SEMESTER PROJECT. Your paper should be a minimum of 250 words in length. GBAS Model of Organisation – McDonalds Vs Subway GBAS Model of Organisation – McDonalds Vs Subway Going by GBA theory of organisations, we conceive the differences in the goals, boundaries and activities of McDonalds and Subway fast food chains, evolving their effectiveness at managing a fit among these attributes.


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McDonalds definitely serve broad base of customers, which is found to be 50 million daily (HRPL). It has positioned itself as a hang-put and place for relaxing for sometime. Even in terms of menu, McDonalds carries a variety of fast foods namely, burgers, sandwiches, French fries, salads, snacks, desserts, soft drinks, coffee & milkshakes. The food chain is famous for customising and evolving as per the consumer preferences. This philosophy helped McDonalds succeed in 119 countries, including culturally-sensitive Arabian and South-east Asia nations. Thus, it can be described as unstable.

Subway, though an International fast food chain, spread over 98 countries, is narrower than McDonalds, as the former targets the health-conscious customers, who propose to eat fresh. Its nutrition focus made it possible to establish franchises in churches, hospitals etc too. Comparatively, the menu also speaks the same, as the product portfolio includes sandwiches, salads, burgers, sides and soft drinks (Doctors Associates Inc., 2009). But for the minor modifications to suit the local religious beliefs, not many changes are made in the menu. So, Subway has a more or less stable outlook, as compared to McDonalds.


Coming to the boundaries, McDonalds is highly permeable and attracts customers, right from its clown, Ronald and its golden arches welcoming them. The seating arrangement, ambience, the first part of their tagline, ‘Get them in’ reinforce this ideology. The turnover rates at store level are found to be low, showing its impermeability in this aspect (Francis, 2011).

The logo, flashy ‘open’ board and long working hours bring customers to the outlet. But, the limited number of tables and less store space make Subway unlikely destinations for catching up with friends. It operates more on take away mode and therefore less permeable than McDonalds. High employee attrition rates have also been observed at Subway, mainly due to low levels of satisfaction, which declare its permeability (Schlosser, 2001).

Activity System

McDonalds has a complex activity system, which guarantees competitive advantage (Pride & Ferrell, 2007). The laborious and long procedures also make it inflexible. Subway heavily relies on franchising. The complex and inflexible activity system is thus transmitted to the all levels, emphasizing the core competencies of Subway (Schlosser, 2001).

Efficiency of Fit

All the efficiency brought about by the synergy of all the procedures and strategies, including the wide range of customers, permeable boundaries and intricate activity system definitely worked to the advantage of McDonalds and made it the best fast food chain around the world.

Efficiency of fit at Subway is brought about by its health-boosting menu, boundaries that allow limited permeability and the complex activity system. However, its franchisees are found to vary widely in terms of service commitment and performance, exposing the loopholes in its standardised and complex activity system (Schlosser, 2001).


Doctors Associates Inc. (2009). Facts and history. Retrieved from business/franchise/facts_and_history.aspx

Francis, E. (2011, April 07). On mcdonalds menu: Burger, fries and a career. abc news, Retrieved from

HRPL. (n.d.). Mcdonald’s india. Retrieved from McDonaldsinIndia.pdf

Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2007). Pride-ferrell foundations of marketing. (Second ed., pp. 124-125). USA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Schlosser, E. (2001). Fast food nation: the dark side of the all-american meal. (pp. 99-102). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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