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KFC vs. McDonald’s Compare & Contrast Essay

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Updated: Aug 2nd, 2021

The factors that contribute to McDonald’s success in U. S. and other international markets

McDonald’s massive advertisement campaigns are a well known happening. Banners with their brand name are present in every big city of the world, their logos are all over the biggest sport events such and World Championships and the Olympics because McDonald’s is one of the major sponsors of such tournaments.

Besides, the advertisements employed by this company often include such famous celebrities as Justin Timberlake and Beyonce Knowles. McDonald’s is extremely aggressive when it comes to the advertising. Their videos run on television and in the internet, they are placed on the banners and big screens in the streets of all over the world.

Their restaurants offer deals such as dollar menus, discounts, gifts, toys, bonuses to the loyal customers. The promoters of this company conduct a number of programs designed to encourage customers of all ages to buy their products. All of these measures combined contribute immensely to the growing revenues of this global corporation.

Why is KFC less successful than McDonald’s internationally?

KFC and McDonald’s both started to develop their businesses during the 1930s in the times of Great Depression in the United States. Today both of the companies have large global influence and operate huge chains of restaurants all over the world. The companies promote their high speed service and very clean and sanitary conditions of preparing food.

The difference between these companies is that KFC is focused only on selling chicken, while McDonald’s owns a long list of meals they are ready to serve to their customers. In order to win more clients McDonald’s has provided standardisation of all their restaurants across the world.

This means that all of the restaurants in every country have to stick to the same norms as to temperatures of cooking and preserving the products or the amount of time the food can be kept in the transfer bin. These regulations make the process of food preparation especially consistent and help to win the customers’ trust and loyalty. These measures make McDonald’s more popular than KFC globally.

Why is McDonald’s less successful that KFC in China?

Even though globally McDonald’s is much more popular than KFC, in China the Fried Chicken restaurants have managed to win much more customers. Gradually, it led to total domination of KFC at the Chinese fast food market. The main reason of this mysterious happening is the fact that the Chinese culture varies from the western lifestyle quite a lot.

KFC managers grasped that and made their restaurants much more culturally flexible. The differences between China and the rest of the world work against McDonald’s and its fixed standards. The factor that makes McDonald’s extremely trustworthy and popular in the western society holds their business back on the Chinese territory. The food KFC serves in China responds the cultural demands and likes of the Chinese people.

KFC managers have developed a whole range of new products especially for the Chinese customers. This is why in contemporary China the image of Kentucky colonel Sanders with his white beard is much more popular than that of Mao Zedong (Mellor 2011, par. 5).

Comparing KFC China and McDonald’s China to Starbucks Australia, are there differences in local strategies for these global companies? Which strategy is more successful?

Since Starbucks first tried to conquer the Australian consumers in 2000, they never managed to have much success; on the contrary, the company has lost millions of dollars having failed to market their products and closed down the stores. Starbucks major problem was very strong competition from the side of other coffee chains that have completely occupied this market.

Starbucks with their legendary high menu prices had very little chance of winning popularity, especially while they were trying to open stores in places with low pedestrian traffic (Wong 2014, par. 3). Similar situation is observed in China.

Foreign marketers there often face a lot of problems trying to develop their businesses. KFC’s strategy of adjusting to the local culture and adapting their menu to the needs of the diverse consumers has proved to be the most successful.

What should McDonald’s China do? What should KFC China do, especially given the recent scandals?

This year in July both McDonald’s and KFC China happened to be involved into a big scandal that concerned the quality of the food served by the companies. Food-safety scandal resulted in a large customer loyalty downfall. The sales over a couple of weeks of July went significantly lower because of the spoiled chicken and beef discovered in the products of one of the companies’ suppliers.

Both immediately canceled the deals with this particular supplier. Since the untrustworthy supplier company was from Shanghai, KFC managers also made sure to double-check all of the other products coming to them from that region in order to avoid further scandals and troubles. Now both of the companies need to regain the trust of the customers.

New advertisements including the information about the quality control of the production should be launched; the companies should offer their customers a guarantee of the safety of the food they sell. Product and brand promotion is also necessary in order to establish the former warmth between the consumers and the corporations.

Marketing plan for McDonald’s

Customers: Lower and middle class adults, children, travelers, students.

Opportunities: Improvement of food quality promotion, brand and product development, cultural flexibility and adjustments.

Obstacles: Limited variety of ingredients.

Target customers: Families with children, young adults.

Encouragements for the target customers: Discounts, advertisements and gifts culturally adjusted to China.

Projects: The managers of McDonald’s China need to learn more about their customers and develop more culturally oriented variety of products and include national symbols, cuisine, names and style into the products. An absolutely new list of meals derived from the Chinese national cuisine and most loved dishes has to be introduced.

Besides, Chinese history, lifestyle, manners and culture have to be included into the process of communication with the customers.

Moreover, the style of advertisements should also be altered; McDonald’s has to start addressing the needs of their customers. In order to learn them, a social questionnaire should be launched. It will be designed to collect the information about the wishes and desires of the customers as to the products of McDonald’s.


Mellor, W. 2011, . Web.

Wong, V. 2014, . Web.

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