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Student Perception Of Mcdonalds In Malaysia

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 5420 words Published: 16th May 2017

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This research survey was conducted on behalf of our client- McDonalds Malaysia on the students’ perception towards McDonald’s Malaysia. We interviewed a representative sample of 100 full-time students around the area of Selangor, also including those who took up the online survey, in order to look at their view point towards fast food and also McDonalds. This research paper will able to aid McDonald in improving their services to the customer and also to find out the thoughts of the students towards their current services and look for improving field for the business to grow and sustain the current customers in Malaysia.

The key findings and themes from the research survey are as following:

From the data that we collected we found out that compare to the competitors in Malaysia, McDonalds is more well known as (35%) of the consumers often visits McDonalds more than the others fast food restaurant. Here we can see that the positioning of McDonalds in the market are doing well and the advertising works.

The lead of McDonalds visits are caused by the new trend of the students, which they prefer to gather in McDonalds due to the Wi-Fi internet services, where we can see that (30%) visit the restaurant for dining and meals, where the rest (23%) go for internet access, (20%) for group discussion and (27%) visit McDonalds for friends gathering or chit chat session.

However with the new trend is coming out, McDonalds are being treated as a place which is more than a restaurant, a place to have discussion instead of discussion room? A place where you can enjoy the free internet services and do assignments or homework.

As we know that McDonalds are the first fast food restaurant who put up the nutrition’s value table of their menu, however trough this research survey we found out that (23%) of the survey takers knows nothing about the nutrition’s value of the food they ate and (35%) don’t even bother about it. Students are being lack of health awareness lately as we also know that (31%) of the consumers often eat fast food because of the delicious taste.

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From our research survey we also found out that the current delivery and drive thru services are very convenient in the point of view of the consumers, as a lot of them they just wanted to grab a fast meal and they are rushing time. The delivery service also helps those students where they do not have their own transportation; this will help them as just a phone call for a meal.

The research shown that majority of the students (30%) and (20%) of the students felt that the pricing of McDonalds meals are pricey, this condition is understandable as most of the students are not having any income at all.

Client Brief

The story of McDonald’s first began in 1955 when Ray Kroc opened the first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. It then grew on to be a worldwide corporation spanning 117 countries and serving more than 60million customers every day.

In December 1980, Golden Arches Restaurants Sdn. Bhd. (GARSB) won the license to operate McDonald’s in Malaysia. The first McDonald’s restaurant subsequently opened its doors at Jalan Bukit Bintang on 29 April 1982.

The global business is managed by McDonald’s Corporation as distinct geographic segments: United States; Europe; Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA); Latin America; and Canada. McDonald’s Malaysia operated under the umbrella arm of the APMEA group.

As of December 2009, McDonald’s Malaysia has 194 restaurants located nationwide, serving 10million customers a month and expanding at a rate of 15-20 restaurants annually. McDonald’s Malaysia is fully owned by McDonald’s Corporation and the restaurants throughout Malaysia are either operated by GARSB or franchisees.

McDonald’s Malaysia and franchisees employ more than 8,000 locals with 150 support staff at the headquarters managing the day- to day operations of the business.

(1) Research Background

Malaysians were first introduced to fast foods during 1963 when A&W firstly started their restaurant. Consumers’ acceptance of fast foods has been increasing. For the past ten years, there are more and more fast food outlets are coming into Malaysia.

There are rapid expanding development of diverse eating habits and tastes among consumers for convenience foods, such as fast foods. Nowadays, many Malaysian are becoming increasingly more westernized and pursuing greater convenience when eating out. In fact, the main customer group of fast food restaurants is students.

Nowadays, many Malaysian are becoming increasingly more westernized and pursuing greater convenience when eating out. For these reasons, fast food restaurants have become especially popular among adolescents. In fact, the main customer group of fast food restaurants is students. Primary school student will request for fast food such as Mc Donald, KFC or Pizza Hut when they spend their family day with parents. While for teenager, they love fast food because it’s a nice place for them to hang out with friends and chit chat with. Several dietary factors inherent in fast food may cause a variety of negative health effects, including obesity, hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular disease and some cancers due to massive portion of fast food, high energy density, palatability (appealing to primordial taste preferences for fats, sugar and salt), high content of saturated and trans fat, and low content of fibre. In order to induce students to have a correct understanding of the problems associated with fast food and to form a good dietary habit, it is necessary to realize how they perceive the influence of fast food on their health and nutrition. The purpose of this study is to examine Malaysian student’s perceptions and towards McDonalds fast food. A better understanding of the behavioural and psychosocial factors associated with eating fast food could provide useful descriptive information for potential intervention development


A problem statement is a clear description about the issues that need to be solved and a team of problem solving should be created before they try to solve the problem. When bringing together a team which is needed for a particular purpose this is solving the problem. In this student’s perception towards McDonalds fast food restaurant, students believes that fast food are convenience and efficient. This is the factors that lead to the drastic increase in the statistical analysis on McDonald’s fast food perception and image in Malaysia. This is because they had already set in mind fast food is convenient and less time consuming to purchase compare to a proper restaurants. In order to further our understanding of the thinking of students, also the heading of the new trend of consumers this research survey were conducted as hoping to be able to aid the growth of McDonalds fast food restaurant in Malaysia and also the improvement of the business operation.

Another problem often being brought up towards McDonalds will be the nutrition part which we know that nutrition plays an very important role in the health of an individual. The occurrence of various sicknesses due to improper diet is rising. These diseases are such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. Excessive consumptions of fast foods are mainly the cause of these diseases. According to the ACNielsen survey (2005), 98% of Malaysian’s eat at fast food and take-out restaurants and 59% of Malaysian’s have fast food at least once a week. Steve Mitchell the managing director of ACNielsen Malaysia once said that “Fast food consumptions appears to have become a common thing in our diets among Malaysian,”

Research Question

Research question 1: What are the student’s perceptions and image on McDonald’s Malaysia?

Research question 2: What are the factors that influencing the increase in fast food consumption among students in Malaysia?

Research Question 3 : What are the additional measures that can be taken to change the image and perception of McDonald’s in Malaysia?

Research Objective

There are a few objectives to this marketing research. The main objective of this market research is to conduct a conclusive research exploring Malaysian student’s behaviour and perception of McDonald’s as a fast food restaurant. To review and identify the factors that influences the increase in fast food consumption among Malaysian students. McDonald’s is currently the leading fast food restaurant in Malaysia; McDonald’s single-handedly, have more than 185 outlets in Malaysia and this research was carried out to find out why consumer’s choose McDonald’s over the other fast food restaurants such as KFC, Pizza Hut and etc. Next, this research will identify and analyze the dynamics that influence the increase in fast food consumption among students in Malaysia. The causes in which influence the increase can be in terms of pricing, nutritional value of fast food, convenience and lifestyle and etc. Understandably, most students are not working people, which means, they do not have fixed income. Hence, are economic factors the main cause of the increase in fast food consumption among students? At the end of this research, we will be able to obtain the answers to the objectives and then suggest effective ways to expand the business and change the public’s perception of McDonald’s.

Research Framework

Independent Moderating Dependent

Variables Variable Variable

Price and promotion of Fast Food

Student perception of Mc Donald’s in Malaysia

Student’s attitude towards Fast Food


Nutrition of Fast Food

Convenience of Fast Food

This survey indicates that student’s perception on Mc Donald’s in Malaysia are affected by several variables which are price and promotion of purchasing fast food, trend or lifestyle of student, nutrition that contains and the convenience of the fast food. Refer to the framework, these 4 variables are important because either one of the variable will cause the perception of student to consume on fast food. Besides, all the variables had been affected by moderating variable, demography. The demography is include age, gender, income, race and others demography that related to student consumption on fast food. Therefore, we take it as our independent variables for this research.


The price is a component of an exchange or transaction that takes place between two parties and refers to what must be given up by one party (example: buyer) in order to obtain something offered by another party (example: seller). Price factors are said to influencing most of the student’s perception is because of the allowance from their parents are very minimal and students perception in purchasing fast food are believed to be expensive and not full filling. Sometimes, student will give up on consuming fast food because of the price itself which will bring a negative view of fast food industries. Therefore, the price is the perception of the student in fast food consumption. Besides that, promotion is another impact factor for everyone including students now days too. We believe that a cheap promotion would attract more customers especially the low income group which is including the primary to college students. One of the successful promotions that is launched by Mc Donald’s fast food restaurant is the Mc’ value lunch set which is cheaper price compared to normal price and there are unlimited refills of carbonated drinks.


Besides, attitude is also an independent variable for the student perception on fast food. Attitudes is kind of manner, disposition, feeling posture of the body to expressive of an action, emotion regards to a person. This can be show that student attitudes towards Fast food are treating Fast food restaurant as a place for gatherings. Students nowadays like to hang around with friends at fast food restaurant compare library; they think that this is a part of their life or so called “cool”. Besides, student for high institution will spend more time at fast food restaurant to do their assignment, surf net, chit chat with their friend and so on, where all these activities can be doing at home, library or any parts of the campus. There are few factors that can influence the attitude of students. Such as the benefits of the Mc value lunch promotion, which is every individual can enjoy the privilege of unlimited refills for carbonated drinks.


Nutrition is nutrients in food, how the body uses nutrients, and the relationship between diet, health and disease. This is important to know what is the nutrition of the fast food contains and found out there is a poor nutrient value from the fast food. It is not only contains a very high calorie in some certain amount of fast food, it contains high monosodium glutamate (MSG), as a food additive and is commonly marketed as a flavour enhancer that is bad for health if it is highly consumed and fast food is of the leads to obesity among teenagers these days. Do students now a day refer to any nutrition labels before they purchase fast food and will the student aware of health if they have their fast food frequently? So, nutrition is very important for student perception on fast food that might influence student consumption to have fast food. But even though fast food is not that healthy, student in Malaysia seems to ignore the health awareness and keep on consuming fast food.


Following is convenience of fast food. Convenience is anything that is intended to save resources (time, energy) or frustration. Convenience is one of the factors that most students do go for fast food as they think fast food is very convenient and less time consuming. In the students mind set of fast food is a place for everyone to visit there at anytime anywhere. Compare to a normal restaurant which need to wait for long queue just for waiting waitress to serve and order. However, fast food just need a few minutes

where students can enjoy their meals without wasting time and energy. This is why fast food brings convenience to student.

Pestle Analysis of McDonald’s

Political Factor

The operations of McDonalds are overstated with the government policies on regulations of fast food restaurant operation. At present, government is controlling the marketing of fast food restaurant. It is because of health concern and many issues more such as obesity and cardiovascular issue among the young children in Malaysia. Governments are also strictly controlling the licenses that given for the opening of fast food restaurant and other business rules and regulations is required to follow for such franchise business. Excellent relationship with the governments in giving common benefits such as employment and tax is a must for the company to be successful in any of the foreign market. McDonalds should also protect its workers by ensuring all the hiring and recompense, training is according to Malaysian Labour Law as fixed.

Since it is clear that the company is expanding continuously, I recommend that it is smart to deal directly with the related authorities in the particular markets that they intend to work in. This is a good way for establishing a good relationship with the government itself. It is advisable that the firm will rests on the good graces of the government in their penetration of market. To do this, all they have to do is finish all the arranged acts and convince all the prerequisites for doing business. The company are advised to be familiar with the local business law in order to know what are their tasks and their potential liabilities.

Economical Factor

McDonalds consider as a business entity, they need to face quite some numbers of economic variables on its macro environment. McDonald’s fast food should be aware on changes of the global supply and the currencies exchange when they deal with international sourcing for their materials. McDonalds import most of its raw materials due to the insufficient supply of materials in the domestic market to achieve the demand of consumers of its product. Their cost of purchase will affected when any of the currencies especially dollar are changing.

Besides that, McDonalds need to face different type of rules and regulations on the tax of profit such as entertainment and restaurant service tax. Maybe others countries have their own rules and regulation and McDonalds left no choice but to just obey the regulation of the countries if they want to continue the operation in that particular country. For franchising, they should also pay a number of percentages of the revenue to the host company in US.

Next, the economic condition and the economical growth of the country also play an important role to the demands of the McDonalds products offered. People from the lower income groups will not consume the products even if the prices of fast-food are slightly more expensive than the normal food. If the economy of that country is going from bad to worst and the income per capita of people is affected, the demand and consumption of McDonalds fast food product will definitely drop.

For this scenario, I suggest that before McDonalds penetrating the market, the company must carry out a professional and accurate market research, especially in the movements in the economic environment. The frequency of the shifts in the inflation rate as well as the fluctuations in the exchange rate will give a very huge impact on the operations of the company.

Socio-Cultural Factor

The changing lifestyles of Malaysia due to development of Malaysian economy should be also taking into consideration. While more and more people are able in term of financially to eat at more expensive outlet such as fast food restaurant, they will of course have a higher expectation on the foods. Normally, they want to have some quality in services and more conveniences that can show the unique of one restaurant from another.

Young urban consumers like teenagers want technology in their life and facilities such as credit card payment, wireless internet, and relaxing environment, and other attraction for their hangouts and consuming. All these needs should also be taken into consideration because the youngster market is also a main factor that increases McDonald’s sales per annum. There is not much difference between cultural and the purchase of products in a single country but for different countries cultural sensitivity should be noticed down. For example in India, people that believe in Hinduism religious do not take beef, Muslim countries do not take pork, German like beers, Finnish like fish type of food menu, Chinese like to associate food with something good for example, the prosperity, Asian like rice and Americans eat in big-sized menu. So far, McDonalds has shown good efforts in localization of its menu to suit local taste but it should continuously survey the market itself and learn about local culture to better understand and design the best product for them.

On the social-cultural of each country, I strongly suggest McDonalds to obtain the relevant information from the target market in accumulation to the individual customers of the organization. It is very important that before a franchise is approved to a particular market, a well drafted and inclusive market research should be conducted at first so as to establish the acts that would conform to good customs, and public policies. The company should find out itself the shifts in areas like the consumer behaviour and purchasing patterns of the market. This is the key condition for executing a suitable customer relationship management system.

Technological Factor

For a fast food restaurant, technology does not give a very high impact on the company and it is not a major macro environment variables. However McDonalds should be looking to the innovation of their competitors and improve itself in term of integrating technology in running its operation. For example, in record system, the supply chain management system which is to manage its supply, easy payment and the ordering systems for its customers and wireless internet technology in their restaurant. Accomplishment of technology can make the management more effective and cost saving in view of long term. This will also make customer enjoy if cost savings results in price reduction or promotional campaign discount which will benefits them from time to time.

Legal Factor

As a certified fast food operator, there are many regulations and procedures that McDonalds need to obey. For example, the “Halal” certification that becomes a concern to Muslim consumers in Muslim countries. McDonalds should protect its reliability and consumer confidence by ensuring all materials and process are to be claimed safe to eat.

Other legal requirement that the business owner should follow as set in laws are such as operating hours, the business registration, the tax requirement, labor and employment laws in which the outlet has been certified. If there is any offenders will be fined and blacklisted from operating business in the particular country which can be very dangerous.

What McDonalds need to do is to hire local counsels to deal with the legal conflicts in individual markets on which the company may come across. This is to ensure the company’s lawyers that will handle their legal affairs are more specialize with the legal regime that would produce out certain creases on their operations.

Environment Factor

McDonalds is one of the world largest beef, chicken and potatoes consumer, the firm always had been critical target for whole world environmentalist. This is because of the high consumption of beef during the firm operation which causes the green house effect because of the methane gasses which is coming from the cow’s farm. Large scale of plantation has result the environment and lots of green forest are now opening for various plantation activities. The vegetarian environmentalist criticizes the fast-food firm for being cruelty to animals and slaughtering them. In Japan, they once wanted to introduce the whale burger, but causing chaos among everyone as the whales are one of the endangered species. Before the using of paper packaging, McDonalds also had been criticized for being numb to pollution because the firm uses the polystyrene based packaging for the food they selling. There are millions of people purchases from the fast food giant and the impact is very hard to world environment as those packaging material are very hard to be recycled. We are now getting more and more concern on environment issue and business operator should not just care for the firm’s profit, but be careful to use the world resources for sustainable growth and care for surroundings safety and health.

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To solve the environment problem, I suggest McDonalds to find out the environmental regime that governs the operations in every market. And then monitor the waste disposal of the company. Try to minimize the use of Styrofoam materials and plastic cups. Constantly updating of the social corporate responsibility is necessary. This should also involve that the headquarters should manage a manner of internal control of those that would break upon this company’s objective. Sanctions such as revoking of the franchise license or a high fine should be installed to serve the offences as a restriction to violation.


McDonalds SWOT Strength

High Ranking in the Fortune Magazine’s most admired food service companies

Both the golden arches and McDonald are one of the best brands that recognize in the world.

The Company possess a strong global presence and it is the market leader in the international and domestic markets

The Company often being recognized as a socially responsible firm and also very community oriented.

The restaurants always have located in the major airports, along the highways, tourist area, the main cities and also theme parks.

The food preparation style are followed accordingly to the process system, therefore it is very efficient.

It is the first fast food restaurant who provides the consumers the nutrition’s fact.

The firm uses economies of scale in reducing the firm’s costs, as the business hugh expansion will diversifies the overall risk of the economic performance.

The firm uses branded processed items in their operation and also the qop quality of beef and chickens products.

They have one of the world’s most recognizable and memorable logos.

They operate globally and a large percentage of the restaurants are franchised.

There are cultural diversity in the foods they served based on the placing of the restaurant.

McDonalds SWOT Weaknesses

The failure in pizza test market as limited their ability to compete in the pizza fast food providers market.

The companies’ training costs are elevated due to the firm’s high employee turnover.

The firm has a very minimal concentration or thinking on providing organic foods to the consumers.

The firm products are lack of innovative and creativity.

The firm’s advertisement often target children or young kids

Not so focused on bringing healthier food to the customers.

McDonalds SWOT Analysis Opportunities

The firm can take part in more joint ventures with other different retailers.

The firm should be more responsive towards the social trend where people are getting more health conscious.

Focus in boosting the capabilities of Wi-Fi internet services available in the branches.

There are lot expansions of market available in the newly developed countries in the world.

The firm should start to create more upscale appearance in order to attract a more upscale clientele.

Continue to venture and creating more innovative products or promotional.

Research more on green packaging in the corporate social responsible.

Bringing the products up to the allergen free where consumers do not have to worry about having allergies.

McDonalds SWOT Analysis Threats

The company’s marketing strategies that always entice people from small kids and young children to all the way up till adults and the criticism that often being taken by the company are mostly because of it.

Firm being sued multiple times due to the offering of unhealthy foods that have alleged addictive additives in it.

Emergence of major competitors in fast food, such as Wendy’s, KFC, Burger king and etc.

The firm is vulnerable to the effect of slow economies of certain countries.

Research Methodology


In this research, our main finding is factors that cause students’ perception from higher education institution in the fast food consumption. Most of the students are having pocket money that provided by their parents, money that students spend will automatically been limited due to amount of parents give to them, so we want to find out that price will change student perception in fast food area. Besides price factor, we also will focus on the convenience and attitude of students that influence their perception on fast food consumption. In addition, current condition in nutrition or health knowledge is also important to us to know that students will be affect by the nutrition knowledge when they want to consume fast food.

Sample design

The sample design starts with target on Students which has the ability to consume food with its own perception in Malaysia. Most of the student’s pocket money is provided by their parents. Due to the amount money that given by parent, student will automatically have limitation on spending it. So we decide to find out the best price that will lead student perception in fast food area. The sample’s location will sets at Selangor which has majority of student consume in fast food restaurant. It will given a lot helpful on paper and be smoothly on progress during data collection. The research’s target on fast food restaurant such as Mcdonald, KFC, Pizza Hut, Domino & other fast food restaurant. Besides price factor, we also will focus on the conveniences and attitude of students that influence their perception on fast food consumption. In addition of current condition, we will also find out is nutrition or health knowledge will affect student to consume fast food.

Data collection method

We will use the survey method to collect and gather data; this is because survey is the easiest way to get answer from student comparing with others techniques that is more complicated. Moreover it is the most inexpensive way and it manages to gather respond from large potential respondents. Thru large amount of respondent, it allows statistically analysis to get more accurate results.

To collect data, questionnaire is more suitable and easy gets the response from selected population. The questionnaire will collect by self administered such as on-line questionnaire, postal questionnaire, delivery and collection questionnaire. This paper do not use an interview administered like telephone questionnaire, structured interview because it is not efficiency and high costly for a student.

It can give us great chances to gather our survey from our target respondents which are students. Besides the reason, it will give us more and accurate feeling from students to answer the survey, such as Mc-Donald. Nowadays, online is very common to every student. No matter is for their academic purpose, for fun or for social, student will spend lots of time in online. So, through online survey, we can collect response faster and more convenient. The reason of using 2 ways of survey is that we can gather different data or view of respondents from different type of group’s people. Most of the fast food restaurants provides different package within different time or period. So we separated it into 3 groups which are breakfast, lunch and dinner to gather our survey, it can also name as stratified sampling. Online method can collect data faster, but we choose to wait for a month to gather more responses. Both this 2 methods will be run together so that we can gather more response within short period of time.

Data analysis

The size sample has narrow down to 100 pieces of questionnaires and share out with online and collection from fast food restaurant. We had separated our questionnaire into 5 parts, which are Demographic, Price, Conveniences, Life Style and Nutrition. The scale technique that we use is Likert scale, so that we can get response about student’s perception on fast food from the view of price, convenience, attitude and nutrition. For examples, the answers will set on a five point Likert type scale expressed as 1= Strongly Agree, 2 = Agree, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Disagree, and 5 = Strongly Disagree. Before the previous 5 part that has been mention, we also set some questions to get basic information about students’ perception on fast food consumption. For examples, which fast food restaurant that students most prefer to visit?

The data collected are analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science Program (SPSS). Meanwhile, before the data being analyzed, every data will be recorded using numerical codes. This is to make the data enter more quickly and ensure fewer errors occur (Saunders et al., 2007). SPSS software provides most of the statistic analysis techniques, which include measurement of the


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