George Ritzer has taken the work of Max Weber and has expanded them to produce a process of rationalization called the McDonaldization of society. In today’s society, everyone seems to be in a hurry. The quest to save time to do other things. The McDonaldization of Society is the search for maximum efficiency in increasing numerous and diverse social settings. It has been stated that McDonald’s principles are beginning to dominate more and more sectors of society as well as the world. (Ritzer, 1996) This theory shows us how the restaurant business has adapted in today’s modern society where everyone seems to be in a big hurry.
There are four main components to McDonaldization that reflect a rational system that increases a bureaucracy’s efficiency. Next we will look at each component and outline what they are. 1. Efficiency – It is the search for the optimum means to a given end. This means that the consumer bay be able to grab a quick meal in a hurry. Included is the streamlining of processes, simplifying goods and services, and using customers to perform work such as cleaning up after themselves. 2. Calculability – It emphasis on things that can be calculated, counted and quantified. It is more efficient for a family to dive to McDonalds, order their food and eat it than it does to prepare a meal at home. With this everyone wins. The customer gets their food quickly while the restaurant receives good profits due to the markup of goods. 3. Predictability – The emphasis that things will be the same from one time or place.
This makes it more efficient for both the consumer and customer. The company can offer uniform products making it easier to conform to a routine of employees who make the product allowing a quicker turnaround from order received to going to the customer. The customers have the satisfaction of knowing what they want usually before they get to the business therefore cutting down on the time spent eating. 4. Control – This means that technology shapes behavior through replacement of human with nonhuman technology. McDonalds controls how the setting is by ensuring a quick turnaround from order to leaving the establishment. Employees are specifically trained to do certain positions within the company, streamlining the process. Some processes have been replaced with new technologies which help control the process’s by removing barriers that might exist.
Although McDonaldization is supposed to be rational, it can lead to results that are irrational. Some people have the false illusion that going out to eat is fun. With McDonalds catering to children, they have opened indoor play structures for children. Still, the food is not healthier than cooking a well balanced meal at home. Sometimes when we feel it is quicker to just eat out, the lines can sometimes be long and in reality, it may take longer to eat out than to cook a meal at home.
In conclusion, although I agree with Ritzer that it may be fun going out to eat from time to time, nothing can change the quality of family time by staying at home with a well balanced meal sitting together at a dinner table.