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Franchise Model McDonalds

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McDonald's is a fast-food chain that was founded in 1940 in California, United States. The principles of the modern fast-food restaurant were introduced into McDonald's in 1948 using what they called the "Speedee Service System".

McDonald's has continued to grow during its history using innovations such as the drive-thru in 1961 and, more recently, teaming up with partners to offer a delivery service. Innovations have also included improved efficiencies such as the use of AI in their drive-thru ordering system and kiosks for in-restaurant order placement.

Today McDonald's is the largest restaurant chain in the world with over 38,000 restaurants in over 100 different countries. It is ranked as the world's 9 th most valuable brand.

McDonald's contracted its first franchise agent in 1955. Today, the company has a presence in over 38,000 locations in more than 100 countries. Around 93% of all McDonald's locations are operated by franchisees (independent owners). Since the franchise model constitutes such a large part of the McDonald's business, their franchise operations will be discussed in the sections below.

What is a franchise business?

A franchised business is an alternative business model where an independent individual or business becomes a franchisee . This means that they enter into an agreement with the primary business (the franchisor ) to operate the franchisor's business within an agreed area. Part of that agreement involves the franchisee paying a franchise fee to the franchisor and this is one of the ways in which the franchisor makes a profit.

To learn more about how this form of business operates, check out our explanation on Franchising .

Franchise model Mcdonalds Mcdonalds franchise in belgium StudySmarter

Advantages and disadvantages to the franchisor

Advantages of the franchise model to the franchisor:

The main advantage of this type of model to the franchisor is a reduction in the capital required for business growth . The i ncome streams are guaranteed as long as the franchisees are still operating. While there are risks of running the business such as severe economic downturn, local competition, most of these risks and costs are transferred to the franchisee. The franchisor also retains significant control over the corporate branding and image.

A franchisor can enjoy multiple revenue streams, including:

An annual fee from the franchisee. This fee will depend on the likely profitability of the franchise site or area.

Startup and operations fees. The franchisor can sell specified equipment, goods and consumables to the franchisee for a profit.

Rentals fee for business venues. If the franchisor owns the property that the franchise operates from then rent will form part of the regular income stream.

McDonald's restaurants will always use coffee cups with a McDonald's corporate logo and these are sold to the franchisee at a profit on the basis that the corporate logo is valuable intellectual property.

Disadvantages of the franchise model to the franchisor:

While calculating the franchise fee, the franchisor needs to estimate the ongoing value of the business within the area. If this is underestimated then the franchise fee will be too low and the franchisor will not have maximized the available profit from that geographic trading area.

Furthermore, the franchisor takes on some risk whereby the behaviour of the franchisee might degrade the company's corporate image.

If a McDonald's franchisee did not cook food correctly and this resulted in an outbreak of food poisoning then the entire corporate image could be tarnished as customers may associate the McDonald's brand with failure.

The franchisee might commit fraud or stray away from company policy in order to boost profits.

The franchisee could purchase their beef patties from a cheaper source than those of the franchisor. If this were to happen the franchisor would lose part of their revenue stream and would lose some control of their corporate quality.

Franchise model McDonalds McDonalds beef burger and fries StudySmarter

The franchisor has to ensure that the franchising opportunity is both financially attractive and financially sustainable otherwise it won't attract franchisees and/or franchisees could go out of business quickly. If this is not done then the burden of attracting and onboarding new franchisees will outweigh the advantages of the franchise model.

Advantages and disadvantages to the franchisee

The advantages of the franchise model to the franchisee:

The main advantage to the franchisee is that whilst not being a complete and readymade business opportunity much of the hard work will have already been done. Generally, the franchisee would expect to be buying into part of a business that already has an established product (this might include physical products and/or services) and a good reputation generated by an established business with corporate branding and advertising.

By franchising as a McDonald's owner, you can buy into the official McDonald's name, their famous logo, etc, without having to develop a new brand from scratch. There's also a chance to bring your unique ideas to the world. Many successful sectors of McDonald's such as Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, Egg McMuffin have been developed by franchisees.

The franchisee will often be leasing premises from the franchisor and most likely have all materials and equipment sourced for them which in turn makes the franchise operation quick to set up and start trading. The franchisor will often provide access to finance together with guidance and advice. The franchisor has a vested interest in making the business a success.

Often franchising provides a natural route to expansion for the franchisee as if their first franchise is successful then taking over or expanding to other locations is relatively easy.

McDonald's provides the necessary training, support, and tools to help you get off on the right foot and build a local presence. In addition, you can benefit from a well-established operating system including advertising, marketing, human resources , purchasing procedures, which contributes to faster growth.

The disadvantages and risks of the franchise model to the franchisee:

While there's room for innovation, most franchisees don't have a chance to innovate individually.

A franchisee might want to create a Tikka Burger to satisfy demand from a local community. However, without the franchisor's consent, the franchisee cannot add a new item to the menu.

In addition, a significant part of the franchisee's hard work will be returned back to the franchisor financially (with royalty fees, etc) as the franchisee is dependent on the franchisor's corporate presence, reputation, and brand value.

Finally, the franchisee will carry much of the financial risk, for instance in the case of an economic downturn.

McDonald's, for a while, suffered from bad press due to the perceived unhealthiness of their menu. McDonald's reacted to this criticism by introducing healthier options, such as salad into their menu.

The McDonald's franchise model

The McDonald's franchise system is designed so that it can be highly rewarding to franchisees, whereas on the other hand its financial rules of entry and ongoing obligations are significant.

McDonald's franchisees can take over a previous franchisee or build a new one, though most choose to purchase existing restaurants. This gives some level of certainty for new franchisees and lowers the risk of business failure since customer footfall and sales revenues are understood for that site. An additional advantage is that an existing restaurant will come with equipment and trained staff.

New franchisees are normally only allowed to take on an existing venture that has been trading for more than 10 years.

To take on a franchise, the cost is between £350k and £1.85M in the UK. This covers franchise rights, equipment and inventory . In the USA this is far higher and it has been reported that the minimum is $1M. McDonald's insists that a maximum of 75% of this can be funded through loans so the franchisee must put in 25% of its initial cost as cash. This ensures that the franchisee is motivated towards success.

The vast majority of McDonald's locations in the UK used to be owned by McDonald's itself. However, the situation has changed. Out of the 1300 operating venues within the UK, roughly 1100 are franchised.

McDonald's does have agreements with banks that can offer favourable interest rates to franchisees for the remaining business funding.

Once operating, the franchisee has to pay McDonald's between 12.25% and 21% of the restaurant's net sales. There's also a monthly service fee of 5% for using the McDonald's system. Since McDonald's owns the vast majority of the property that its restaurants sit on, another part of this fee is rent.

In addition, the franchisee has to pay for internal and external upgrades to the restaurant, and for replacement and upgrades to equipment. These are typically expensive.

In the US, a McCafe espresso machine might cost $12,000.

Franchise model McDonalds McDonalds franchise coffee StudySmarter

In return, according to McDonald's, the average restaurant in the USA has sales of $ 2.7M per year. 5 After food costs, supplies, staff payroll, and about a dozen other costs handed down by McDonald's, it is estimated by independent analysts that the typical profit is $ 150k. This equates to a 6% profit margin.


We have seen how McDonald's have effectively used the franchise model to build the most successful restaurant chain in the world. Integrated within their franchise business strategy are multiple processes to ensure that each franchise is sustainable, and whilst absolute returns from each restaurant are relatively small, the sustainability makes the franchise business an attractive proposition for most, but not all geographies.

At the same time, McDonald's ensures that it receives multiple revenue streams from each restaurant, ensuring corporate profitability is maximized from its franchise model.

Franchise Model McDonalds - Key takeaways

The principles of the modern fast-food restaurant were introduced into McDonald's in 1948 using what they called the "Speedee Service System".

A franchised business is an alternative business model where an independent individual or business becomes a franchisee.

McDonald's model focuses on ensuring that a franchisee is able to sustainably run a franchise for 10 years.

After food costs, supplies, staff payroll, and about a dozen other costs handed down by McDonald's it is estimated by independent analysts that the typical profit is $ 150k. This equates to a 6% profit margin.

McDonald's ensures that it receives multiple revenue streams from each restaurant ensuring corporate profitability is maximized from its franchise model.

Advantages of Franchising , McDonald's US , 2022.

Adrian Zorzut, BUYING IN How much does a McDonald’s franchise cost , The Sun UK , 2021.

Chris Fuhrmeister, McDonald’s Takes Aim at Starbucks With Pricey Espresso Machines, Eater , 2016.

Marissa Laliberte, How Much Money Does the Average U.S. McDonald’s Make Every Year, RD , 2020.

How many McDonald's restaurants are there in the UK and the world, McDonald's , 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions about Franchise Model McDonalds

--> is mcdonald's profitable.

According to McDonald's, the average restaurant in the USA makes around $ 2.7M per year. The profit is $ 150k after deducting costs and other fees. That translates to a 6% profit margin. 

--> How does McDonald's use franchising?

McDonald's has a very rewarding franchising system for franchisees, despite the initial high set-up costs and rigid ongoing regulations. Franchising allows McDonald's to expand to new markets while earning extra income from revue rentals and annual fees. 

--> How much does a Mcdonald's franchise owner make a year?

In the US, a McDonald's franchisee can make around $ 150k after costs and fees. 

Final Franchise Model McDonalds Quiz

What year was McDonald's founded? 

Show answer

Show question

Where was McDonald's founded? 

California in the United States. 

What year was the “Golden Arch” created? 

True or False? 

The principles of the modern fast-food restaurant were introduced into McDonalds in 1948 using what they called the "Speedee Service System". 

Today McDonalds is the largest restaurant chain in the world with over 38,000 restaurants in over 100 different countries.

McDonald's has continued to grow during its history using innovations such as the drive-thru in 2001? 

McDonald's introduce the drive-thru in 1961 

What is a franchised business?

A franchised business is an alternative business model where an independent individual or business becomes a franchisee. 

The franchisee carries much of the financial risk such as an economic downturn. 

Income streams are not guaranteed whilst the franchisee is still operating. 

Often franchising provides a natural route to expansion for the franchisee as if their first franchise is successful then taking over or expanding to other locations is relatively easy. 

The McDonald's franchise system is designed so that on the one hand it can be highly rewarding to franchisees, whereas on the other hand its financial rules of entry and ongoing obligations are significant. 

The model focuses on ensuring that a franchisee is able to sustainably run a franchise for 15 years. 

It is 10 years 

How much does a McDonald's franchise owner make a year? 

According to McDonald's, the average restaurant in the USA has sales of $ 2.7M per year.  

How does McDonald's use franchising? 

Under the traditional McDonald's franchise arrangement, the company normally owns the land and building for the restaurant or secure a long-term lease for that store location. The franchisee then pays for the equipment, signs, and seating areas. 

 What percent of McDonald's franchises succeed? 

According to the latest annual report of McDonald's, the company has a total of 93% of its franchise success rate. 

Is McDonald's profitable?

Having a McDonalds franchise is profitable, this could be up to 6% profit margin.

The franchise has to pay McDonald's between 12.25 per cent and 21 per cent of the restaurant's net sales. This includes a 5% franchise fee, 4.3% contribution to the marketing fund and royalties. 

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McDonalds Case Study

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In this paper we worked on the case study on Mcdonalds marketing case study which is in marketing management........

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This report has been written as part of the formative assessment for the Business consultancy project module. The aim of this report is to investigate Ciao Bella’s, to understand their position in the market, their shares and provide methods to enhance their brand. Ciao Bella has expressed concern towards international cuisine that, even though there are operating in a fast growing market of fast food, they still have face issues such as lack of awareness in their market. This is affecting their brand image and their ability to be competitive in the fast food market. Analytical tools used includes Porters 5 forces, SWOT &TWOS analysis, PESTEL, 7P’s framework and the 7S’s Framework. All analysis can be found in the appendices. The questionnaire was used as a method of primary research. Textbooks, journals, Website, newspaper articles and online database were also used to obtain a better understanding of the project. The main findings were as follows. Ciao Bella has been operating in the fast-food/takeaway market for the past six years. Through the process, there were areas of weaknesses identified. Key weaknesses found was their lack of awareness in the Ashfield area, lack of social media presences, poor advertising and the increased movement towards healthy food. In the macro environment, the technology factor is a key driver for change because in the fast food sector technology is increasingly used as a method of innovating their brand. However, this factor is an issue for Ciao Bella, which is inhibiting their ability to be competitive in the fast-food market. As a result of this issues discovered, a suitable recommendation has been suggested to solve this issues as well as to achieve the aim. The following recommendation is as following. • Using Effective social media channels to reach target consumers. • Develop marketing mix and create comparative analysis by applying 7P’S framework. • Employees training methods and design of restaurant • And Promotion Strategy In conclusion, the methodology outlines the way International Cuisine approaches the project and illustrates the way the group collects and processes data obtained from primary and secondary research. A mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods were used to gain insight on the how to improve the awareness of Ciao Bella, which International Cuisine found and used to recommend suitable ideas of enhancing it.


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Gaurav Ashwath


Case study on McDonalds


McDonald has been a well-known and valuable brand for over half a century. The company’s mission and vision is striving to be the world’s best quick service restaurant and formalizing their beliefs into “People Vision and People Promise.” “Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value (Q.S.C. and V) also became the company’s motto.  The company’s first McDonald store was built in 1940 by the original McDonald brothers, Dick and Mac. Later in 1954, Ray Kroc became the first official franchisee appointed by Dick and Mac McDonald in San Bernardino, California.  Soon after, Mr. Kroc opened his first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois, and the McDonald’s corporation was created.

The new franchise began to grow rapidly as a result of its success. It wasn’t long before the 100 th McDonald’s restaurant opened in Chicago in 1961. Less than ten years after the opening of Ray Kroc’s restaurant the company began to expand all over the United States. Ray Kroc bought all rights to the McDonald’s concept from the McDonald’s brothers for “2.7 million in 1961.”

McDonald’s continued to have enormous growth during the 1960’s. In 1963 alone, McDonald’s sold their one billionth hamburgers, opened their 500 th restaurant, “Ronald McDonald” made his big debut, and McDonald’s net income exceeded $1 million. In 1966 McDonald’s was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and in 1967 McDonald’s went global. The company kept expanding with the introduction of the “Big Mac” and the opening of its 1,000 th restaurant, which was where it all started- in Des Plaines, Illinois.

McDonald’s began to mature as a successful global business toward the beginning of the 70’s. By 1970, there was at least one McDonald’s restaurant in every U.S. state, and several in different countries around the world. Countries including France, Japan, Germany, and even Guam all had McDonald’s. And in 1972 the company’s assets reached an all time high of “500 million” while sales reached the billions. Statistics showed that a new McDonald’s was being opened each day around the world. With all this success, the company kept expanding globally. In 1972 the 200 th restaurant opened, again in Des Plaines, Illinois. The company also continued to develop their product with the introduction of the Quarter Pounder. And in 1975 McDonald’s first drive-thru opened in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Along with the company’s many successes, they also faced some significant challenges. Ray Kroc made a $250,000 donation presidential campaign in 1972, a donation which was subject to investigation during the Watergate scandal. According to the “Behind the Arches Book,” which was written with the backing and assistance of the McDonald’s corporation, the donation was made during the time that McDonald’s executives were lobbying to prevent an increase in minimum wage. In 1984 there was a terrible incident in San Diego, California where a man named James Huberty opened fire in a McDonald’s restaurant and 22 people were killed. As a result, the company had a lot of public relations to deal with along with its damaged reputation. In 1987 the Attorney Generals of Texas, California and New York threatened to sue McDonalds under the consumer protection laws because of an add campaign claiming that McDonald’s food was nutritious, meaning healthy and well-balanced. There have also been matters of food poisoning, and other related law suits.

Even today the company continues to expand. More countries around the world are opening more McDonald’s. There are many restaurants in the U.K., Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Spain and so on.   The company’s sales and revenues are immeasurable, well into the billions. McDonald’s employs millions of people around the world. In America, many of the company’s employees are young and Latino. In other countries, employees seem to depend on the population of the country.

The McDonald’s company has a wide range of loyal customers. Many people feel as if they grew up with McDonald’s. People trust the company, and the McDonald’s concept just seems to make people feel good. That’s why their customers are rich, poor, old, young, black, white, Asian, and European. Though many of McDonalds’ competitors are also successful, they are no match for the giant franchise. Other restaurants such as Burger King, Jack in the Box, and Taco Bell simply don’t have the same image as McDonald’s. The company focuses on marketing strategies that effectively attract a wide variety of people. They especially appeal to children in hopes that they will become lifelong customers.


 “”Billions served,” indeed. McDonald’s is the world’s #1 fast-food company by sales, with more than 30,000 of its flagship restaurants serving burgers and fries in more than 100 countries” . Today, “McDonald’s operates over 31,000 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 1.5 million people.” In terms of countries, it operates in more than 119 countries on six continents. 70% of the locations are run by franchises while the corporation owns the other 30%. The Boston Market and Chipotle Mexican Grill fast-casual chains are also owned by McDonald’s. There are some quick-service kiosk units located in retail areas and airports; the other locations are free-standing units.  On a day to day basis, more than 47 million customers world wide are served by McDonalds. Over the years, McDonald has brought different promotions into the market to make the consumer purchase a fun experience. The most recent promotion was the Monopoly Best Chance Game 2004 which lasted from October 12 – November 15. It is also very important for the company to have a standard reputation. Therefore, the corporation makes sure that a Big Mac purchased in Pittsburgh tastes the same as one bought in Beijing by using standardized procedures.

The key numbers and key people for the company are as follows:

Key Numbers

More Financials

The company location and other related information is as follows:

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD)

McDonald’s Plaza Oak Brook, IL 60523 (Map)

Phone: 630-623-3000 Fax: 630-623-5004

Since McDonalds is such a huge corporation, serving so many customers world wide, it greatly relies on its suppliers. “McDonald’s suppliers in the U.S. operate over 40 distribution centers, strategically located to be accessible to more than 12,000 restaurants in the country. They provide a diverse range of products and services for our restaurants. It is crucial that the suppliers reflect the diversity of our customers around the world” 8 By maintaining current relationships with suppliers and also establishing new contacts, McDonalds continues to leverage the diversity within the supplier community. According to the corporation, the only way to serve a wide, diverse group of customers is through a wide, diverse group of suppliers.”

McDonald’s is in the fast-food business, and nowadays, there is huge competition for that. A competitor for McDonald’s can be anywhere from an upscale restaurant to a measly hot dog stand at a football game. The following is a list of companies that are in the same business as McDonald’s and qualify as major competitors:

 Of those, Burger King, Subway, and Yum are listed as the top three competitors.

The company uses IT and IS in a number of ways. In fact, without the technology, McDonald’s would not be able to operate as it does today. From taking orders to completing the orders everything involves a computer. A network system is used to take the order which is then sent in the back also through the system in order for the food to be cooked. The following are a few systems used by McDonald’s: POS (Point of sale) – this system allows orders to be placed, check the amount of inventory on hand, see the number of transactions that have occurred in the last few days or even years, see the labor percentage, total cost of waste, check the drive thru time(TTL). KVS (Kitchen valiance system) – this system allows the orders taken up front and in the drive thru to be displayed and transferred to the monitors in the grill area. The Porter Five Forces

The fast food industry is a revolutionary industry, which has taken the world by storm. With fast food restaurants showing up, what seems like on every corner, it’s interesting to analyze the competitive strategies companies in this industry use in order to survive. McDonald’s, with more than 30,000 restaurants worldwide is certainly no exception.  A good way to analyze the strategies is by using the Porter five forces competitive model. The Porter model looks at what strategies a company uses to “effectively counter 1) the rivalry of companies in the industry, 2) the threat of new entrants, 3) the threat substitutes, 4) the bargaining power of customers, and 4) the bargaining power of suppliers.

The first of the five forces looks at rivalry within the industry. For McDonald’s, this includes all other fast food businesses. “ McDonald’s recognizes that it is up against not only other larger burger and chicken chains but also independent owned fish and chips shops and eat-in or take-out establishments.” Some of McDonald’s competitors include: Burger King, Wendy’s, In and Out, Taco Bell, and Jack in the Box. As mentioned above, the fast food industry is a very dynamic and competitive industry, so it is important for the McDonald’s corporation to develop strategies which will keep them ahead. Judging by the success of McDonald’s, it is clear that the corporation has developed some very effective strategies to stand out in the crowd.

            One strategy McDonald’s focuses on is a differentiation strategy, partly combining it with the innovation strategy. By creating unique brand products, (chicken McNuggets, Big Mac, McFlurry) McDonald’s is setting self apart from its competitors. The innovation strategy is used by creating new and unique products (chicken tenders, Newman’s own salads, as well as specific products catered to specific region in the world), special celebrity endorsements (athletes, actors/actresses), partnerships/sponsorships (Music, Olympics, special movie toys), charities (Ronald McDonald House), games/promotions (monopoly game, special movie toys), which allow McDonald’s to develop their unique corporate image that sets them apart from their rivals. Another important role in staying competitive is McDonald’s online presence. The website (www.McDonald’ is great opportunity to connect with the customers and stay competitive. Through the website, the company shows company facts, product information (nutrition facts), and links to the charity website, as well as games promotions (monopoly).

            The second force that acts on the industry is the threat of new entrants. Fortunately for McDonald’s and it’s over 30,000 restaurants world wide, the corporation has set itself in a position of dominance. Using a growth strategy, McDonald’s is continuously expanding its reach which makes it increasingly difficult for new fast food restaurants to enter the industry. Through franchising, McDonald’s is able to reach nearly every corner of the globe. In addition, by using an alliance strategy, they are able to set up operations in Wal-Mart’s and sports stadiums and other firms which help support the industry.

The third force involves the threat of substitutes. For McDonald’s, any other food industry is a substitute. From classy restaurants, to hotdog stands, to grocery stores, McDonald’s faces a very large amount of substitutes. By continually offering different products, however, McDonald’s can be sure to remain on people’s list for a place to eat. Don’t forget the fact that one can get a lot of value for his/her money with McDonald’s dollar menu. Furthermore, by offering healthier alternatives, the company will be able to enter into new segments and increase their customer base.

The fourth force acting on McDonald’s is the bargaining power of buyers. This is a very powerful force, since McDonald’s relies on a strong customer base. In order to keep and gain new customers, the company must pay attention to the demands of consumers. With an onslaught of health books and diets, Americans are increasingly becoming aware of their health. As a result, consumers are demanding healthier products from the fast food industry. McDonald’s leads the industry by offering salads with organic Newman’s own dressing, as well as changing the oil they cook their fries in to a healthier substitute. In addition, they showcase all the ingredients in their foods in their restaurants and on their website. Also because of movies like “Super Size Me,” and books like, “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser, McDonald’s is aware of consumer trends and worries and is taking steps in that direction. An example is the removal of the super size option. Since the movie “Super Size Me,” people have taken notice to how bad super sizing is for your health. McDonald’s is the first to take action.”

The fifth and final force affecting the company is the bargaining power of suppliers. This is an important aspect of this industry. The supply chain going all the way to the farmers needs to be kept strong and connected. Especially, relationships with key firms like Coca Cola, Minute Maid, Heinz, Newman’s Own and others, needs to remain strong. “It is crucial that the suppliers reflect the diversity of our customers around the world. McDonald’s seeks to leverage the diversity within our supplier community through growing our existing supplier base, as well as developing new supplier relationships.”

McDonald’s is successfully taking measures to ensure their dominance in this food industry; they are continually growing, in size, in the products they offer and in charity work. It’s no surprise that McDonald’s is number one in the fast food industry.

The strategy the company is using to maintain or improve its competitive position is lowest total cost, expanded menu, having more than 30,000 stores, Hamburger University, celebrity endorsements, partnerships/sponsorships in music and Olympics, and Ronald McDonald Charity/Corporate responsibility.  With the Ronald McDonald Charity program the company has awarded more than “$400 million” dollars in grants worldwide towards the mission to make an immediate and positive impact on as many children as possible. The company also participates in for World Children’s Day, an annual global fundraiser which benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities and local Children’s causes.  In addition to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, corporate responsibility is also an important factor of McDonald’s heritage. The company has a record of industry leadership in community involvement, environmental protection, diversity, opportunity, and working with their suppliers to improve their practices. By having these programs the company is doing a very good job in building a relationship with the community.

Challenges and Opportunities:

Like many other companies, McDonald also struggles with many challenges and opportunities. There are opportunities as in continuous deliverance of quality, cleanliness, service, and value to their consumers. The company has to face challenges of other competitors which include Wendy’s, Burger King, In and Out, Jack in the box, etc. In addition to competitor challenges, the company also faces unionized workforce. They are ideologically hostile to unions. They regard unions as third parties and they refuse the legitimacy of a union as an expression of the interests of the employees that they’re dealing with. Dan Gallian who is the general secretary of IUF said, “They have accepted unions, and collective bargaining, if the alternative was to close altogether or suffer major public relations damage. But even when they have allowed a union, they’ve then tried to chip away at union recognitions.”The company only follows the Donald’s manual, which is their form of regulatory compliance. With this being the issue, IT/IS can definitely help the company out in many ways. The company needs to make sure all challenges and opportunities within the organization are easier for everyone to understand and ensure that all employees follow the company’s compliances.  IT/IS allows employees within the corporation to communicate effectively and ensuring everyone is on top of everything. Do to this; it is very necessary that an intranet website is made which goes into detail about all of these concepts, that way everyone within the company is on the same page. Information system can also allow the company in supporting business processes, decision making, and competitive advantage.  By utilizing Information system it helps store managers to make better decisions and attempt to gain a competitive advantage. For instance, what lines of merchandise need to be added or discounted, and it helps them looks for ways to gain an advantage over their competitors in competition for customers.

Internal Strength/Weaknesses:

They are many strengths and weaknesses in the McDonald’s corporation. The first strength is that the company can offer a meal with low prices. They also have a healthy menu which consist of Low carbohydrates options which cost only $1.00. One of the weaknesses the company faces is the low market share in chicken products since Wendy’s is the leader with the biggest market share in chicken products. The company can further improve their business with other IT/IS. First of all, there are many ways to use IT/IS because it helps in business activities, resolving problems, and business opportunities. By utilizing IT, McDonald can create an interactive marketing process which is “a term used to describe a customer focused marketing process that is based on using the intranet, internet, and extranet to establish two-way transactions between a business and its customers.” By utilizing IT to create an interactive marketing, McDonald can use the network to attract and keep customers. This also allows them to get feedback from customers since interactive marketing encourages customers to be involved with the company’s services and delivery issues.

Through researching McDonalds Corporation these last few weeks we have learned a lot about the company’s responsibility and how they have contributed to the community in children’s life. As consumers we all value how important time is, with McDonalds offering more than 30,000 restaurants for services, it is going to surely make getting food faster and cheaper.

Division of Labor

Isabel Soboszek:

 She was assigned the task of finding background information on the company, history, the founder, executives, and significant challenges the company may face.

Meghan Dilawari:

 She did the current status of company which includes all information on sales/revenues, share of market, company locations, and number of employees, suppliers, customers, and competitors. She also assists in putting the reference page together.

Matt Salisbury:

He was responsible for the Porter’s Competitive Forces Model and doing researching on the company’s key external challenges and opportunities.

Farhan Latif:

Strategy, cost leadership, differentiation information. Researching information as well.

Tammy Huynh :

I worked on the challenges/opportunities for the company, as well as the strength and weaknesses. I also help put the project together and ensuring that things are correct with the help of Meghan.

Define and Discuss on Pricing Strategy

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McDonald’s Supply and Demand Analysis – a Case Study

The picture contains the basic information about McDonald's supply chain.

Is there a more iconic symbol of American culture than McDonald’s?

The fast-food industry has shaped the modern lifestyle, not only in the USA. McDonald’s Corporation is present in over 100 countries and has more than 1.7 million employees. There are a lot of helpful business lessons a student can learn from doing the McDonald’s case study .

👍 McDonald’s Case Study – 30 Best Examples

🔗 references, 🍔 5 facts about mcdonald’s supply chain.

The screenshot provides an average time of new McDonald's restaurants opening.

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Various factors contribute to McDonald’s successful financial performance. Here’re some ideas to consider when doing the McDonald’s case study.

🚚 McDonald’s Supply and Demand Analysis – Case Study Idea #1

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📚 McDonald’s Demand Analysis – Case Study Idea #4

McDonald’s Supply Chain & Key Suppliers

McDonald’s Marketing Strategies & Advertisement Campaign

McDonald’s Human Resource Management & Employment

Mcdonald’s Financial Performance & Market Influence

Descriptive Essay Topics: Examples, Outline, & More

314 fun argumentative essay topics for 2023.


Case Study Information:

2004 drop in share price, "super size me".


Comprehensive S.W.O.T Analysis of McDonalds

mcdonalds case study business studies

By Aditya Shastri

Mcdonalds brand logo - SWOT Analysis of Mcdonalds | IIDE

McDonalds, an American fast-food chain has become a hub of happiness for all the food lovers out there! It dominates the world of fast food by being the world’s 9th most valuable brand. With branches in over 120 countries, McDonald’s has left its footprints everywhere. 

Through the SWOT Analysis of McDonalds, let’s understand how the most thriving food chain business of all time uses its competitive advantages to continue ruling the fast-food industry.


About McDonalds

McDonalds is an American fast-food corporation founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1940. It began as a modest restaurant and has now grown to over 37,000 franchisees throughout the world.

The hamburgers and french fries at McDonalds are well-known. They also sell soft drinks, poultry goods, breakfast foods, sandwiches, and desserts, among other things. Salads, fruit, seafood, and smoothies have also been introduced to the menu in response to changing consumer tastes. Depending on the franchise location, it sells a restricted range of items.

Now that we are familiar with the brand, let’s dive straight into the SWOT Analysis of Mcdonals.

SWOT Analysis of Mcdonalds

The SWOT analysis is a process that a company undergoes to analyze the following aspects

SWOT Analysis is a proven management framework that enables a brand like Mcdonald’s to benchmark its business & performance as compared to the competitors and industry. 

Following is the SWOT analysis of McDonald’s

1. Strengths of McDonalds

Strength shows the aspects where McDonald’s is strong at and in which aspects it competes with  competition 

According to Forbes and Interbrand, McDonald’s brand is the most valuable brand in the world.  McDonald’s has built up huge brand equity. With a brand value of $150 billion, no other brand in the fast-food category is even close to McDonald’s. 

SWOT Analysis of McDonalds | IIDE

Mcdonals is talking revolutionary technology to keep up with the market standards. Its acquisition of  Dynamic Yield is a step towards enhanced personalized marketing. It has also adopted Internet access terminals, to reduce the amount of lag time between the order and pick up of the order.

Mcdonald’s fries are considered one of the tastiest froes in the fast-food world. Come on we all love it, don’t we? Apart from the existing menu, it keeps on updating its menu, by adding new items like coffees, smoothies, and Angus Burgers. 

According to Statista, Mcdonalds is one of the fastest-growing food-chain restaurants. This way it is the ability to attract more consumer base all over the world. The accounting for transactions of McDonald’s topped the chart with $38.52 billion in 2018.

2. Weaknesses of McDonalds

Weakness are the aspects where a company is weak and where a company needs to improve to sustain

McDonald’s has around 210,000 employees. However, the employee turnover rate is still high. Many quit their jobs, due to the low pay or high work pressure. Lack of employee satisfaction is causing the company reputational harm.

The Franchise business model in fast-food restaurants comes with its disadvantages. This can expose the brand to certain risks, as they have no control over their day-to-day performance.

McDonald’s is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the world, it has the busiest food chain due to which it has to limit the availability of food items These interruptions result in more operational expenses and thus reduce profits

3. Opportunities for McDonalds

Opportunities are the aspects where a company can work before the competitors to get an added advantage to its side

SWOT Analysis of McDonalds | IIDE

This is one of those industries that have the potential to develop. Launching more items according to geographical conditions can help McDonald’s maintain their charm for a longer period. Due to a change in eating habits. Mcdonald is very popular in the US, it should prepare an international strategy to expand in Asian markets.

The low-cost menu can attract lots of new customers. Having a meal at Mcdonald’s is a kind of big deal for the middle class or lower-middle-class families.

Currently, while everyone is focusing more on health and avoiding fast food as they are presented as junk food, while other fast food units are struggling with profits, McDonald’s can rebuild their brand as a Healthy fast-food chain to regain the trust of their customers

McDonald has started doing Partnership with Ubereats which helps them reaching to the customers and meeting the everchanging customer needs

4. Threats to McDonalds

Threats are the aspects from which a company need to be protective and to use the strengths to overcome them

We have seen above how Mcdonald’s faces fierce competition from national, international, and even local retailers of food products. Although Mcdonald’sMcdonald’shighest market shares, it only takes one strong marketing strategy to shift consumers from one brand to other. 

Ever since the Covid wave hit us, more and more people are shifting towards a healthy diet. This change in eating habits can affect the revenue of the business. If Mcdonald’s wants to maintain its market share, it can up with more healthy food items.  

While operating in different countries McDonald’s needs to make sure that they fulfil the cultural preferences in that particular country

For example, McDonald’s stopped selling beef products in India as Indians believe cows and buffaloes as spiritual animals

Now that we have analysed the SWOT Analysis of McDonalds let’s jump to the conclusion and recap what we have understood.


Mcdonald’s is a popular food chain of all times. It is well versed to make use of advantages and has the right strategies to capture the market. 

But despite the company’s continuous growth, it needs to keep in check the aspects which can cause trouble. McDonald’s will keep winning the market and hold to the first position in the fast-food industry if it continues to leverage its strengths.

Thank you for reading this case study on the SWOT Analysis of McDonalds. If you found this blog useful do share it with your friends and help them learn as well. To read more such blogs click here

mcdonalds case study business studies

Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs...... [Read full bio]

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McDonalds Analysis, Case Study Example

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Problem Definition

Beef hamburgers are among the very basic McDonalds’s products. However, recent concerns of the mad cow disease have significantly reduced the consumption of beef in the regions, which are especially important for the company: United State and European Union. Beef consumption in the United States has dropped 30 percent due to fears of Mad Cow Disease. European market has also confronted difficulties: some households stopped purchasing beef at all, and others reduced the share of beef in their consumer basket dramatically.

The situation has got worse in 2000 and the following years, as direct connection between mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease among humans has been detected. It was proven that mad cow disease may lead to CJD through eating beef. It has never been a secret that McDonalds primarily used British beef in all of its restaurants in UK and a number of the restaurants throughout Europe. Moreover, the problem was easier to overcome in 1996, as only England faced problems with contaminated beef. In 2000 and 2001 a number of European countries faced similar problems, including Italy and France – also significant beef producers. As a result, McDonalds experienced decrease in sale in both the United State and Europe, faced reduce in profits by around 10% and was forced to publish rather negative annual results.

Organizational Objectives

Determine a course of action to counter the bad press originating from mad cow disease in Europe. Develop an anti – crisis program that will stabilize the situation and return the sales to previous level. A course of actions is also required to minimize all the aspects of the negative influence of the crisis at the global beef market.

Data Analysis

The cause – and affect connections are rather obvious in this case. The symptoms of the problem are obvious: a decline in sales and consequently a decline in profits. A true problem is certainly influenced by the external factors, which the company can not overwhelm and therefore is forced to deal with. The epidemic of mad cow disease first in Britain and then throughout Europe has received massive press coverage and attracted great attention in the society. Further scientific studies established direct connection between the consumption of the contaminated beef and human sickness.

In order to try to solve the problem the stakeholders have to be determined. In this case they can be split up into several groups:

Ideally, the strategy that will be used is supposed to benefit all of the stakeholders. Consumers have to start feeling secure and confident that the products sold by McDonalds do not bear any danger for their health. Shareholders should receive the returns on investment that they expect and would prefer to be confident of the financial stability and health of the company. The situation with the suppliers is perhaps the most complicated one: the company may not risk and purchase beef, the quality of which is not 100% certified. At the same time, even if the European supplier manages to comply with all the requirements from the state and the company, the fact that McDonalds still buys beef from English farmers will surely negatively influence the company’s image.

Alternative Strategies

In fact, series of actions are to be made in order to make sure the company handles the crisis well. There are three basic strategies that can be used in the situation described. All of them certainly have benefits and flaws, and in order to decide which one is more appropriate, they have to be discussed.

Is aimed to increase the public awareness of the problem and position the company properly, so that minimal damage to the company’s prestige is done. It could include a massive campaign, claiming that McDonalds has switched suppliers and no longer uses European beef for its hamburgers. Series of commercials may be run to demonstrate that only healthy cows from the safe farms outside Britain are used.

Is opposite to the first strategy, but is based on the idea that extra attention only worsens the situation. If the company simply ignores the problem and prefers to keep it quit, it may hope that the public will soon forget the entire matter and return to their regular buying habits. If the company draws to much attention towards the beef problem, the consumers will just be sure that the problem is really serious and will still restrain from buying hamburger “just in case”

Is actually a combination of the first two ones and is aimed to retrieve the positive affects of each. Extensive press coverage may really aggravate the problem. At the same time, lack of attention may show that the company does not care much about its clients. In order to avoid that, a “golden middle” should be found. McDonalds should demonstrate that only the healthiest products are used, but not stress the mad cow disease issue. It also may be slightly mentioned that McDonald’s prefers to buy beef from Latin America, where the mad cow disease has never been present. Other parts of the strategy could include diversifying the product line, including snacks without any beef.

The third strategy seems to be the most appropriate one, as it successfully combines the positive sides of the first two ones. Following this strategy, McDonalds will improve the public image without attracting too much negative attention. In fact, the company actually followed this pattern, which turned out to be rather effective.


Short-term (3-5 years)

Long-term (5-10 years)


The company has to be very cautious with advertising campaigns, as extra problem coverage may actually worsen the situation. The main task is to make sure the name McDonalds is not mentioned in the same sentence with mad cow disease or CJD.  The public should be aware that McDonalds uses the best meat, but the issue of meat contamination in Europe has to be avoided. A carefully balanced presentation is supposed to maintain the high brand image of the company.


Short-term positive

Short-term negative

Long-term positive

 Long-term negative

Phased Plan

Short range (3 – 5 years)

Overall, McDonalds has handled the problem exceptionally well, especially in 1996. The reaction was prompt and adequate, the public image of the company did not suffer and the losses have been minimized. In fact, the beef consumption reduced by around 30% in Europe and US, while company lost only about 10% of the profit. The decline in the market was inevitable, but a thoroughly chosen strategy allowed the company to overwhelm the crisis very fast.

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McDonald's Case Analysis

McDonald’s is an American fast food company, founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States. They rechristened their business as a hamburger stand, and later turned the company into a franchise, with the Golden Arches logo being introduced in 1953 at a location in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1955, Ray Kroc, a businessman, joined the company as a franchise agent and proceeded to purchase the chain from the McDonald brothers. McDonald’s had its original headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, but moved its global headquarters to Chicago in early 2018.

McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, serving over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across approximately 36,900 outlets as of 2016. Although McDonald’s is best known for its hamburgers, cheeseburgers and french fries, they also feature chicken products, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes and a negative backlash because of the unhealthiness of their food, the company has added to its menu salads, fish, smoothies, and fruit. The McDonald’s Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. According to a BBC report published in 2012, McDonald’s is the world’s second-largest private employer (behind Walmart) with 1.9 million employees, 1.5 million of whom work for franchises.

McDonald's Case Study

Mcdonalds Case Study Examples

Introduction The restaurants operate under the franchise of Mcdonalds, an affiliate or as an independent cooperate. The company gets its revenue from rents, bills and fees paid from the franchisees they also get revenue from the sales they make in the restaurants under the management of the company. The company’s menus differ with the changing […]

Mcdonalds Case Study

Introduction McDonald’s is the most famous and well-known fast-food company in the world. It was started by Dick and Mac McDonald’s in 1940. Their concept of the restaurant was based on speed and therefore called ‘Speedee Service System’ in 1948, which in today’s times is known as the fast food concept (Wikipedia, 2009). McDonald’s serves […]

International Case: Mcdonalds: Serving Fast Food

Planning Standing Plans: Policies: A policy is a general guideline for decision making. It sets up the boundaries around the decisions. Policies deal with “how to do” the work. These provide a framework within which decisions are to be made by the management. According to George R. Terry: “Policy is a verbal , written or […]

Industry Analysis – Mcdonalds

Within the restaurant industry, the quick service restaurants (QSR) sector, or better known as fast-food restaurants, are classified as “Perfectly Competitive” along the Industry Competitive Structure below. MonopolisticOligopolistic Suppliers Perfectly Competitive Oligopolistic BuyersMonopsonistics Characteristics of the industry that places it within a perfectly competitive environment are as follows: 1. Rivalry within the industry is intense […]

External and Internal Analysis Mcdonalds

The key success factors in APPENDIX 1 show that in order to be able to compete there is a need for research and development, achieve differentiation with your competition, create quality with your products, and be price competitive. Large capital is needed to be able to develop new products in order to differentiate among competitors. […]

Mcdonalds Marketing Report

As a company moving within a new integrated market it is necessary to evaluate what their impending strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are. This process is referred to as a SWOT analysis and plays an integral role within the daily operations of marketing teams. Successful market penetration becomes a greater possibility when a company can […]

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ComEd - An Exelon Company

Mcdonald's in arlington heights.

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Project Summary

Edgar Herrera and his family have owned 12 McDonald’s restaurants, including an Arlington Heights location, since 1991. Over the years, maintenance costs rose and aging HVAC equipment failure resulted in loss of business on hot days. When Herrera attended a McDonald’s event, he learned about the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program. This led him on a path to successfully upgrade his air conditioning units which saved him money and energy.

ComEd connected Herrera with an authorized Energy Efficiency Service Provider to provide a free assessment, and help with installations and paperwork.

The Solution

The Service Provider made sure Herrera understood the program benefits, the financials, and the energy-saving equipment options for his facilities. He started by upgrading to LED lights and moved on to the HVAC units.

“The assessment was straightforward and easy to understand. They came out one day to check out my restaurants and within a couple days had an assessment for me that explained the costs and how much money I would save. I used that to make a decision and realized it was in my best interest to replace HVAC units,” said Herrera.

Project Benefits

Profit margins in the restaurant business are notoriously low, so Herrera initially had difficulty committing to the cost and the long term benefits. However, the energy and cost savings from the lighting alone enabled Herrera to put that money to work paying for the next phase of the project. The projects will pay for themselves in just two years.

“The [ComEd] Energy Efficiency Program is fantastic and only possible for me thanks to the incentives. Without the incentives, I wouldn’t have been able to do all the upgrades at once,” says Herrera.

Herrera was thrilled to be able to save so much money on his electric bills. His customers no longer complain about the air conditioning and his family business is currently in the process of allocating these savings toward more lighting projects and investing in more energy efficient equipment.

"The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program is fantastic and only possible for me thanks to the incentives and the help of the Service Provider." Edgar Herrera , McDonald’s Franchise Owner

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Guinness World Records

McDonald's Case Study

Product licensing campaign.


The Results

Guinness World Records worked with McDonald’s to create a multichannel two month long licensing campaign . McDonald’s was looking for a premium idea that would encourage children to play with their parents and at home. McDonald’s utilised the Guinness World Records IP to deliver an immersive record-breaking experience for children and their families around Europe through their Happy Meal premiums (toys) programme.

The Solution

The Guinness World Records team worked with McDonald’s and came up with a series of record-breaking ideas to give every child the chance to set a Guinness World Records title. 

The Guinness World Records Happy Meal premiums were distributed to 43 markets in 38 languages and were designed to take the 100 million weekly customers on an exciting and engaging record-breaking journey involving the whole family. 

The eight different record breaking premiums included in the Happy Meal programme were developed for children between the ages of four and twelve, to allow them to practice skills such as dexterity and balance. 

Once children felt they were close to the world record, they would be prompted, with the assistance of their parents, to upload their recorded attempts on a dedicated micro-site through a mobile app, which was officially adjudicated remotely. All new record holders were announced on a monthly basis through the McDonald’s social media channels.

mcdonalds case study business studies

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Home » Management Case Studies » Case Study: McDonalds Marketing Strategies

Case Study: McDonalds Marketing Strategies

McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain. It has more than 30,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. Over one billion more customers were served in 2007 than in 2006. Although net income was down by $1.1 billion in 2007, McDonald’s sales were up 6.8%, and revenue was a record high of $23 billion. “The unique business relationship among the company, its franchisees and suppliers (collectively referred to as the System) has been key to McDonald’s success over the years. The business model enables McDonald’s to play an integral role in the communities we serve and consistently deliver relevant restaurant experiences to customers.”

McDonald’s overall strategic plan is called Plan to Win. Their focus is not so much on being the biggest fast-food restaurant chain, rather it is more focused on being the best fast-food restaurant chain. McDonald’s “ strategic alignment behind this plan has created better McDonald’s experiences through the execution of multiple initiatives surrounding the five factors of exceptional customer experiences — people, products, place, price and promotion”. McDonald’s also incorporates geographical strategic plans. In the U.S., McDonald’s strategic plan continues to focus on breakfast, chicken, beverages and convenience. These are the core areas in the United States. McDonald’s has launched the Southern Style Chicken Biscuit for breakfast and the Southern Style Chicken Sandwich for lunch and dinner. In the beverage business, McDonald’s starting introducing new hot specialty coffee offerings on a market-by-market basis. In Europe, McDonald’s uses a tiered menu approach. This menu features premium selections, classic menu, and everyday affordable offerings. They also “complement these with new products and limited-time food promotions”. In the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa markets, McDonald’s strategic plan is focused around convenience, breakfast, core menu extensions and value. With McDonald’s overall strategic plan and its geographical strategic plan, the company should start to see more positive financial results.

McDonald’s incorporates several organizational strategies. Some of the organizational strategies consist of better restaurant operations, placing the customer first, menu variety and beverage choice, convenience and daypart expansion, and ongoing restaurant reinvestment. McDonald’s plans to “continue to drive success in 2008 and beyond by leveraging key consumer insights and our global experience, while relying on our strengths in developing, testing and implementing initiatives surrounding our global business drivers of convenience, branded affordability, daypart expansion and menu variety”. One of the ways McDonald’s can obtain a positive net income is to maximize efficiency in its restaurant operations while at the same time placing the customer first. With strategic focus on menu variety and beverage choice, McDonald’s is hoping for increased sales and guest counts. With their convenience and daypart expansion initiative, McDonald’s is hoping to increase efficiency in its drive-thru pick up window, and the company is staying open later for those late-nighters who want a quick bite to eat. McDonald’s also has locally owned and operated restaurants which “are at the core of their competitive advantage and makes them not just a global brand but a locally relevant one”. They are in the process of remodeling and upgrading its franchises. The company is also opening up McCafe’s “with the expectation that the gourmet coffee shop would move it closer to its goal of doubling sales at existing U.S. restaurants over the next decade”. A couple other organizational strategies are branded affordability, and the development of their employees starting with recruitment and training and leading all the up to leadership and management .

McDonald’s strategic plan is influencing their marketing efforts by building better brand transparency. They want their image to be recognized globally. They are enhancing the customer’s experience. “Across their markets, they are making is easier for customers to enjoy a great McDonald’s experience. They are introducing drive-thrus to the increasingly mobile populations in China and Russia, while in the U.S. and Canada, greater drive-thru efficiency and double drive-thru lanes enable them to serve even more customers quickly”. In Germany, McDonald’s has a reimaging program that includes adding about 100 McCafes. They are also installing new kitchen operating systems so that they can continue to deliver high food quality . McDonald’s has already renovated about 10,000 restaurants world wide. They want their restaurants to be an expression of their brand. The company is also delivering greater value to the customer with new menu selections. “By serving a locally relevant balance of new products, premium salads and sandwiches, classic menu favorites and everyday affordable offerings around the world, they create value for customers and satisfy their demand for choice and variety”.

Types of marketing mix that McDonald’s use to achieve their marketing goals are longer operating hours, everyday value meals, and optimizing efficiency in the drive-thru. McDonald’s also uses marketing campaigns. In 2007, McDonald’s used the Shrek movie to give children a choice between milk, fruit, or vegetables as part of their Happy Meal. In addition to their commitment with children, McDonald’s is building their brand image “with innovated marketing transporting ideas across borders and using i’m lovin’ it to deepen their connection with customers who love their food and the unique McDonald’s experience”. In the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, McDonalds offered the Beijing Burger, Carmel and Banana Sundae, and Rice Sticks. They featured nine Olympic and Paralympic athletes on their packaging. In Australia, McDonald’s held a marketing campaign where the people could decide what name to give its new hamburger. The name that won was Backyard Burger. With marketing campaigns like these, McDonald’s is trying to create a better brand image.

Other organizational and marketing strategies are “creating stronger bonds of trust by being accessible and maintaining an open dialogue with customers and key stakeholders ”. The company is reinvesting approximately $1.9 billion into their restaurants primarily to reimage existing restaurants and build new ones. McDonald’s is also moving towards a more heavily franchised, less capital-intensive business model. Although in some countries, such as China, this is not permissible due to governmental laws.

With McDonald’s growing global brand image and its emphasis on the five factors of exceptional customer service, this should help them increase sales and net income. With the initiative of remodeling and upgrading existing franchises, this will give the customer a more pleasant and friendly place to dine out at. With McDonald’s marketing campaign for the 2008 Olympics, they were an integral part of the games and this only enhanced McDonald’s brand image in a positive way. With the recruitment and training initiatives for current employees or future prospects, this will allow McDonald’s to achieve less of an already high turnover ratio.

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Feature Image


A user-centred approach to optimising mobile ordering..

In 2016, the UK McDonald’s were piloting the mobile ordering app that was being developed globally. McDonald’s needed to test the app with real customers to identify issues across the journey, factoring in the operational perspective and at the same time, understand opportunities for development.

We conducted in restaurant usability sessions with 15 users and had 150 participants used the app and then provided structured feedback in a a survey.

From this we found:

The insights and recommendations from the study gave McDonald’s the tools to improve the foundations of their mobile ordering app. This would allow them to confidently roll out a second iteration as well as introduce exciting new features.

Development of the app continued and in 2018, McDonald’s had a new digital proposition giving customers the freedom to order wherever and whenever they want with a choice of collection methods.

Customers place an order but only pay through the app upon arriving at the restaurant – users are checked-in to the restaurant upon entering a geo-fence, alerting the restaurant to begin preparing their order.

The app aims to give users the ability to order at their own pace whilst reducing congestion through multiple order points, improving order accuracy and speed and introducing greater convenience and personalisation.

Following the success of the first round of research, SimpleUsability were invited to explore this experience to further optimise the service before it was released nationwide.

We delivered

McDonald’s wanted to test the end to end process for all collection methods, aiming to:


We conducted 20 usability tests of the end to end process across three mcdonald’s restaurants in london..

At the same time, we surveyed 225 people using the app for the first time – of these, 20 took part in telephone interviews.

Our offsite technology allowed us to research beyond the app to understand environmental factors, such as car park signage, that affected users’ understanding of the process as well as the app. This provided McDonald’s with a bigger picture, allowing them to identify where the restaurant and app experience merged so they could optimise the process accordingly.

From in-depth analysis we provided actionable optimisation recommendations covering everything from screen flows to UI elements. Since then, the McDonald’s app has had three major updates, introducing:

The research identified the need for further testing to optimise environmental factors and ensure the app and restaurant worked in unison.


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