American Chains Famous for Quality in China

American Chains Famous for Quality in China

March 30, 2018

Why are American chains like Pizza Hut, Starbucks and McDonald’s experiencing fast growth and strong success in China?

Three key reasons: Strategic adaptations to the Chinese market and tastes, careful location planning, and adaptation to local cultural preferences in product and service design.

The Chinese have a great desire for goods and services they can trust.  Although some Chinese competitors have entered the market with copycat fast food offerings, many Chinese still want the authenticity, consistency, and high quality of well-known Western brands.

This post is based on the Eater article, Why China Loves American Chain Restaurants So Much, by Clarissa Wei, March 20, 2018. Image source: Ingram Publishing.

Discussion Questions

1. How do the operations strategies of Pizza Hut differ in China versus in the United States?

Guidance: Whereas Pizza Hut is a relatively less expensive, casual, fast food eatery in the United States, in China it’s an upscale, date-night spot that often requires reservations. Thus, a focus on high quality and service is important in China, whereas in the U.S. the strategy is more focused on short processing time and low cost.  This is true, interestingly, even though the standard of living and Continue reading

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US Speedskaters Armour Up for the 2018 Olympics

US Speedskaters Armour Up for the 2018 Olympics

Under Armour, a Baltimore-based performance apparel company, has gone to great lengths to reinvent the 2018 suits for skaters.

Their 2014 suits were too tight, too heavy, and had an annoying air vent that earned blame from many skaters for their failure to earn medals in the 2014 Olympics.

After four years of redesign and testing involving the athletes from day one, the new suits are now custom-made to perfectly fit each skater’s body in order to cut minute fractions of a second off the athletes’ speed.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, U.S. speedskaters work with Under Armour to redesign suits for 2018 Olympics, by Rick Maese, February 8, 2018.  Image source: David Madison/Getty Images

Discussion Questions
1. Why did Under Armour redesign its product?

Guidance: The 2014 suit designs didn’t stand up to Under Armour’s performance apparel promise, because the materials were too tight and heavy.  The poorly-suited design included an air vent the speedskaters called ‘annoying’.

2. What issues does Under Armour face that are of high priorities for today’s business operations?

Guidance: Discussion topics might include the challenges of innovating, overcoming quality problems, and competing in a global economy.

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