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France Business

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Studying and understanding different cultures of the world, is an integral part of successfully communicating internationally. This paper will examine three case studies evaluating communication styles in France. The focus will be on McDonald's France, Euro Disney, and Accor. These three cases all involve a lack of effective communication and understanding of French Culture.

French Culture

In order to examine these French communication case studies it is important to understand the French culture. The French are characterized as having a very high level of uncertainty avoidance, but ironically change their minds quite frequently. The French are also very characterized as a very individualistic culture, meaning that everyone is only supposed to take care of themselves and their immediate family. These characteristics will be seen throughout the case studies, especially the uncertainty avoidance factor.

McDonald's France Case:

McDonalds has opened franchises all over the world, little did they know that breaking into the French market would be such a challenge. McDonalds is a global corporation that is now tailoring its food, and entire dinning experience to fit local cultures.

At first, the French were not very receptive of McDonalds invading their country, and were very reluctant to indulge in the high fat, fast food. Culturally it was different from anything they had ever experienced before. Initially French McDonalds were replicates of American McDonalds, serving the same menu with the same structural layout. The French traditionally enjoy lingering over their meals, and creating a dinning experience as opposed quickly consuming a large amount of food. These factors led to a slow start for McDonalds in France.

The French were also very concerned about the high level of fat contained in the traditional McDonalds menu. This became a huge communication problem, especially when protests started picketing several McDonalds in France.

McDonalds France Solution:

These problems have been handled by having McDonalds France Public Relations Department giving several press conferences, as well as, distributing several press releases. Since the Problem spans the entire country, high level McDonalds executives are communicating with the public. This communication does not end with high level executives; the message has permeated throughout the entire organization. The managers of individual franchises are very proactive to address and resolve the problems McDonalds has been experiencing. They choose to use the several forms of media that are most likely to actually reach the average McDonalds consumer, news paper press releases, press conferences that could be aired on the local news, and a new advertising campaign. First, McDonalds realized that they needed to change the structure and process to not offend French consumers and entice them to consume McDonalds products. Carol Matlack states, "McDonald's France also has defused criticism by adapting its restaurant designs to blend with local architecture. Some outlets in the Alps now boast wood-and-stone interiors reminiscent of a chalet." McDonalds had to dig deep into the French culture to figure out why they were not succeeding.

This problem can be related to the high level of uncertainty avoidance characteristic of the French Culture. They are not comfortable with a new style of restaurant, even though they enjoy the food. So in order for McDonalds to successfully conduct business in France they needed to revamp their current dinning experience.

They have also revamped their high speed food service as well. These new revamped McDonalds encourage dinners to linger over their food, and on average customers spend more money. They have also added some more traditional French items to their menu. For example, they now offer a hot ham and cheese sandwich, which helps make the fast food chain less of a change to French customers.

The French also are very particular about time when it comes to the dinning experience. As mentioned before, French people view meals as a dinning and social experience. By conforming to the French Culture and creating an environment that allows customers to lingerie has drastically increased

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