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Exploration Analysis – McDonald’s Fast-Food Restaurant

Exploration Analysis – McDonald’s Fast-Food Restaurant

As an observer, I visited a fast-food restaurant, McDonald’s, and spent 30 minutes carefully observing the patrons as they entered the store, placed their orders, and ate their meals. Here are the findings based on my observation. Firstly, it was apparent that most consumers sampled their fries first. As they received their orders, many individuals immediately opened the packaging and took some fries before consuming other items. Regarding the timing of when consumers started eating, most of them began after finding a table and settling down. They would take a seat, arrange their food, and then start enjoying their meals.

During the observation period, a significant number of consumers used ketchup with their fries. Roughly 80% of the individuals I observed reached for the ketchup dispenser and put it on their fries. As for the drink refills, about half of the consumers opted for a refill during their stay at the restaurant. They would approach the beverage station, fill their cups with more soda or a different beverage, and then return to their tables. Fortunately, the number of consumers receiving an incorrect order was relatively low. Only a couple of individuals appeared to have received orders different from what they had initially requested.

Regarding restroom visits, a small portion of the consumers (about 10%) visited the restrooms. Most of them did so after placing their orders and before receiving their food. It appeared that they took advantage of the waiting time to attend to personal needs. Consequently, from entering the door and approaching the counter to pay for the order and receiving the food, the ordering process took an average of around 5 to 7 minutes per consumer. This duration varied based on factors such as the complexity of the order and the speed of the restaurant’s service.

As for the consumption process, it typically took consumers approximately 10 to 15 minutes from receiving their order to their departure from the restaurant. Some individuals ate quickly and left promptly, while others enjoyed a more leisurely meal. During the 30-minute observation period, I counted approximately 27 consumers. It is important to note that this sample size is limited and may not represent the full range of customer behaviors and experiences.

This data analysis provides substantial insights that can aid restaurant management in enhancing sales and customer satisfaction. To illustrate this, realizing the majority of clients taste their fries first, the eatery could prioritize optimizing the freshness and quality of their fries since it plays a crucial part in customers’ initial experience. Additionally, considering that a considerable chunk of consumers use ketchup with their fries, offering abundant ketchup packets or other add-ons could improve the overall joy of dining.

Half of the consumers availed themselves of drink refills, giving a golden opportunity to promote beverage options while highlighting free refill availability; such an approach can effortlessly persuade more people to invest in drinks while increasing revenue. Finally, since there was a minimal incidence of incorrect orders reflected by this data sampling’s outcomes, it underscores the restaurant management’s effective maintenance of order accuracy levels. Endeavoring to lessen errors, which could lead to poor customer satisfaction and decreased loyalty, can be achieved through continuous staff training and periodic monitoring (Camm et al., 2021). Notably, recognizing that some customers utilize the restroom after making purchases underscores the importance of keeping it clean and stocked with amenities; this contributes significantly to enhancing diners’ experiences by heightening their comfort.

Examining the timing of service processes permits the identification of potential bottlenecks in restaurant operations. Consistently optimizing ordering and demonstrating a reduction in wait time will boost customer flow and satisfaction. Similarly, streamlining consumption ensures clients have adequate time to relish their meals without delay or feeling rushed. Ergo, collecting data via observation provides valuable insight into client preferences and behavior at different business establishments (Cooper & Schindler, 2013). By utilizing this information, the restaurant can make targeted improvements to enhance customer experience.

Who What When How Where
The participants in this experiment are fast food restaurant customers. The participants include individuals of various ages, genders, occupations, and socio-economic backgrounds. The age range of the participants is predominantly between 18 and 45 years old, representing a wide demographic range of potential fast-food consumers. The gender distribution of the participants was balanced. These individuals work in a variety of occupations, including students, office employees, and professionals. Other important criteria could be the regularity with which they visit fast food restaurants and their preferences for specific menu items. The variables being studied in this experiment include the independent variable of menu presentation format and the dependent variables of customer satisfaction and purchase behavior. The experiment aims to compare the effects of different menu presentation formats, such as traditional paper menus versus digital menus displayed on interactive kiosks or mobile applications, on customer satisfaction and purchase behavior. The control variables in this experiment may include the type of fast-food restaurant, the time of day, and the consistency of menu items across formats. It is expected that a more interactive and visually appealing menu presentation format will positively influence customer satisfaction and increase purchase behavior. The data collection for this experiment will take place over a period of four weeks, starting on June 1, 2023, and ending on June 30, 2023. Data will be collected on a daily basis during the opening hours of the fast food restaurants. Measurements will be taken at consistent time intervals, such as every hour, to capture a sufficient sample size and ensure temporal diversity in the data collected. The data for this experiment will be collected through observation of customer behavior in fast food restaurants. Trained observers will be stationed discreetly within the restaurant premises to observe and record participants’ interactions with the menu. The observers will note the menu format used by each participant, their perceived satisfaction with the menu presentation, and their subsequent purchase behavior. The data collection tool will be a structured observation checklist that includes predefined categories and rating scales to capture the relevant variables. Inter-rater reliability tests will be conducted to ensure consistency among the observers’ data collection. Additional measures, such as customer exit surveys, may be used to gather supplementary data on customer satisfaction and preferences. The experiment will take place in a selection of fast food restaurant locations within a specified city. The locations will include both urban and suburban areas to capture a diverse range of customer demographics and preferences. The physical settings of the fast food restaurants will provide the context for observing customer behavior and their interactions with the menu. Additionally, online platforms may be utilized to gather supplementary data or feedback, such as conducting online surveys or analyzing customer reviews and comments on the restaurant’s website or social media platforms.
To establish causality and determine the specific impact of the mindfulness program, a control group is included as a control variable. The control group consists of participants who do not undergo the mindfulness program but are subject to the same pre- and post-assessments. By comparing the stress levels of the experimental group, who undergoes the mindfulness program, with those of the control group, the researchers aim to isolate the effects of the program and ascertain its influence on reducing stress.


Camm, J. D., Cochran, J. J., Fry, M. J., & Ohlmann, J. W. (2021). Business analytics (4th ed.). South-Western.

Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2013). Business research methods (12th ed.). Mcgraw-Hill Education.


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For this assignment, you will be using the personal descriptors mentioned in Chapter 8 of the “Data Collection” section from Cooper and Schindler’s book, Business Research Methods (12th ed), which is detailed below. Your task is to create a spreadsheet outlining your experiment’s who, what, when, how, and where. Below, I provide more information on each of these components:

Exploration Analysis - McDonald's Fast-Food Restaurant

Exploration Analysis – McDonald’s Fast-Food Restaurant

  1. Who: Identify the participants in your experiment. Describe their characteristics, such as age, gender, occupation, and any other relevant factors. This information will help you understand the demographic profile of your
  2. What: Define the variables you are studying in your experiment. Specify the dependent and independent variables, as well as any control variables you may have. Additionally, describe the relationship you expect to find between these.
  3. When: Establish the time frame for your experiment. Mention the start and end dates of your data collection and any specific time intervals that might be relevant, such as the frequency of measurements or the length of time between
  4. How: Explain the methods and techniques you will use to collect data for your experiment. This may include surveys, interviews, observations, or other data collection methods. Be sure to provide details on the format and structure of your data collection tools and any steps you will take to ensure the validity and reliability of your
  5. Where: Specify the location(s) where your experiment will take place. This might be a physical location, such as a workplace, school, or community setting, or an online platform, such as a website or social media.

Once you have gathered all this information, create a spreadsheet to organize it. You can use software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for this purpose. Your spreadsheet should include separate columns for each component (who, what, when, how, and where), and rows for each relevant detail within each component.

To complete this assignment successfully, ensure that your spreadsheet is well-organized, easy to read, and includes all the necessary information to understand the design of your experiment.

Additionally, double-check your work for accuracy and consistency.

The final product will be a paper that is:

  • 2 – 3 double-spaced, APA formatted pages; and
  1. Includes at least two (2) references to this week’s materials.
  • A spreadsheet as noted in the requirements section

The requirements for your assignment are:

  • First, find your appetite!
  • Prepare an observation checklist and tally sheet before you address

Ensure you call out the operational definitions for what you are going to observe.

  • Using the personal descriptors from Chapter 8 under the “Data Collection” section, create a spreadsheet listing the who, what, when, how and where of your
  • Next, visit a fast food restaurant, such as McDonald’s or Burger King. For 30 minutes, simply observe patrons as they enter the store, place an order, and consume their Based on this observation, answer the following questions:
    • What did most consumers sample first: fries, drink, or other?
    • Did most consumers start eating after sitting at a table or before?
    • How many consumers used ketchup with their fries?
    • How many consumers got a drink refill?
    • How many consumers received an incorrect order?
    • Did consumers visit the restroom? Before ordering or after?
    • How long did the ordering process take (from entering the door and approaching the counter to paying for the order and receiving food)?
    • How long did the consumption process take (from receipt of order to departure from the restaurant)?
    • How many total consumers were observed?
  • Remember!: There should be no interaction between you (the observer) and your “participants”. Perhaps order something yourself and choose a seat in the restaurant where you can observe and take notes.
  • Lastly, how would this data help that restaurant improve sales?

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