McDonald USA’s Ignorance

■Since McDonald’s in Japan was owned by the American parent company, they have ignored how McDonald’s has been loved by Japanese consumers since its first appearance in Ginza in 70’s. For Japanese people, McDonald’s was the symbol of Westernized dietary culture. McDonald’s was not just a place to eat effectively and efficiently but a place to enjoy an “American style” family life. This “American style” is not a real American life but pseudo-American style invented by Japanese management. We don’t need the real American life. We just wanted to enjoy the virtual American life. Now the American management completely destroys this cultural aspect and wrongly focuses on the efficiency. For example, now they open the shops in the suburbs earlier in the morning. This means they don’t know who are their customers. Their main customers in the suburbs are the families with the children younger than elementary school pupils because Japanese high school students tend to choose other burger shops. Another example, now I sometimes observe the stock-out. This means they don’t know the difference of logistics between the US and Japan. In addition, they stop their own broadcasting services. Before the buyout, their shops had a large LDC screen in which the original television programs are broadcasted endlessly. Of course, no customer watched carefully this “Mac Vision”. But it surely produced a comfortable atmosphere as if we watch TV at home. Now they stop “Mac Vision” and only the cheap background music is flowing out from the loudspeakers. I can understand the American management can save money by doing this. But we can’t feel at home any more in McDonald’s shops. Just looking at a few changes that happened recently, we can clearly understand the new American management of McDonald’s never knows their Japanese customers while they focus on their stakeholders. I can predict they are losing their Japanese customers year by year. Other burger shops, such as Lotteria, Mos Burger, First Kitchen, will take their place. The American management in Japanese companies tends to be too self-confident, too impatient and not able to adapt themselves to Japanese context.