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Interesting Paper on Hot Coffee

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The intent of this paper is to suppose Liebeck has not yet been burned and no lawsuits have been filed. Therefore, relying only on facts prior to Liebeck's lawsuit, I will make an analysis as to what McDonald's should do.

Leading up to the infamous Stella Liebeck vs. McDonald's case, there were several relevant facts. First, the hot coffee was being served at a scalding 185 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is much hotter than the average home-brewed coffee. In fact, an independent University of California study reveals a consumer home-brewed preference for coffee with a mean temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Second, McDonald's had received over 700 complaints about burns from its coffee. Quick to respond to the 700 complaints, McDonald's had put a warning label on its cups and designed a tighter-fitting lid for them. Ironically, the new lid would play a major factor in the Liebeck case because she had held the coffee cup between her legs in an effort to pry it open. I digress. The final relevant fact to my examination is that McDonald's sells just over $240,000 a day ($480,000 every two days) serving coffee. Drawing from these details, I will now apply the facts and form three levels of analysis: personal, social, and corporate.

From a personal perspective, customers like Stella, actual employees of McDonald's, especially those employees who handle the coffee, as well as their families and loved ones are the primary stakeholders. From a corporate point of view, McDonald's is the primary entity at stake. Other stakeholders at the corporate level are the stockholders, investors, and those with a primary interest in how McDonald's performs and succeeds in the market. From a social standpoint, stakeholders would include other companies like McDonald's, suppliers of coffee to McDonald's, brewers of coffee, court systems, and any other company or business that sells coffee.

As an executive decision-maker at McDonald's, several alternative choices are viable. From a cost-reduction approach, McDonald's could do the bare minimum by notifying customers of McDonald's. For example, at the drive-through window McDonald's could place a brightly-colored warning sign. This sign could read, "We serve our coffee for people who like their coffee blistering hot, not lukewarm



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