Ronald McDonald is under fire in this country, with activists encouraging McDonald's to retire its longtime mascot. But in Shanghai, now home to a brand-new McDonald's University -- it's known as Hamburger U-- they're down with the clown.
The Chinese people crave fast food, which is why McDonald's decided to locate another school of thought in Shanghai. China has a $300 billion-a-year fast-food habit and that market, like the country's waistlines, is expanding at an outstanding rate of 10 percent per year. (The U.S. is only increasing at a rate of 2 percent).
With that growth, McDonald's has found itself short of qualified managers in the Far East -- which inspired the company to open another frozen beef patty university, its seventh. McDonald's now has over 60,000 employees employed at over 1,100 restaurants in China, and the company plans to expand to over 2,000 in the next few years.
Outside the new school, there's a statue of Ronald McDonald to inspire the 5,000 students to strive for better things (definitely better than working in a Nike sweatshop).
The school's dean, Susanna Li, says she wants the Hamburger U "to be the Harvard for our industry."
Let's hope the Hamburgler doesn't sign on to teach business ethics.
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