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Before you read a text on the globalisation of McDonald’s, do the following vocabulary exercise.

Match the following words with their definitions.

1. The money that is earned in a business deal.
2. The impression that a company tries to present to the public through advertising and publicity.
3. The process of adapting business processes and strategies to local markets around the world.
4. Not to change the cost of a product or service.
5. The selection of different products that a company makes available to the public.
6. The market of, or inside, a particular country.


Listen Listen and repeat.

I love travelling. And although a Big Mac wouldn’t normally be my first choice for a healthy, and nutritious meal, I must confess I often actively look for McDonald’s famous Golden Arches when I’m in a foreign city. But why?

Well, like it or not, McDonald’s offers a cheap alternative to local food in many cities. It’s a quick, reliable and convenient way of filling the stomach, and you don’t need to be able to speak the local language to order. Just point at a Happy Meal or Special Menu picture!
As the symbol for cultural imperialism and multinational corporate greed, McDonald’s is frequently under criticism. McSpotlight, the anti-McDonald’s website, claims over one million visitors per month. Critics attack McDonald’s for its cold-hearted pursuit of profits, its disregard for nutritional value and the environment, and the way it targets children in its advertising, and marketing.

Most recently, McDonald’s has been attacked for trying to addict children to its unhealthy, high-calorie food, in a similar way as tobacco companies in the cigarette business.
Although this multinational giant has 43% of the US fast food market, McDonald’s ambition seems to have no limits. McDonald's is so desperate for customers that it has more or less held prices constant over the past twenty years. During this time it has increased the sizes of its burgers, fries, and drinks, expanded its menu and built attractive play areas for kids while simultaneously giving them sophisticated toys to play with.
As anyone with small children knows, safe and secure McDonald’s ‘Playlands’ can be a wonderful thing, especially when it’s raining outside and you’ve got children who desperately need to burn some energy. Not only are your kids more than happy to eat the food, but they are given small plastic toys to play with and, they’re free!
Maybe McDonald’s, while running after profits, has found the secret to succeeding in business; you’ve got to give the people what they want.

It isn’t difficult to understand McDonald’s success in its US domestic market, but how are its products and its corporate image received overseas? For example, how is McDonald’s affecting Asian culture? One unexpected consequence of McDonald’s invasion of Hong Kong was that the toilets in the city became cleaner.
Before the first McDonald’s opened up in the mid-1970s, restaurant toilets in Hong Kong were disgustingly dirty. Over time, the cleanliness standards of McDonald’s were copied by other restaurants who wanted to compete with McDonald’s.
In Korea, McDonald’s established the practice of queuing up in an civilised way to order food. The traditional custom, it seems, was to crowd the counter and push until you got served.
When the first McDonald’s was opened in Moscow, it was necessary for an employee to stand outside the McDonald’s in order to explain to those in the queue that the smiling employees were not laughing at them and ridiculing them but were pleased to serve them.
In spite of criticism that McDonald’s is having a severe homogenizing effect on global culture, there are examples of efforts McDonald’s is making to adapt to local tastes and customs of people around the world. My own experience with the product range and leisurely, laid-back attitude of McDonald’s employees in Andalucia in southern Spain is an example of McDonald’s ability to adapt to the local culture.

Although you often hear people say it, it's not quite true that no two countries with McDonald's have ever gone to war. Both the US and Serbia, for example, had McDonald's during the Balkans conflict. So, although McDonald’s isn’t a multinational peacekeeping money machine, it does provides cheap food, consistency of product, and free entertainment for kids.
Around the world, this increasingly popular symbol of America and its culture is encouraging healthy competition. You may or may not like McDonald’s products, but I think you would have to agree that it’s a pretty good example of successful globalisation.

foreign = extranjero
greed = codicia, avaricia
to point = indicar, señalar
to disregard = no hacer caso de/hacer caso omiso de
to target = dirigirse a algo/alguien
kids = críos
queue = cola
to crowd = apiñarse
counter = mostrador
to laugh = reírse
leisurely/ laid-back = pausado, relajado/ tranquilo

Listen Listen and repeat.

Answer the following questions.

1. What does the article say is the secret of business?

2. Which of the following is NOT a reason why the writer goes to McDonald’s.

  A) It’s cheap
  B) It tastes good
  C) It’s quick
  D) You can order without speaking

3. What has happened to the prices of McDonald’s products over the last 20 years?

4. In what way did the toilets in Hong Kong change after McDonald’s entered the market in the 1970’s?

5. Where in the world did customers start queuing differently after McDonald’s arrived?

6. Is it true that no two countries with McDonald’s have ever gone to war?

7. What do the following numbers represent in the text?

  a) One million
  b) 43%
  c) mid-1970s


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