Business Ethics Case Study: Burger King

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Burger King admits it has been selling beef burgers and Whoppers containing horsemeat. Summary: Prior to Burger Kings products being tested, they assured the public that all allegations of their product containing horsemeat was false. The meat was then sent for testing and traces of equine DNA was found. Customers no longer feel safe eating Burger Kings food.
Relative Topic: False Advertising of product content. The consumption of horsemeat is harmful to the human body, because of the steroids and chemicals that are given to the horses that result in it being passed to humans. This is a break in ethics and it may not be illegal to sell horse meat but, when products that contain horsemeat are not specified on labels and the consumers are
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Summary: Former workers of McDonald’s sued the franchise for “sexual harassment and racism.” Derogative terms were used. It was aimed at black and Hispanic workers who were fired because they did not look the part. Sales have declined. Decisions are made by the franchisees not the franchisers.
Relevant topic: A business’ image is very important and when a “touchy” subject like racism occurs a business suffers. Racism obstructs productivity by affecting the employee moral. There will be conflict within the business and in McDonalds case the workers would not want to listen to there superiors as they would no longer respect them. The fact that the chain of command in this business is so poor shows that there is no strong leadership and a business can not function without good leadership. Although the main impact is still on the businesses image and because there are other fast food restaurants to choose from, customers who can, will buy from McDonalds’ competitors if they feel strongly enough about this topic. The lack of concern shown by the heads of McDonald’s portrays a poor organisational culture and one would think twice before buying its products. The ethics and values of the business becomes
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Summary: Subways chicken are not 100% chicken. An investigation by the CBS was done by sending samples of the chicken for DNA testing which showed that the rest of the product was soy and other substances. Chemicals and other “legal fillers” were added into this concoction. The revelation is a “public embarrassment. “
Relevant topic: Although the substances that were added were legal they failed to tell the customers this, customer loyalty is very important and if they do not trust the business they won’t come back. This scandal is similar to that of Burger Kings horsemeat scandal. By the product not being 100% chicken they are falsely advertising and this is more “bad press” then a violation of any law unless human ethics are considered. The consumers have the right to know what they are eating. Once the trust of the customers is lost, it is harder to regain. The safety and quality of the product becomes questionable. The consumer protection act 68 of 2008 in SA also applies here. Not everyone can eat soy products and this will deter new customers as well. By falsely advertising this undermines the public and their own

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