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Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Rationale of the research

Certain individuals exhibit a tendency to exclusively procure groceries during promotional events, demonstrating a willingness to visit multiple establishments in order to secure the most favorable price. According to anecdotal accounts, individuals have reported that during their shopping experiences, they would spend time perusing the store and purchasing items that appealed to their culinary preferences or piqued their interest. Some individuals expressed a desire for an increased variety of food items to facilitate the exploration of novel recipes and flavors. Across various cultural contexts, individuals aspire to establish a realm wherein they can attain comprehension, mastery, and adeptness over their own lives. In the aforementioned scenario, numerous students engaged in discussions regarding shopping as though it constituted a comprehensive activity governed by established norms and patterns. A subset of survey respondents exhibit a propensity for employing a predetermined list and adhering to a fixed itinerary while navigating a retail establishment, thereby limiting their focus solely to desired items (Bui 2020). 

1.2 Research Aims

The aim of the research is to evaluate the impact of cultural differences in fast food chain MNEs

1.3 Research Objectives

The research objectives are as follows:-

  • To analyze the role of cultural differences in fast food chains
  • To evaluate the impact of cultural differences in fast food chain MNEs
  • To provide recommendations

1.4 Research Questions

  • .How do cultural differences affect the menu offerings and food preferences of fast food MNEs in different countries?
  • What strategies do fast food MNEs employ to adapt their marketing and advertising campaigns to diverse cultural contexts?
  • What recommendations can be given to fast food MNEs to overcome cultural differences

1.5 Significance of the research

The fast food industry is experiencing rapid growth on a global scale, with projections indicating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from 2020 to 2027. Restaurant chains globally, as well as within their respective localities, are endeavoring to cater to the diverse demands of their customers by offering a comprehensive array of products and services. Fast food restaurants are favored by individuals due to their convenience and time-saving attributes. Additionally, shifts in consumer preferences have contributed to an increased popularity of dining out, thereby fostering rapid growth in the fast food restaurant industry. Similar to other industries, restaurants must prioritize customer satisfaction. Within the highly competitive hotel industry, the imperative of ensuring customer satisfaction has emerged as an integral component of organizational strategy.

1.6 Research Gap

 Entrepreneurs have learned that getting good feedback from customers is the key to building a business that will last for a long time. Customer satisfaction is influenced by various factors, and a restaurant's owners and managers can enhance it by possessing knowledge and comprehension of these factors. Customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business enterprise, regardless of whether it involves the sale of goods or the provision of services. Ensuring customer satisfaction is paramount in facilitating business expansion and securing a larger market share, ultimately leading to enhanced profitability (Santos and Batalha 2023)

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Cultural Differences

Fast-food companies use different foreign marketing strategies to stay ahead of the competition in a world where business is very competitive. One of the most important ideas in foreign marketing is "Think global, act local." There are big differences in how people do things in different countries, which can affect cooking methods and how food and drinks are made. In this situation, global fast-food chains must look at the economic, cultural, and religious traits of customers in many places around the world in order to assimilate. International marketers need to know a lot about societies that are different from their own if they want to be successful in global markets. To reach this goal, it is important to understand different parts of culture, such as material culture, language, religion, education, aesthetic ideals, behavior, and values. International marketers need to know a lot about societies that are different from their own if they want to be successful in global markets. To reach this goal, one must have a full understanding of what makes up culture, which includes but is not limited to material culture, language, religion, education, aesthetic ideals, behavior, and values (Wood et al. 2021).

2.2 Different Factors

Because of the significant impact these factors have on the behaviors of consumers, fast-food franchise companies can find it necessary to strive toward enhancing the quality of their restaurants. The managers need to pay more attention to the freshness, flavor, and look of the food being served. In order to achieve a high level of productivity, the staff members need to go through a significant amount of training. It is essential to maintain a restaurant in a clean state and to make certain that it is an inviting area to spend time in order to have a successful business. In spite of this, developing a sound pricing strategy is of the utmost importance because the findings of our study indicate that the manner in which consumers perceive the price has a direct influence not only on the degree to which they are satisfied but also on the standards to which they hold the quality of the food, service, and surroundings. Therefore, it is extremely essential that the pricing be appropriate for the goods. In addition, it is essential to be aware that the term "happiness" refers to more than mere "satisfaction" for managers, and that it has the ability to moderate the connection between "satisfaction" and "loyalty." Customers who feel their needs have been met are more likely to feel a sense of loyalty toward a certain company. Because of this, the likelihood of their returning to the restaurant and actively recommending it to other people who might be interested in eating there is increased. It is imperative that managers always employ a variety of approaches in order to fulfill the requirements of their clients, doing so in a manner that not only satisfies but also delights them, which in turn fosters trust. Because of this, businesses that have a hard time retaining customers may be able to increase their profits by maintaining the loyalty of their existing clients (Santos and Batalha 2023)

Because of the many ways in which men and women differ from one another, marketers frequently need to consider men and women as two distinct groups. This indicates that the marketing strategies ought to be modified according to the gender of the target audience. When it comes to making decisions on the quality of food, men are more likely than women to be swayed by the price. Therefore, it is essential to use further caution when determining whether or not the prices of goods or services offered to male clients are reasonable. Additionally, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the requirements of male consumers, since they are more sensitive to differences in service quality and more likely to be negatively influenced by them. This indicates that those who supply services, particularly those in the service industry, ought to pay a heightened level of attention to the factors that are most essential to the male customers they serve. Women and men are equally responsible for determining the eating habits of other individuals due to their ability to make decisions. Since this is the case, the significance of their requirements is the same. Understanding how female and male clients behave differently and have distinct demands can help you better segment the market and give you a larger part of the market if you take into account gender differences (Bui 2020). 

The appearance and atmosphere of a hotel or restaurant can have a significant impact on a firm's brand image, alter how customers view the organization, and have a direct bearing on the level of satisfaction experienced by those customers. The concept of one’s physical surroundings includes not only objects that are within the restaurant but also things that are located outside of it, including both those that can be touched and those that cannot. The temperature, the lighting, the fragrance, the sound, the mood, and the music are all aspects that make up these factors. He also mentioned that the ability of a restaurant to retain its current clients as well as attract new ones may be contingent on how well it controls the physical surroundings of the establishment.

The feelings that patrons have about the food, the atmosphere, and the service in a restaurant are directly connected to the plans that they have for what they will do while they are there. A number of environmental aspects, including as sound, smell, taste, and touch, as well as elements of design such as store layout and décor, and social aspects such as a customer's interactions with store employees, are all capable of having a significant impact on the behaviour of customers. It has been noted by those who work in the food service sector that it is highly vital for a restaurant to place a strong emphasis on providing excellent cuisine, service, and a pleasant ambiance. People have the notion that shifting attention to customers could make them more content and possibly alter their behaviour in the long run (Santos and Batalha 2023)

2.3 Challenges and recommendations for the companies

Because of the globalisation of markets, marketing research has undergone significant transformation and is now genuinely global in scope. It is anticipated that this pattern will remain prevalent for some time to come. Consumers in today's society are more knowledgeable than ever before about how the value of various products or services stacks up against one another. The majority of people believe that having strong communication skills is one of the most important competitive advantages for organisations that aim to satisfy the varying requirements of customers located in different parts of the world. Food is a highly important consideration that plays a significant role in people’s decisions regarding where they want to travel and how they will feel, chose, and behaves once they have arrived at their destination. In many parts of the world, people's religious beliefs strongly influence both the foods they eat and the manner in which they consume them. This influence encompasses a wide range of facets, including the kinds of food that are permitted, the individuals who are responsible for preparing and cooking the food, the predetermined times for meals, and the manner of eating as well as the optimal time to do so. However, it is essential to keep in mind that many religions each have their own set of guidelines and tenets on the proper way for people to consume food. There are numerous religious systems in which adherents may not always obey the commandments in precisely the same manner. Some people adhere to the rules quite strictly, while others are more lenient, and a select few don't give the regulations any thought at all values (Wood et al. 2021).

Therefore, in order to determine whether or not there is a connection between how individuals eat and their religion, it is essential to take into account all of the many religious perspectives and practises that exist both within and between the various religious groups. A person's mindset and behaviour, in addition to being influenced by the variations between people, are also affected by the culture in which they live, which includes the norms, beliefs, and values of that society. A person's cultural beliefs have a significant influence on how they behave, what they think about themselves, and how they perceive the world around them. This is something that should be taken into consideration, since it is very essential. The process of communicating information amongst diverse groups of people whose cultural origins are substantially different is known as intercultural communication. The procedure is difficult to carry out because it requires the sharing of information in an environment where a variety of different systems are brought together. Everyone who is a part of the process described above has a responsibility to exert a lot of effort in order to lessen "uncertainty about the future behaviour of the other party by improving understanding of the other group." In common parlance, the concept of "culture" refers to a collective mentality that encompasses the similar patterns of behaviour, beliefs, values, and rituals that emerge and become widespread among a particular group of people. This social structure is frequently handed down from one generation to the next, which not only helps the group remain cohesive but also makes it considerably more powerful. Ideas, beliefs, language, political systems, and tools are just few of the components that come together to form culture, which is a multifaceted and intricate phenomenon. These items are what constitute the singular qualities or characteristics that define a given group as a whole. There is no person or organisation located outside of this organisation that is responsible for ensuring compliance with this code. On the other hand, one may argue that the concept derives from social processes and has been handed down through the course of history. International marketers have come to the realisation that customers in different nations have distinct needs and wants, and that products and services need to be adjusted to fit those needs and wants. As a result of this realisation, international marketers have begun to focus more on regional marketing (Bui 2020). 

Practitioners of various religions have varying degrees of attention to the rules that they are required to obey. This dedication can range from a tight obedience to the laws to a more flexible compliance, and some practitioners even have no interest in following the rules at all. Therefore, in order to determine whether or not there is a connection between how individuals eat and their religious ideas, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the many religious practises that people adhere to, both within and across different religious groups.

In common parlance, the concept of "culture" refers to a collective mentality that encompasses the similar patterns of behaviour, beliefs, values, and rituals that emerge and become widespread among a particular group of people. This traditional structure is frequently handed down from one generation to the next, which enables the group to maintain its cohesion and continue to be recognised for who it is. A culture is a sophisticated item that is made up of many distinct components, such as ideas, beliefs, language, political systems, and tools. These components all work together to form the culture. These components, when put together, constitute the distinctive characteristics or features of a certain group. This code is not necessary for anyone or any organisation that is not part of the organisation. On the other hand, one may argue that the concept derives from social processes and has been handed down through the course of history. International marketers have come to the realisation that customers in different nations have distinct needs and wants, and that products and services need to be adjusted to fit those needs and wants. As a result of this realisation, international marketers have begun to focus more on regional marketing.

There is a wide range of levels of dedication to the rules that practitioners of various faiths are expected to follow. These levels range from a tight devotion to the rules to a more flexible observance of the laws, and some practitioners show little interest in following the rules at all. Therefore, in order to determine whether or not there is a connection between what people eat and their religious views, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the diverse array of religious practises that individuals who adhere to a variety of religions or none at all follow (Wood et al. 2021).

By providing customers in the United States and Germany with meal package options that consist of a hamburger, french fries, and a drink, McDonald's has been tremendously successful. A brand can connect with the cultural relevance of a given region by employing a positioning strategy that is known as local consumer culture positioning. This involves conforming to the standards and identities of the local culture, creating the impression that members of the national culture enjoy the brand, and drawing attention to the fact that the product is manufactured locally to fulfil the requirements of buyers in the local market.

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

3.1 Overview of the Methods

It figures out the set of ideas and rules that a researcher will use to gather data and information. In this, there are a lot of ideas that can help you choose from among many. Philosophies like positivism and interpretivism were used by the researchers in their study. (Snyder, 2019): "Interpretivism" could be defined as a philosophical approach and a way to study events in society and manage data. On the other hand, positivism is a philosophy that is based on facts and good results. In this study, the role of technology in supply chain and logistics operations is talked about. Positivism is being used by the researcher because it can help them learn more about the subject and find out what tools help manufacturing companies be more productive.

This could be explained by saying that a researcher needs to choose the right plan and method to do a study. In order to finish their study, researchers need to choose a topic and come up with plans. There are two ways to do study, which are called "inductive" and "deductive." The deductive method starts with making a specific theory based on a review of the literature that shows how to collect data well. The inductive method starts with the researcher's observations, which are then used to make a new idea about the topic. It's important for researchers to choose the best method that can be used to improve performance. In this study, the researcher is using a deductive method because it can help him or her build an idea about the subject.

An experiment is a type of empirical study that shows how reasons lead to effects. As its name suggests, a strategy is a plan that is used to manage tasks and actions that have to do with research. When doing any task, you need to find out what problems and issues are going on in the business world and how they affect the performance of the company. Case studies, ethnography, descriptive research, and grounded theory are all different ways to do study. A case study focuses on just one part of the study and gives a detailed description of that part. Grounded theory is another method for doing research that tries to build theories by looking at real-world facts. This paper is helpful because it gives the right points of view and shows how to study. Ethnography is all about describing people and their society in a way that works and keeps on working.

The methods and steps used to gather information for study are called "data collection methods." It's important for every person and study to gather the right data and information that can lead to good results. In other words, data collection is an ongoing process of gathering and measuring information on factors of interest in a way that helps researchers finish their studies quickly and clearly. There are two ways to look at the data you collect: qualitatively and quantitatively. It has been seen that a quantitative method is used when a researcher collects data and information in a practical and statistical way. It could be shown on a graph, in a bar chart, or in a table. On the other hand, a qualitative method is used when information is shared in a theoretical and non-numerical way.

Primary and secondary sources are used to get the information. When data is taken from first-hand sources and other primary sources, this is called "primary data." It is used to get new data and information that hasn't already been gathered. Questionnaires and interviews are examples of original sources that help people understand and learn about a topic. It has found that when information is gathered from data that has already been gathered and from secondary sources, the information comes from a secondary source. This can help keep track of all the tasks and processes related to the topic. In this study, the researcher has used both primary and secondary sources because they can help him or her get the right information. For primary study, investigators have used survey analysis, which is a quantitative method that can help give right and accurate information.

Sampling is choosing a specific group from the whole community so that one can learn more about a subject. It has been seen that when a researcher wants to get first-hand information, he or she needs to choose the sample number because different samples give different kinds of information. There are two kinds of sampling: random and not random. With probability sampling, every person in the group has a chance of being chosen. Most of the time, it is used for quantitative research. On the other hand, when people are chosen based on factors that are not random. In this study, the researcher is using probability sampling because it helps them get the right data and knowledge about the topic, which helps them keep track of everything. The selected sample size is 40 customers of the fast food industry. The sample is selected based on random probability method. The survey has been done by distributing online forms.

3.2 Ethical Considerations

The term "ethics" refers to a set of guiding moral standards that individuals are expected to adhere to in their daily lives. Without a shadow of a doubt, qualitative research possesses the ability to offer helpful insights into a wide variety of ethical challenges, in particular those that pertain to the fields of business and management. The treatment and involvement of those people who are taking part in the study are the subjects of the ethical considerations. Ethical standards were strictly followed throughout the whole of the research that was carried out for this study. A notification was sent to the participants in the survey via e-mail before the beginning of the survey. After that, an introductory communication was sent to the participants, in which the aim of the study was explained, as well as the amount of participation that was expected from them. In addition, each participant signed a written document indicating that they gave their permission for the survey to be recorded. This document was given to the participants. Within the scope of the current inquiry, the researcher took precautions to protect the confidentiality and safety of each and every subject that took part.

It is of critical significance to act in accordance with the regulations and ethical principles that have been created by the relevant organizations. The confidentiality of the participants in this study was strictly maintained. It's possible to make the case that ensuring anonymity in surveys makes it easier for respondents to be more honest, which in turn makes the data collected more genuine and accurate. The scholar and the thesis supervisor were the only ones who could access the material. The thesis supervisor made sure that the material remained confidential by putting it in a safe place, which prevented any unauthorized individuals from acquiring it. The participants were given in-depth information regarding the methodology and goals of the study that was being conducted.

Chapter 4: Findings and Discussion

4.1 Findings

Frequency Table

Gender

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Male

29

72.5

72.5

72.5

Female

11

27.5

27.5

100.0

Total

40

100.0

100.0

Table 1: Gender

Age

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

18-25

14

35.0

35.0

35.0

25-35

12

30.0

30.0

65.0

35-45

9

22.5

22.5

87.5

Above 45

5

12.5

12.5

100.0

Total

40

100.0

100.0

Table 2: Age

Visitinfoodchain

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Regularly

25

62.5

62.5

62.5

Not so regular

11

27.5

27.5

90.0

Rare

4

10.0

10.0

100.0

Total

40

100.0

100.0

Table 3: Visit

Culturaldifferences

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Strongly Agree

28

70.0

70.0

70.0

Agree

2

5.0

5.0

75.0

Neutral

3

7.5

7.5

82.5

Disagree

4

10.0

10.0

92.5

Strongly Disagree

3

7.5

7.5

100.0

Total

40

100.0

100.0

Table 4: Differences

Importancetomitigate

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Strongly Agree

28

70.0

70.0

70.0

Agree

2

5.0

5.0

75.0

Neutral

3

7.5

7.5

82.5

Disagree

4

10.0

10.0

92.5

Strongly Disagree

3

7.5

7.5

100.0

Total

40

100.0

100.0

Table 5: Importance

Descriptives

Notes

Output Created

11-AUG-2023 17:22:24

Comments

Input

Active Dataset

DataSet2

Filter

<none>

Weight

<none>

Split File

<none>

N of Rows in Working Data File

40

Missing Value Handling

Definition of Missing

User defined missing values are treated as missing.

Cases Used

All non-missing data are used.

Syntax

DESCRIPTIVES VARIABLES=Gender Age Visitinfoodchain Culturaldifferences Importancetomitigate

/STATISTICS=MEAN STDDEV MIN MAX

/SORT=MEAN (A).

Resources

Processor Time

00:00:00.00

Elapsed Time

00:00:00.00

Descriptive Statistics

N

Minimum

Maximum

Mean

Std. Deviation

Gender

40

1.00

2.00

1.2750

.45220

Visitinfoodchain

40

1.00

3.00

1.4750

.67889

Culturaldifferences

40

1.00

5.00

1.8000

1.36250

Importancetomitigate

40

1.00

5.00

1.8000

1.36250

Age

40

1.00

4.00

2.1250

1.04237

Valid N (listwise)

40

DESCRIPTIVES VARIABLES=Gender Age Visitinfoodchain Culturaldifferences Importancetomitigate

/STATISTICS=MEAN SUM STDDEV VARIANCE RANGE MIN MAX SEMEAN KURTOSIS SKEWNESS

/SORT=MEAN (A).

Descriptives

Notes

Output Created

11-AUG-2023 17:22:39

Comments

Input

Active Dataset

DataSet2

Filter

<none>

Weight

<none>

Split File

<none>

N of Rows in Working Data File

40

Missing Value Handling

Definition of Missing

User defined missing values are treated as missing.

Cases Used

All non-missing data are used.

Syntax

DESCRIPTIVES VARIABLES=Gender Age Visitinfoodchain Culturaldifferences Importancetomitigate

/STATISTICS=MEAN SUM STDDEV VARIANCE RANGE MIN MAX SEMEAN KURTOSIS SKEWNESS

/SORT=MEAN (A).

Resources

Processor Time

00:00:00.02

Elapsed Time

00:00:00.02

Descriptive Statistics

N

Range

Minimum

Maximum

Sum

Mean

Statistic

Statistic

Statistic

Statistic

Statistic

Statistic

Std. Error

Gender

40

1.00

1.00

2.00

51.00

1.2750

.07150

Visitinfoodchain

40

2.00

1.00

3.00

59.00

1.4750

.10734

Culturaldifferences

40

4.00

1.00

5.00

72.00

1.8000

.21543

Importancetomitigate

40

4.00

1.00

5.00

72.00

1.8000

.21543

Age

40

3.00

1.00

4.00

85.00

2.1250

.16481

Valid N (listwise)

40

Descriptive Statistics

Std. Deviation

Variance

Skewness

Kurtosis

Statistic

Statistic

Statistic

Std. Error

Statistic

Std. Error

Gender

.45220

.204

1.048

.374

-.953

.733

Visitinfoodchain

.67889

.461

1.130

.374

.097

.733

Culturaldifferences

1.36250

1.856

1.406

.374

.451

.733

Importancetomitigate

1.36250

1.856

1.406

.374

.451

.733

Age

1.04237

1.087

.454

.374

-.978

.733

Valid N (listwise)

4.2 Discussion

The Cultural adaptation refers to the gradual process through which an individual adjusts their personal habits and customs in order to conform to the norms and practices of a specific culture. It can also denote the incremental transformations within a given culture or societies that transpire as individuals from diverse backgrounds engage in the cultural milieu, exchanging their viewpoints and customs. Adaptive behaviour encompasses the age-appropriate behaviors that are essential for individuals to achieve independence and engage in everyday life activities in a safe and socially suitable manner, as expected within their age and social context (Lee et al., 2023). A receptive frame of mind is required for the process of cultural adaptation, which requires overcoming a substantial challenge and conforming to a unique set of norms within a certain social unit.

The fast food industry is seeing significant expansion and is receiving a great deal of promotion. There is a possibility that cultural considerations will play a role in the selection of candidates for promotions to jobs that are intended to reflect the demographics of a specific population. A total of 86 different advertisements for fast food restaurants that air on television were analyzed with the purpose of determining how effectively each one promotes healthy eating and living. By analyzing the ways in which advertisements in other cultures are different, the purpose of this study was to determine whether or not multinational corporations demonstrate cultural awareness in their marketing techniques. The findings indicate that marketing strategies need to be adapted when cultural differences are taken into consideration. This lends credence to the notion that marketing strategies employed by global corporations are highly specialized. Food is necessary for human survival and may be broken down into three categories: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Eating is done for three primary reasons: first, to ensure one's continued existence; second, to derive essential nutrients and sensual pleasure from the act of eating; and third, to alleviate feelings of boredom or solitude.

Many people all around the world place a significant emphasis on the role that food plays in their lives. People have burn calories in a variety of different ways throughout the course of a typical day. Therefore, in order for humans to have enough energy, they need to consume a particular quantity of food. The amount of food that a person needs to consume is contingent on the type of person they are. Therefore, eating is a fundamental need that arises from our inherent inclinations, which cause us to have desires for food when it is time for a meal. In spite of this, one thing that distinguishes humans from other kinds of beings, such as animals, is the fact that in addition to feeding, we like to develop social ties. You could say that eating food is more than just a necessary activity for humans to carry out in order to maintain their lives. Instead, it is a means of engaging in conversation with other individuals. Because of this, it is even more significant than its biological and nutritional benefits in terms of maintaining healthy social bonds.

There is a substantial flow of goods, services, financial resources, people, and ideas moving across different countries at any one time. Globalization is the term that most people use to describe the process that is being discussed here. On the other hand, localized strategies, which are marketing approaches that are especially adapted to fit with the distinctive national, regional, and cultural qualities of a given geographical location, are referred to as localization. Localization is another name for localized strategies. Despite this, a number of multinational firms practice glocalization, which is shorthand for the mix of globalization and localization strategies. When expanding into new areas, employees working in fast food restaurants around the world are aware of the requirement to implement a marketing mix strategy as part of their business plan. This strategy comprises keeping the particular personality and value proposition of the brand intact, while at the same time making certain that consumers have the impression that their cultural background is being appropriately acknowledged and cherished. The occurrence of globalization is dependent on the widespread existence of businesses that are able to operate across international borders while also following to standards that are generally acknowledged around the world. In contrast, the practice of glocalization draws emphasis to the complexities and subtleties that are linked with an international idea. McDonald's has taken the unprecedented step of deciding to stop providing beef and pork items to customers in the Indian market. This choice was taken as a result of the company's strong attention to respecting local culinary norms and cultural tendencies, which led to the consideration of these factors. Following the revision of the company's menu for the Indian market, which ensured the explicit exclusion of beef and pig from all food items delivered to the region, the decision was made. The decision was made subsequent to the adjustment of the company's menu. This highlights the impact that changes in culture have on McDonald's approach to strategic planning. In the hypothetical situation in which beef and pork were both offered on the same menu in India, as is the practice in the United States, it is feasible that the endeavor may have had difficulties in reaching success and may have potentially been subjected to negative media attention. This is because the practice is similar to the one observed in the United States. In India, eating beef and pork is not only illegal but also considered socially unacceptable due to the country's culture. This phenomena could be related to the fact that a sizeable majority of the population in India adheres to the Hindu faith, in which the act of slaughtering cows is considered to be a sacred activity. In addition, it is important to be aware that the intake of pork is frowned upon by some people who practice Islam as their religion. At the moment, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is having a conversation about issues relating to national identity, protectionism, and culinary preferences. McDonald's has been the focal point of these discussions as a result of the desire on the part of many Koreans to simultaneously display both nationalistic and patriotic sentiments. In addition, many people consider McDonald's to be a profoundly iconic portrayal of the culture of the United States. In the context of Korea, it involves more than just commercial operations; rather, it embodies the subtle and paradoxical components that contribute to the unique character of Korean-American living. These elements contribute to the fact that Korean-Americans have a particular way of being in the world. Major international fast food firms like McDonald's, KFC, and Domino's show clear signs of the influence of cultural differences in their operations. Because of these differences, each of these organizations has been forced to adjust their tactics in order to conform to the specific requirements of the nations in which they conduct business. This was necessary in order for them to continue doing business successfully. It is essential for businesses that are expanding into new nations to take into account the cultural variations that exist there. Doing so enables these businesses to more effectively comprehend and cater to the demands and needs of their customers. This has the potential to result in the failure of the company or an initial performance that is damaging to the company.When businesses try to create their presence in numerous areas at the same time without first determining the amount to which their operations need to be modified, they are much more likely to fail than succeed.

In the 1970s, McDonald's decided to investigate whether or not it would be profitable to expand its business into the Korean market by commissioning a market research study. Following the conclusion of World War II, ties between the United States and South Korea have been tense for a considerable amount of time, which is reflected in the findings of the poll, which showed that South Koreans had a noticeable tendency to have negative opinions towards Americans. People in the United States and South Korea were asked about their experiences at fast food restaurants as part of a comparative research project that aimed to determine whether or not there are significant differences in how people in these two countries view the level of service they receive. The research chose McDonald's as its primary focus since the fast food restaurant chain is well known in both the United States and Korea, and because there are McDonald's restaurants in South Korea. The research showed that Korean individuals, on average, judged the value of McDonald's service to be substantially lower than their American counterparts did. This was the case when compared to the United States.

Food advertisements have a significant impact not just on what consumers intend to purchase but also on what they ultimately do purchase. Food advertisements in today's world do a lot more than merely alter peoples' eating habits. Instead, they have been ingrained in the personality of the product's brand, as well as its social standing and the way it makes people feel about themselves. These advertisements are crafted to appeal to particular subsets of consumers who engage in particular behaviors. Therefore, in order to differentiate themselves from those with lower incomes, some people choose to eat in a manner that is going to attract a lot of attention to themselves. These individuals have the goal of elevating their social status by demonstrating that they are willing to spend more money on specific food brands. A person's daily food choices, such as their preferred meals, items, and drinks to go along with them, can also be used to determine what social class they belong to. This can be done by looking at a person's grocery list. The amount of money that is spent on nutrition can roughly be estimated based on these decisions. Therefore, a person's socioeconomic standing has a significant impact on the types of foods they have access to and the ways in which they can prepare those foods. Food and social class are intricately intertwined, as demonstrated by upscale dining experiences, consumer culture, the culture business, globalization, modernism, and conspicuous consumption, according to a comprehensive study of the topic. People in countries that have been colonized by Western culture frequently classify food into "good" and "bad" categories. Good cuisine is typically conceived of in terms such as nutrition, health, purity, cleanliness, simplicity, and sophistication by most people. On the other hand, undesirable qualities associated with food include sickness, disease, pollution, fakeness, an excessive amount of fat, and overeating.

Theme 1: Food is a way of communication that many of us aren’t often aware

The role of food as a means of communication is often overlooked, as many individuals perceive food consumption just as a means to address immediate hunger pangs. Nevertheless, it is also possible to analyse food through a semiotic lens due to its incorporation of various symbolic elements, including cultural aspects. Hence, it is imperative to analyse food through a semiotic lens. According to Ali et al., (2021), the visual presentation of food on a plate, the techniques employed in its preparation, the manner in which it is given, the etiquette observed while consuming it, and the sensory experiences it elicits collectively express various meanings. These aspects are all comprised of distinct sign systems that facilitate communication among individuals.

In order to sustain their existence, individuals are required to engage in the consumption of food, which primarily consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats within the nutritional hierarchy. There are three primary motivations underlying human food consumption: biological necessity for survival, the pursuit of nutritional benefits and gustatory satisfaction derived from eating, and the utilization of food as a means to alleviate feelings of ennui or solitude. Food plays a significant role in the lives of numerous individuals worldwide. Human beings engage in various activities throughout the day, resulting in the expenditure of calories. Consequently, it becomes necessary for individuals to consume an appropriate quantity of food to meet their energy requirements (Dass and Vinnakota, 2019). The specific amount of food needed is contingent upon one's gender. Thus, the consumption of food can be considered a fundamental necessity, driven by our innate instincts, which prompt us to desire sustenance during meal times. Nevertheless, a distinguishing characteristic that sets humans apart from other organisms, namely animals, is our ability to establish social connections in addition to our consumption of sustenance. In essence, it may be argued that the act of consuming food extends beyond mere sustenance for human beings. Rather, the act of eating encompasses socialization, indicating that food serves not just as a biological or nutritional necessity, but also as a means to foster and sustain social connections.

During social interactions, individuals often engage in talks with their companions, wherein they discuss topics that hold personal significance to them. These topics may encompass a range of emotions, including happiness, anger, and sadness, as individuals expresses their experiences and feelings from the day. Occasionally, individuals recount humorous anecdotes from their personal experiences as a means of fostering a pleasant ambiance (Duan et al., 2021). On certain occasions, individuals make significant decisions or engage in discussions regarding their future intentions. In the interim, individuals adhere to established protocols of table etiquette and, notably, adapt their conversational style to align with the cultural and social context of their interlocutors.

Theme 2: Cultures mainly categorize food such as good and bad

In Westernized cultures, food is commonly classified into categories of "good" and "bad." Good food is typically associated with qualities such as nutrition, health, purity, cleanliness, lightness, and refinement. On the other hand, bad food is characterized by aspects such as illness, disease, pollution, artificiality, excess fat, and indulgence. This phenomenon primarily stems from the recognition that eating is no longer solely driven by the pursuit of pleasure or the acquisition of sustenance. Instead, it has evolved into a political act due to heightened awareness among individuals regarding the advantages and disadvantages associated with the contemporary food industry in the present era (Lee et al., 2023). There have been extensive discussions over the presence of genetically modified organisms in maize, maize feed, and chicken within the Turkish news media. Over an extended period, these debates have prompted the implementation of precautionary measures to address public concerns and alleviate anxieties.

Moreover, the dietary behaviors of individuals are influenced by the cultural contexts in which they reside. It is within these cultural frameworks that certain foods are categorized and designated as either acceptable or unacceptable for consumption. In essence, the factors that influence our dietary behaviors encompass various elements, including our geographical location, religion affiliation, socioeconomic status, gender, and familial eating patterns. In contemporary multinational enterprises, there is an increased awareness of the dietary habits of its employees (Liu et al., 2020). Specifically, MNEs aim to discourage the consumption of unhealthy food items such as greasy chips and sugary soft drinks. This emphasis on promoting healthier choices is intended to foster the well-being and prevent obesity among employees.

The dietary practices of individuals are not solely driven by physiological requirements, but rather influenced by a multitude of factors including cultural norms and symbolic significance. This study presents an analysis from a semiotic standpoint, highlighting the significant impact of socioeconomic classes, cultural backgrounds, shopping preferences, and symbolic meanings associated with products on individuals' dietary choices within contemporary consumer societies (Macready et al., 2020). In addition, the sensory attributes such as taste, odor, and visual appeal of the food presented on our plates exert a significant impact on our subjective preference towards it. Restaurants, like all other types of businesses, have to put an emphasis on providing excellent customer service. Because of the intensely cutthroat nature of the hospitality sector, ensuring that customers are happy with the services provided by hotels has become an essential component of their overall business strategies. Establishments that provide food to customers make it a point to give their customers the best possible experience in order to foster customer loyalty and encourage return business. The proprietors of the company are aware of the fact that receiving favorable comments from customers is the method that is the most likely to result in the establishment of a sustainable business. The level of happiness that a customer has with a restaurant can be increased if the owners and management of the restaurant have a full awareness of the numerous aspects that determine the level of pleasure that a customer has with the restaurant. No matter whether the company focuses on providing products or services, it is of the utmost significance to guarantee the complete fulfillment of the requirements of the customer base. In order to determine whether or not there is a connection between an individual's food preferences and the religion to which they belong, it is necessary to conduct an exhaustive study of the wide variety of religious practices and beliefs that are held by members of the same religious community as well as by members of other religious groups. In addition, in addition to the intrinsic differences that exist between individuals, the cultural environment in which an individual inhabits, which includes the established norms, values, and principles of that particular society, has a significant impact on the cognitive processes and behavioral patterns that an individual demonstrates. These aspects are contributors to the specific qualities or properties that characterize a group or collective entity. There is no outside body or group that is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that employees adhere to this code within the company. Alternately, one may make the case that the conception of this notion is generated from complex social systems and that it has been passed down through the generations throughout the course of history. Because customers in different countries have such a wide variety of tastes and expectations, businesses need to modify their products and services so that they may more successfully satisfy their customers' individual needs and wants. The concept of this phenomena is now understood by international marketers.

Another significant aspect to consider is that as individuals, we engage in eating to foster positive social interactions, whereas we also place emphasis on adhering to proper table etiquette. Prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, individuals would commonly arrange formal banquets or cocktail gatherings, intimate dinners, or heartfelt social gatherings, accompanied by delectable cuisine, in order to commemorate a significant occasion or enjoy the company of their friends, romantic partners, or acquaintances (Santos and Batalha, 2023). However, it may be argued that food has a significant role in fostering and strengthening social connections. In summary, food holds significant significance in our daily existence as it plays a pivotal part in the formation and expression of our social identities.

Theme 3: Learning about the people of the country MNEs are operating

Globalization can be seen as the ongoing process of increased worldwide economic integration, which has been observed over the past five decades. One notable distinction is in the present-day markets, which exhibit more scale, heightened intricacy, and enhanced interconnectedness in comparison to previous periods. Currently, capital exhibits a velocity and magnitude of movement that would have been unimaginable in previous decades. It can be argued that the current manifestation of globalization is a continuation of a historical process that has been occurring for at least five centuries (Sinha and Bathini, 2019). This process was initiated by European colonialism and imperialism, which established a complex relationship between local tribalism and global trade, ultimately shaping the present state of affairs.

Multinational corporations employ the strategy of "expanding and assimilating globally" in order to penetrate new markets and ensure long-term viability. Fast food businesses such as KFC, McDonald's, and Nando's face the formidable task of navigating the complexities associated with transcending national borders, assimilating into many cultures across the globe, and simultaneously maintaining a global and local presence. One of the primary challenges in comprehending individuals from different cultural backgrounds, whether they are within or outside a certain culture, is the inclination to evaluate their conduct based on our own set of norms and values. As individuals distance themselves from a certain culture and its inhabitants, their knowledge and understanding of said culture diminishes (Wilkins et al., 2019). Consequently, their level of discomfort in social interactions with members of that culture increases. This heightened discomfort often leads individuals to exhibit a greater inclination to isolate them further. Consequently, in order to ensure their survival, multinational corporations must acquire knowledge pertaining to the local populace in the countries where they conduct their operations.

Throughout the course of human history, food has served as a unifying force, bringing people together in a manner unparalleled by any other entity. Throughout history, the market of food has consistently held a significant position in human existence, including various settings such as the ancient agora, contemporary supermarkets, and restaurants. This market has consistently served as a focal point for individuals, communities, communication, and culture. Culture is commonly conceptualized as a comprehensive framework of values that significantly influences consumer behaviour. Individuals within a specific cultural group has the ability to elevate their encounters with both their physical surroundings and social interactions to a more conceptual realm, forming a set of beliefs regarding what is considered favorable or unfavorable (Wood et al., 2021). Encoded ideas, also referred to as values, serve as a broad framework for guiding everyday behaviors, particularly those related to purchasing and consumption. Cultural values exhibit variations among nations in accordance with Hofstede's four aspects of national character. The escalating prevalence of global commerce has heightened the imperative to comprehend consumer behaviour through a cross-cultural lens.

Theme 4: Fast food chain MNEs has helped to transform cultural differences

Over a concise timeframe, the fast food sector has played a significant role in altering not just the dietary habits of Americans, but also the physical environment, economic dynamics, labour market, and prevailing cultural norms. Fast food can be regarded as a significant emblem of globalization and post-modern civilization, with few nations remaining unaffected by its perceived allure. Religion exerts significant influence on food choices and consuming behaviour within numerous countries. This influence encompasses various aspects, including the permissible types of food, the designated individuals responsible for food preparation and cooking, the prescribed timing for meals, and the recommended practices for eating. Nevertheless, it is important to note that various religions exhibit distinct regulations and doctrines pertaining to dietary practices (Ali et al., 2021). Adherents of various religious traditions exhibit varying levels of adherence to prescribed norms, with some adhering strictly, others displaying more flexibility in their observance, and a minority demonstrating indifference towards such laws. Therefore, in order to examine the correlation between food consumption patterns and religious beliefs, it is crucial to thoroughly acknowledge the diverse religious practices observed by individuals within and across different religious groups (Santos and Batalha 2023)

McDonald's has achieved notable success in both the United States and Germany with the implementation of package offerings, wherein a combination of a hamburger, fries, and a beverage is provided to customers. Local consumer culture positioning refers to a strategic approach wherein a brand is linked to local cultural significance. This involves aligning with the norms and identities of the local culture, presenting the brand as being consumed by individuals within the national culture, and emphasizing its local production for the benefit of local consumers (Duan et al., 2021). On the other hand, the strategy of foreign consumer culture positioning establishes the brand as a symbol of a distinct foreign consumer culture. In addition to inherent variations among individuals, the dispositions and behaviors of humans are shaped by the prevailing norms, beliefs, and values within their cultural milieu. Moreover, cultural values have a significant role in shaping not just an individual's actions, but also their understanding of their own identity and the surrounding social context. The influence of cultural variations on intercultural communication is substantial. The aforementioned factors contribute to the occurrence of miscommunication by giving rise to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, feelings of anxiousness, and a sense of uncertainty.

A culture is commonly understood as a collective construct that encompasses the shared patterns of behaviour, beliefs, values, and customs that are produced and disseminated among a specific group of individuals. This cultural framework is typically passed down from one generation to the next, contributing to the continuity and cohesion of the group. Culture encompasses a multitude of intricate components, including ideas, values, language, political systems, and tools, which collectively contribute to the distinct code or traits of a particular community. This code is not mandated by an individual or an external governing entity. On the contrary, it might be argued that the concept is socially produced and historically transmitted. It has been widely acknowledged by international marketers that the customization of products and services is often necessary to cater to the diverse demands and tastes of consumers across different nations (Sinha and Bathini, 2019). McDonald's has undertaken product adaptations in India and implemented menu modifications to accommodate regional preferences in several global markets.

The objective of marketing management is to generate favorable perceptions of the company among local consumers, even if it requires making certain adjustments to the company's global brand image. Within the fast-food sector, the composition of menu offerings is subject to the influence of prevalent cultural values. This is evident through the presence of Maharaja Macs in McDonald's establishments in India, Teriyaki McBurgers in McDonald's outlets in Japan, as well as the existence of both Kosher and non-Kosher restaurants within McDonald's operations in Israel. Moreover, it is imperative for advertising materials, outdoor signage, and in-store ephemera to be presented in the native language of the respective regions. The architectural design of restaurants sometimes integrates indigenous motifs, while global commercial influences might have a distinct local character (Dass and Vinnakota, 2019). In Shanghai, there exists a Starbucks establishment that features a facade inspired by the Ming Dynasty. Additionally, several KFC locations in China have gates that are protected by life-sized fiberglass replicas of Colonel Sanders. Notably, these replicas depict Colonel Sanders with a slightly plump appearance reminiscent of the Buddha in Asian culture. According to the statements made by former CEO Jack Greenberg, the implementation of localization strategies has played a significant role in the global success of McDonald's. However, several observers caution that the widespread adoption of decentralization practices has reached a level where it poses a potential risk to the fundamental principles that underpin the brand, namely service, quality, and cleanliness. In Western civilizations, it is not uncommon for people to eat their meal with utensils such spoons, forks, and knives rather than directly consuming food with their fingers. These utensils are used for dining reasons. In addition, it is normal habit to wipe one's hands on a napkin rather than licking one's fingers, which is a custom that is more prominent in Arabic cultures. This is in contrast to the practice of licking one's fingers after eating. In addition, sticking to excellent table etiquette is indicative of participation in affluent social strata within specific societies, which is an important point. People who lived in the Upper East Side of New York City in the 1950s were able to determine whether or not a person belonged to a high-social class simply by seeing the utensil that they used while they were eating. This was a common practice. This technique was used as a gauge to determine who was socially included and who was not included within the community.

In spite of this, it is essential to recognize that there are significant departures from the norms of traditional table manners, most notably within the cultures surrounding fast food that are prominent in civilizations that have been Westernized. People in these consumer-driven environments frequently resort to eating with their bare hands. In addition, the seating arrangements in fast-food restaurants are purposefully designed to encourage customers to leave as quickly as possible, which might be uncomfortable for customers who are there for extended periods of time. The primary goal here is to persuade clients to devour their meals as rapidly as possible and leave the establishment as soon as they are through in order to make room for new customers. The fulfillment of a customer's demands and conformity to their expectations will lead to increased levels of customer satisfaction.

It has been discovered that the level of satisfaction a customer experiences has a substantial influence on both the possibility of that customer engaging in repeat purchase behavior as well as their intention to do so. Customers who are unhappy with the product or service they received are unsure whether or not they would return to the business. When a customer has a pleasant time at a restaurant, it may increase the likelihood that they will return to that business in the future. When individuals not only express happiness with a brand, but also actively seek out a superior core offering and a high degree of service, a positive word-of-mouth (WOM) is developed. This is because satisfied customers are more likely to tell their friends and family about the brand. An investigation of one's own personal food system is essential to gaining an understanding of the myriad of elements that influence one's preferences for the foods they eat, as well as the role that cultural factors play in the formation of such preferences. The choice of food is a complex issue that incorporates the underlying factors that lie behind the dietary preferences of individuals. Food preferences are the result of complex processes that are influenced by a wide variety of interconnected elements, including biological, psychological, economic, social, cultural, physical, and political aspects. The culmination of these processes is the formation of one's food preferences. The choice of food has a complex relationship with the social and economic manifestation of identities, preferences, and the value of culture. This component has a considerable impact on both the nutritional status of an individual and their general state of health.

Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

Consumers' purchasing decisions and behavior are influenced by cultural values, which in turn shape consumers' expectations on the characteristics of items that adequately satisfy their requirements. Consequently, cultural values play an essential part in international business, particularly due to the rapid globalization of fast-food chain multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the modern day. This is especially true in light of the fact that different countries place different importance on different cultural values.

The fast-food multinational companies (MNEs) face major hurdles when attempting to deal with the cultural and lifestyle differences that exist in international markets. In order to overcome these challenges, you will need to conduct extensive market research and carry out an in-depth industry analysis. This study project intends to provide significant insights to firms that are confronting comparable issues while attempting to expand their operations internationally. This study will investigate the approaches taken by well-known international fast-food chains such as KFC, McDonald's, Subway, and Domino's, along with others, to overcome such challenges by carrying out an in-depth investigation of the methods employed by these firms. Participating in this study makes it easier to obtain theoretical as well as practical insights into the subject of international business. The dearth of scholarly investigations into the impact of cultural differences on multinational corporations (MNEs) engaged in the fast-food industry, as well as the strategies employed by these entities to navigate and accommodate such discrepancies, is the primary impetus for undertaking this study. This dearth of scholarly investigations is the primary impetus for undertaking this study.

5.2 Linking with the questions

How do cultural differences affect the menu offerings and food preferences of fast food MNEs in different countries?

By analysing the ways in which advertisements in various cultures differ from one another, the purpose of this research was to determine whether or not the marketing tactics of multinational corporations take into account the many cultures throughout the world. The findings indicate that the methods of marketing need to be modified to take into consideration the disparities that exist between regions. This lends credence to the notion that marketing strategies employed by global corporations are of a highly specialist nature. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the three primary components that make up food, and all three are essential to maintaining life. These individuals hope to raise their social standing by demonstrating that they are ready to spend a greater amount of money on particular food brands. What a person enjoys eating and drinking on a daily basis is a good indicator of the social class that they belong to. This includes the meals, food products, and drinks that are their favourites to go along with those meals. Examining a person's list of goods they need to purchase is one way to accomplish this. When you take all of these aspects into consideration, the companies should have a pretty good estimate of how much money you spend on food each month. Therefore, a person's socioeconomic standing has a significant impact on the kind of foods they can eat and the methods they can use to prepare those foods. According to findings from academic studies, there are a variety of ways in which social status and eating habits are intertwined. The culture industry, consumerism, globalisation, modernity, and showing off how much money you have are examples of some of these things. Others include high-end restaurants.

What strategies do fast food MNEs employ to adapt their marketing and advertising campaigns to diverse cultural contexts?

People frequently engage in conversation with their close friends over topics that are significant to them. When people talk about their personal sentiments and the events that happened throughout the day, the issues that are brought up might cover a wide variety of emotions, including happiness, rage, and despair.

What recommendations can be given?

When people want to put others in a good mood, they will often regale others with humorous anecdotes from their own life. The market in question has historically served as a gathering spot for individuals, communities, open discussion, and cultural expression. The common conception of culture is that it is an all-encompassing collection of values that has a significant influence on the behaviours of individuals. People who are members of a certain cultural group have the ability to think beyond the confines of their immediate physical surroundings and the relationships they have with the people around them. They accomplish this by constructing a set of beliefs about what constitutes good and evil in the world.

5.3 Future Scope

This article provides a semiotic analysis that investigates the various meanings associated with a variety of signs, such as a fusion plate, wine, a fork, a napkin, vegan food, eating with your hands, meat, hamburgers, coke, coffee, brand images on food products, energy drinks, a protein bar, skim milk, diet products, green vegetables, and chocolate. In this study, these indicators are analyzed, and their respective meanings are addressed in greater depth than anywhere else in the document.

Eating is one of the primary ways in which we as humans cultivate healthy social interactions; yet, we also place a strong focus on sticking to appropriate table etiquette. This is an additional crucial component to take into consideration. Prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was common practice for people to celebrate significant life events by hosting elegant banquets or cocktail parties, cozy dinners or sincere social get-togethers, all of which included the consumption of scrumptious cuisine. These events were typically planned in order to take pleasure in the company of close friends, romantic partners, or casual acquaintances. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the consumption of food plays a vital part in the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships. In conclusion, the power that food has to mold our social identities is the primary reason for the importance of food in our lives.

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