internet in most of the business functions has had an extensive impact on the business world. There have been various changes across the global economy, system of operations and shifts in demands and different market dynamics that have resulted from technologies. McDonald’s is one such company that appreciates the role of information technology and networking technologies as part of the subsequent changes that have seen it grow. McDonald’s is regarded a fast food chain that operates internationally. Two brothers, Dick and Mac from Chicago, established it in 1937. The outlet currently has thousands of stores as well as millions of employees across the world. At the centre of the technological progress, McDonald’s desires to stand out as the desirable restaurant any person would think of around the world. The food chain is said to have adopted different information systems, which have supported in the functions of the business, supported the process of decision-making and helped in forecasting the business progress. The MIS, basically, depends on technology, people and information as the key primary sources. Based on this, the report will delve in establishing a literature review, establish the findings, analyse, and discuss the findings on the role of information technology, social and ethical issues, and the networking technologies that have been attached to McDonald’s.


Literature Review

Soomro et al. (2016) indicated that restaurants have progressively adopted technology, which has seen them enjoy services offered by interactive advertisements, digital menu, and intelligent kiosks among others. Other areas that have been a success in the food industry include the automated kitchen systems, self-ordering systems and Bluetooth technology among others. Soomro et al. (2016) argues that investment in IT has made the restaurant manager’s job manageable and efficient in a more secure and systematic way. The value chain of food retail for the past 25 years is said to have enjoyed a great deal from the POS data, which is generated from scanners while comprehending the consumer purchasing behaviour. This is said to have boosted inventory management. Most of the retailers only encounter insignificant losses as items are sold through the system. This has enhanced the shopping experience for most of the customers, as well as increased choices for the stores on how to manage sales. Smith and Wong (2016) further noted that the integration of IT in the supply chain and the inventory management would go alongside the fruitful use of the microchips, which offer significant information to the main servers and control system. This same case would apply to MacDonald’s Food Chain where IT has provided significant routes for decision-making. Notably, successful decision-making is one platform that has been accorded the most deserving attention as far as the idea of tracking details is put into consideration. While McDonald’s would encounter losses due to failures in tracking the items and details of the clients during transactions, the emergence and adoption of information technology has lessened the burden of compensating for losses (Asadi Someh et al. 2017).

According to Ismail (2011), 90% of the growth of food chains, including McDonald’s, depends on how effective the organization manages the information and the decisions while developing strategies. Ismail (2011) further indicated that the information system is a perfect tool that avails the past, present as well as the projected information related to external intelligence and internal operations. It bears the required characteristics that support planning, control, as well as operational function attached to an organization. However, organizations would sometime find the system as being irrelevant when managers try to adopt technology first before they think of using it. This must be the reason as to why IT might have been a bad omen to some of the organizations around the world. Notably, matching IT with the right characteristics of the company make businesses to reap enough from the technological advancement. The same case applies McDonald’s, which has extracted key growth strategies from the company’s IT system. While decision making is a critical component in the success of the company, information technology has always provided the path to policies, objectives, programs, procedures, strategies, rules and tactics.

Apart from the role of IT and the expansion of the internet use for McDonald’s, De Blasio (2008) alluded to the fact that social and ethical issues are equally important. De Blasio (2008) indicated that McDonald’s has been ranked the top in terms of maintain the right ethical and social standards. The success can be accorded to the promotional and public communication, which is made possible through a variety of tools that educate on the advertisement messages. IT has still been part of the social and ethical course that has seen the company encountering a number of challenges associated to the framework of social responsibility. Perhaps, there has never been a standardized methodology that would determine the way a company should interact with the immediate community. Social responsibility has created different perceptions as most of stakeholders would relate the function with the largest and the mightiest organizations (Willette et al. 2016). Companies such as Starbucks Coffee would channel more funds in the social scope and still encounter the teleological dilemma. While such funds would be availed to support the growth of the community, most of the community members do not understand the intent and the purpose of such funds. This is same outcry seen with McDonald’s, which is operating in different parents of the world.

Lastly, it is evident industries are currently making good use of the networking technologies. Da et al. (2014) indicates that commonly used networking technologies include the telephone networking technology, internet and e-commerce, which is sometimes embedded under internet and computer networks. Telephone, sometimes referred to as mobile, network is effective in running calls between parties. The application of telephone network is sometimes limited to a specific region, which might limit on international links. However, internet parents numerous networks that connect organizations, people, countries and even communities around the world. Da et al. (2014) pointed out that internet, as a networking technology, supports such platforms like social media, social networking sites and websites that influence communication between or among parties. This indicates that McDonald’s would find more use of internet compared to telephone networks. The common reason would be a wide platform provided by internet compared mobile technologies.


The report established findings on three key areas. These include the role of information technology in the success of McDonald’s, ethical and social issues attached to the food chain, and finally, the networking technologies used by McDonald’s. First, it was found out that McDonald’s Restaurants enjoy 65% of the revenues form United States and 75% of the revenues from Europe. This significant growth has been due to the strategic approach and successful use of the Information Technology. It was also found out that IT supports three platforms in the value chain of McDonald’s. The three platforms include external intelligence, internal operations and the decision making platform. The three are regarded as the backbone of the success of McDonald’s. It was still found out that information technology touched on sensitive parts of the organization, which included running the inventory, providing a platform for decisions and strategies as well as defining the structure for the business growth. In a record of 25 years, McDonald’s is currently capacitated with the right technology that ensures security s well as keeping track of the items and business transactions. However, this trend was never observed before where the organization was making use of the traditional tools.

From the findings, it could still be noted that possible failures of IT at McDonald’s must have been due to managerial challenges, or wrong personnel and lack of the right objectives. However, this has always been corrected through benchmarking among senior managers and other key areas. On the side of ethics and social issues, it was found out that McDonald’s has been the best organizational in terms of holding the most desirable social and ethical standards. However, issues of dismissals, lack of appreciation by the locals and lack of attention from the stakeholders has always ruined the efforts of McDonald’s. In terms of the networking technologies, McDonald’s sets its preference on mobile and internet technologies. While the company would make lesser calls, the dominance of internet has seen the company expand its market share globally.

Analysis and Discussion

The findings pointed out that the success or failure of the company or organization would largely depend on the structures of information and technology adopted by the firm. McDonald’s is said to have adopted different information systems that collectively work towards stabilizing the value chain while influencing the growth of the business. Some of the systems include the Transaction Processing System, Decision Support System, Expert System, Office Information System and the Management Information System. The adoption of all these systems by one organization implies the preferences expressed by McDonalds where growth and establishing the most outstanding brand are the key goals (Laudon and Laudon 2016).

The evident revenues reaped from both the European market and the United States confirms that information systems adopted by McDonald’s serves as the backbone of internal operations, external intelligence, and decision-making platform. One would be attracted to reasons that make McDonald’s to heavily invest in information systems. First, the information system is used in inventory management, which is a critical component in generating profits. If the company has poor inventory, the tendency of losing stock is always high as it appeared in most of the traditional methods. If the company makes frequent losses, business failure becomes the ultimate outcome and this puts an end to the life of the business (Gunasekaran et al. 2017). Therefore, the adoption of IT in inventory management is an advantage to the business for it to track sales and transactions, which yield possible profits while keeping the history of the performance of the company.

The second reason includes IT as the support system to strategic approach, planning, and formulation of policies. At the centre of the business growth, strategies would constantly be needed to enhance the growth of McDonald’s. However, this is only possible when the company has an access to the right information at the right time. IT provides a convenient flow of information from one department to another and this informs on the plans, policies and strategies developed by the organization (Liu et al. 2016). Lastly, IT gives the map of the market. Given that the infrastructure can handle large amounts of data, same attention is given towards analysis of the same data for the purposes of giving the reflection of the market. The three double as the key benefits that can be enjoyed as a result of implementing the IT infrastructure.

However, there are still limitations that might be noted from the use of IT. Security is an alarming concern where an organization faces a threat of losing large amounts of data in case of any breach or cyber-attacks (Tatoglu et al. 2016). This means that an organization would have to spend more on security structures as one way of enhancing protection of data. Secondly, IT demands experts to handle the system. This means that frequent training programs should be introduced from time to time, which makes it expensive. Other areas of concern in relation to McDonald’s include the social and ethical issues, as well as networking technologies. McDonald’s has good rates in terms of social and ethical performance. This is triggered by the company’s international presence (Wu and Chiu 2018). Besides, the food chain enjoys the benefits that come along mobile and internet technologies. However, internet has a wide area of application, which makes it more convenient for the performance of McDonald’s.

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To sum up, the report has established the role of IT in McDonald’s including provision of external intelligence, supporting internal operations and decision making. It has also noted the social and ethical issues that affect the operations within McDonald’s. Mobile and internet technologies have been pointed out as the convenient networking technologies that can be used by the company. From the analysis, it can also be recommended that McDonald’s should continue investing in information technology but still keep an eye on the issue of security.


  • De Blasio, G.G., 2008. Understanding McDonald's Among the" World’s Most Ethical Companies". EJBO-Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies.
  • Da Xu, L., He, W. and Li, S., 2014. Internet of things in industries: A survey. IEEE Transactions on industrial informatics, 10(4), pp.2233-2243.
  • Ismail, S.T., 2011. The Role Of Marketing Information System On Decision Making" an Applied Study On Royal Jordanian Air Lines (Rja)". International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(3).
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  • Smith, L.C. and Wong, M.A. eds., 2016. Reference and Information Services: An Introduction: An Introduction. ABC-CLIO.
  • Asadi Someh, I., Wixom, B., Davern, M. and Shanks, G., 2017. Enablers and Mechanisms: Practices for Achieving Synergy with Business Analytics.
  • Laudon, K.C. and Laudon, J.P., 2016. Management information system. Pearson Education India.
  • Gunasekaran, A., Papadopoulos, T., Dubey, R., Wamba, S.F., Childe, S.J., Hazen, B. and Akter, S., 2017. Big data and predictive analytics for supply chain and organizational performance. Journal of Business Research, 70, pp.308-317.
  • Liu, H., Wei, S., Ke, W., Wei, K.K. and Hua, Z., 2016. The configuration between supply chain integration and information technology competency: A resource orchestration perspective. Journal of Operations Management, 44, pp.13-29.
  • Tatoglu, E., Bayraktar, E., Golgeci, I., Koh, S.L., Demirbag, M. and Zaim, S., 2016. How do supply chain management and information systems practices influence operational performance? Evidence from emerging country SMEs. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, 19(3), pp.181-199.
  • Wu, L. and Chiu, M.L., 2018. Examining supply chain collaboration with determinants and performance impact: Social capital, justice, and technology use perspectives. International Journal of Information Management, 39, pp.5-19.
  • Willette, W., Teng, J. and Singh, A.N.I.L., 2016. Shaping asymmetric supply chain partnerships: the role of shared IT and trust. Journal of Information Technology Management, 27(1), pp.1-17.

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