Markup in the Writing Classroom

Genre: essay

Student id: ko.di

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Exploring how Mc Donald's use menu(s) as a genre

In the restaurant industry, menu(s) play a very important role. They are the single most important piece of document that help acquire a potential customer, which is why restaurants spend a massive amount of time perfecting their menu(s). One such example is Mc Donald’s; who have over the past few decades not only been dominating the fast food industry with their delicious and cheap eateries but have also been a major influence in the establishment of menu as a genre.

Genre refers to the typical rhetorical way of responding to a situation that repeatedly occurs within a scene. For example, Mc Donald’s was the first to respond to the needs of an affordable yet tasty menu. They analysed a particular scene and came to the conclusion of creating a menu such that it serves the prime purpose of offering delicious meals for a dollar or under. By doing so, they responded to a rhetorical situation by creating a new type of sub-genre under the menu genre i.e. the dollar menu. Soon most of the fast food chains came out with their own version of the dollar menu.

Indian Menu
Indian Menu
USA
                    Menu
USA Menu

McDonald's is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries. The key to their success is creating a customized menu for almost every country on the basis of an extensive market research. They achieve this by factoring in the situation and participants (customers) that are involved in the scene.A Mc Donald’s menu in the United States of America is starkly different from that in India and this is because of the differences found in both the countries. For instance, India has a higher vegetarian oriented population as compared to USA which is why on the Indian menu of Mc Donald’s one can find a larger array of vegetarian friendly burgers. On the other hand, due to higher meat eating population in the USA, Mc Donald’s offer a greater ranger of non-vegetarian burgers. Moreover, both the menus have country exclusive burgers. In the Indian menu you will find burgers such as McVeggie and McSpicy, something that is not even remotely mentioned in the USA menu. Also the naming scheme on both the menus are very different. Burgers in the USA menu are named after famous state names such as the New York classic and California Chicken. Au contraire, Mc Donald’s has used Hinglish to name their Indian burgers. Instead of calling a burger McPotato they named it McAloo, wherein the word “aloo” means potato in Hindi. People in the U.S. are more health conscious, hence, the U.S. menu contains a calorie count next to each of its burger. By designing these differences, Mc Donald’s has taken up the culture and situation of a particular country and reflected it in their menu. Their objective "is to adapt their menu to reflect different tastes and local traditions for every country in which they have restaurants. They are keen to respect cultural differences and so every country has its own policy of developing menu items."

In the lights of all these differences, there are some vivid similarities in both the menus which overall help maintain the brand image of Mc Donald’s across the world. Both the menus have a very structured layout with starters, mains and dessert being displayed in different columns. Both menus have a variety of text sizes, bolded and non-bolded words to make them easy to follow. Each menus offers various meal options and often seem to have two different sizes for all their products. The menus are also loaded with delicious imageries of their products and have a very bright colour scheme that will without fail catch an onlookers’ attention. Lastly, both the menus somehow manage to portray the ever famous Mc Donald logo, hence, constantly reminding the customer where they are.

Imagine walking into a restaurant and asking the waiter questions regarding the type of cuisine they serve, what dishes do they have on offer, the prices of that dishes, etc. A menu puts an end to all of this questioning by simply offering you a cohesive summary of what the eating establishment is all about. Mc Donald’s have made great advancements in the fields of menu which has not only reflected in their sales but in the menu(s) itself. One can say that menus, in their own way, significantly contribute to not only the success of the company they represent, but also to the success of the food service industry they are a part of.

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