Sunday, January 3, 2016

McDonalds Does More Than Serve Food.

Cheeseburger, Meat, Bun, Cheese, Burger  I enjoy reading newspapers because I can take my time going through the piece of news.  I am not limited to a 15 or 30 second news bite on television.  For instance, there was a cool article on the homeless in Asia.  Yes, I realize that is a problem here in the United States but one of our global businesses is viewed differently overseas and has a different marketing strategy.

In the United States, many of the homeless live in boxes, under a bridge or even on the beach. In some places, the city provides a van to collect the homeless because if they are allowed to sleep outside, they could easily freeze to death.  Sometimes, the homeless might hang out in libraries where they are warm and dry but once the building closes for the night, they are back on the streets again. 

In Asia, things are a little different.  McDonalds has adopted a different marketing  strategy.  They are working to integrate themselves into the community.  They want to be the place where people come to eat, celebrate birthdays, conduct business meetings, or just be a place to hang for a few hours with your friends or by yourself.  Some of the places even offer local favorites the same as those in Hawaii offer raman noodles.

The homeless begin arriving just after the evening cleanup.   They scrounge for food, stake a corner or take one of the booths, eat and then hanker down to catch a few hours of sleep before the morning wake up call is made. In the morning, they are awoken and after a quick combing of the hair with a fork, a splash of water on the face, most are ready for the day.  Some head out while others stay to beg for money, a newspaper, or even food before they hit the streets. 

Since McDonalds considers itself a part of the community, many owners consider the homeless as community members so they are welcome to use the premises, just as everyone else does.  The only difference is they are asked to quit sleeping when the morning rush is due to start.  It would appear the homeless do not try to take advantage of this generosity, they only want to stay safe and warm.

I believe the difference in attitudes can be attributed to the differences in culture but it could be more.  It could be they are trying to be an integrated part of the neighborhood.

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