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McDonald’s Business Model Canvas

McDonald's Business Model Canvas
Photo By Joshua Austin, Edited By Grey Knight

A Brief History of McDonald’s

The corporation was founded in 1940 by two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California. The original restaurant was a drive-in barbecue that was later reorganized as a hamburger stand using production line principles. In 1954, Ray Kroc, a Multimixer milkshake machine salesman, visited the original McDonald’s location and was impressed by their efficient system. He then proposed to the McDonald brothers that they expand their operation and granted him the rights to open McDonald’s restaurants in other locations. This partnership led to the first franchised McDonald’s opening in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955.

By the early 1960s, McDonald’s had become a major national and international chain, with new locations opening in Canada and the United Kingdom. In 1965, the company went public and Ray Kroc became the company’s first CEO. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, McDonald’s continued to expand globally, opening new locations in countries like Japan, Germany, and Australia.

In the 1990s, McDonald’s continued to grow and diversify its offerings, introducing new menu items such as salads, wraps, and healthier options. The company also expanded its operations to include drive-thru windows, McCafé coffee shops, and extended operating hours. In the 2000s, McDonald’s faced challenges related to obesity concerns and criticism of its labor practices but also launched new initiatives like the “Plan to Win” strategy to improve menu offerings and customer service.

Today, McDonald’s has over 38,000 locations in more than 100 countries and territories, serving millions of customers daily. The company has continued to evolve and adapt to changing consumer tastes and preferences while maintaining its position as one of the world’s leading fast-food chains.

Who Owns McDonald’s?

McDonald’s Corporation is currently owned by a large number of shareholders, both individual and institutional. The top 10 shareholders of McDonald’s Corporation are primarily large investment firms and mutual fund companies, with a mix of individual shareholders as well. As of the latest publicly available information, the top 10 shareholders of McDonald’s Corporation are as follows:

1. The Vanguard Group, Inc.
2. BlackRock, Inc.
3. State Street Corporation
4. Capital World Investors
5. Fidelity Management & Research Company
6. Northern Trust Corporation
7. T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.
8. Wellington Management Company, LLP
9. Geode Capital Management, LLC
10. Norges Bank Investment Management

These shareholders collectively own a significant portion of McDonald’s Corporation and have a vested interest in the company’s performance and growth.

McDonald’s Mission Statement

McDonald’s Corporation’s mission statement is to be the world’s best quick-service restaurant experience. They strive to provide quality, service, cleanliness, and value to their customers while also providing a fun and rewarding experience for their employees. Their goal is to constantly innovate and improve their menu, operations, and customer experience in order to maintain their position as a leader in the food service industry.

How Does McDonald’s Make Money?

McDonald’s Corporation operates as a franchisor of independently owned and operated McDonald’s restaurants. The company generates revenue primarily through three sources: franchise royalties, rent, and sales made by company-operated restaurants. Franchisees pay a portion of their sales as franchise royalties to McDonald’s and also pay rent for the use of company-owned property. Additionally, the company-operated restaurants directly generate revenue from food and beverage sales. Overall, McDonald’s business model is built on the success of its franchise system, and its ability to generate steady revenue through both royalties and sales from company-operated restaurants.

McDonald’s Business Model Canvas

The business model canvas is a strategic management tool that provides a visual representation of a company’s business model. It allows businesses to outline and analyze the key elements of their operations and strategy in a systematic and organized manner. In this case, we will provide a detailed Business Model Canvas for McDonald’s Corporation.

1. Customer Segments:

– Families
– Young adults
– Children
– Busy professionals
– Tourists

2. Value Propositions:

– Convenient and fast service
– Affordable pricing
– Consistent quality of food
– Extensive menu options
– Strong brand recognition

3. Channels:

– Physical store locations
– Drive-thru
– Online ordering and delivery
– Mobile app
– Social media platforms

4. Customer Relationships:

– In-store dining experience
– Drive-thru interactions
– Online customer support
– Loyalty programs

5. Revenue Streams:

– Sales of food and beverages
– Franchise fees and royalties
– Advertising revenue
– Licensing and merchandise sales

6. Key Resources:

– Brand and intellectual property
– Real estate and infrastructure
– Supply chain and distribution networks
– Employee training and development
– Technology and digital platforms

7. Key Activities:

– Food sourcing and supply chain management
– Menu innovation and product development
– Marketing and advertising campaigns
– Franchisee support and training
– Quality control and food safety measures

8. Key Partners:

– Franchisees
– Food suppliers
– Advertising agencies
– Technology partners
– Delivery service providers

9. Cost Structure:

– Food and beverage costs
– Labor and employee wages
– Rent and operational expenses
– Marketing and advertising
– Technology investments

McDonald’s Competitors

McDonald’s Corporation faces stiff competition from other fast food chains and restaurants in the industry. The top 5 competitors for McDonald’s include Burger King, Subway, Starbucks, KFC, and Taco Bell. These competitors offer similar menu options and strive to attract customers with competitive pricing, promotions, and innovation in their offerings. McDonald’s continually looks for ways to stand out from the competition and maintain its position as a leader in the fast food industry.

McDonald’s SWOT Analysis


1. Strong global brand recognition
2. Extensive global presence with over 38,000 locations
3. Efficient supply chain management
4. Diverse menu offerings to cater to various tastes and preferences


1. Dependence on franchisees for revenue
2. Negative public perception of fast food
3. Health concerns regarding the nutritional value of menu items
4. Vulnerability to economic downturns


1. Expansion into emerging markets
2. Market growth through delivery and online ordering
3. Introduction of healthier menu options
4. Acquisitions and partnerships to diversify product offerings


1. Competition from fast-casual and healthier dining options
2. Changing consumer preferences towards healthier food options
3. Fluctuating commodity prices affecting input costs
4. Regulatory changes impacting the fast food industry

Concluding Analysis

So, as we wrap up our discussion on the business model of McDonald’s Corporation, it’s clear that their focus on innovation, adaptability, and customer convenience has solidified their position as a leader in the fast-food industry. As an analyst, I believe that the future holds even more potential for McDonald’s, especially as they continue to expand their digital initiatives and focus on sustainability. With a strong brand and a commitment to meeting the evolving needs of its customers, I see a bright future ahead for McDonald’s Corporation.

Additional Resources

To keep learning and advancing your career, we highly recommend these additional resources:

Business Model Canvas of The Top 1,000 Largest Companies by Market Cap in 2024

A List of 1000 Venture Capital Firms & Investors with LinkedIn Profiles

Peter Thiel and the 16 Unicorns: The Legacy of Thiel Fellowship

9 Biggest IPOs of All Time

List of Fortune 500 Companies in 2023

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