mcdonalds-pestel-analysis

McDonald’s PESTEL Analysis

Background

The McDonald’s brand is instantly recognizable as a fast-food restaurant chain offering an affordable, fun, and family-oriented eating experience.

The company was the first such restaurant to incorporate drive-through ordering, and its consistency has seen it become a success in hundreds of countries.

However, the pillars McDonald’s was built on are no longer guaranteed to take the company forward. How will it expand and grow in face of changing consumer preferences?

We will attempt to answer this question and much more in the following PESTLE analysis.

Understanding the McDonald’s PESTLE analysis

Political

McDonald’s has approximately 34,000 restaurants in 118 countries, so political tension is almost guaranteed. The company is sensitive to hygiene regulations and increasingly, regulations around foods causing heart disease and obesity.

Countries with anti-American sentiment are also problematic for McDonald’s. For this reason, the company was banned from operating in Iran and North Korea to name a couple. McDonald’s was also banned from Bermuda because of long-held laws against foreign restaurant chains.

Economic

Global sales fell by 22% as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with three-quarters of all McDonald’s stores operating in a limited capacity.

McDonald’s is also vulnerable to microeconomic factors. The company ceased operations in Iceland because of the prohibitive cost of acquiring meat, cheese, and vegetables.

Social

McDonald’s is supremely skilled at adapting its menu to suit local tastes. For example, it offers a McSpicy Paneer in India, a Panzerotti in Italy, and a Corn Pie in Thailand.

The company has also taken steps to make its menu more attractive to health-conscious consumers. However, this healthier menu is being seen as a less desirable option than similar menus in other restaurants. If it cannot strike the right balance, McDonald’s is also at risk of alienating the customers who prefer its traditional offerings.

Technological

To double down on its ethos of fast service, McDonald’s is in the process of rolling out self-serve kiosks in its restaurants. It has also invested in automated voice-technology to take drive-through orders.

In 2019, McDonald’s acquired tech company Dynamic Yield to deliver more responsive menus. Digital menus now show different items in response to regional preferences, time of day, and even current weather conditions.

Legal

The chain has been involved in many lawsuits over its seven-decade history. Most of these related to trademark infringements with many copycat restaurants using the “Mc” prefix in their name and branding.

Environmental

Although indirectly, McDonald’s contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation through its high demand for beef products. In some countries, it is also being pressured to phase out plastic straws and other harmful packaging.

In 2012, McDonald’s opened its first green restaurant in Australia. It features energy-efficient lighting, solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and was built from recycled steel and concrete. To reduce electricity demands, many restaurants are also using waste heat from the kitchen to heat water.

Key takeaways

  • McDonald’s is synonymous with cheap and cheerful family dining. However, it faces an uncertain future as consumer trends concerning healthy eating and climate change evolve.
  • Operating in 118 countries, political conflict seems inevitable. But it’s important to note that McDonald’s operates in several stable western countries which are also highly profitable.
  • Much of the global appeal of McDonald’s lies in its ability to integrate with foreign countries with innovative and culturally sensitive menu items.

Read Also: McDonald’s Business Model, McDonald’s SWOT Analysis.

Read Next: Pestel Analysis, SWOT Analysis, Porter’s Five Forces, STEEP Analysis, SOAR Analysis, BCG Matrix, Ansoff Matrix.

Read Next: Organizational Structure.

Related Visual Stories

Who Owns McDonald’s

who-owns-mcdonalds
The major institutional shareholders comprise The Vanguard Group (8.83%) and BlackRock (7.1%). Major individual shareholders include Kevin Ozan (Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer), Stephen Easterbrook (President and CEO), and John Rogers, Jr., an investor, philanthropist, and Ariel Capital Management founder. And a few other individual shareholders.

McDonald’s Business Model

mcdonalds-business-model
McDonald’s is a heavy-franchised business model. In 2022, over 60% of the total revenues came from franchised restaurants. The company’s long-term goal is to transition toward 95% of franchised restaurants (by 2022, franchised restaurants were 94.7% of the total). The company generated over $23 billion in revenues in 2022, of which $8.75 billion was from owned restaurants and $14.1 billion from franchised restaurants.

McDonald’s Revenue

mcdonalds-revenue-breakdown
Of over $23 billion in revenue in 2022, $8.74 came from company-operated stores, while $14.1 billion came from franchised restaurants. Of over $23 billion in revenue in 2021, McDonald’s generated almost ten billion dollars from company-operated restaurants, while it generated $13 billion from franchised restaurants.

McDonald’s EV/Revenue Multiple

mcdonalds-ev-revenue-multiple
In 2022, McDonald’s EV/Revenue Multiples was 8.33 in 2022, compared to 8.53 in 2021.

McDonald’s Profits

mcdonalds-profits
In 2022, McDonald’s generated $6.18 billion in net profits, compared to $7.54 billion in 2021. The company runs a heavily franchised business model, where it has reached its target of 95% franchised restaurants worldwide.

McDonald’s Strategy

mcdonalds-strategy
McDonald’s finally transitioned to a heavily franchised business model in 2022, reaching its long-term objective of 95% of franchised restaurants vs. its total restaurants worldwide. Approximately 95% of the restaurants at year-end 2022 were franchised, including 95% in the U.S., 89% in International Operated Markets, and 98% in the International Developmental Licensed Markets.

McDonald’s Employees

mcdonalds-employees
McDonald’s had 150,000 employees in 2022, compared to 200,000 employees in 2021 and the same in 2020. The company runs a heavily franchised business model, where most stores are franchised restaurants vs. owned ones. In 2022, McDonald’s franchised locations employed over two million individuals.

McDonald’s Margins

mcdonalds-owned-vs-franchised-margins
McDonald’s runs a heavily franchised business model, where most of its margins come from franchised restaurants vs. operated ones. For instance, in 2022, franchised restaurants generated $11.75 billion in margins vs. its operated restaurants, which generated $1.37 billion in margins.

Who Owns Burger King

who-owns-burger-kint
Burger King is an American multinational chain of fast-food restaurants that is headquartered in Miami, Florida. The first Burger King restaurant, then known as Insta-Burger King, was opened in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1953 by Keith Cramer and his stepfather Matthew Burns. Burger King Worldwide merged with the Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons in 2014. This precipitated the formation of parent company Restaurant Brands International, which is part-owned by former Burger King owner 3G Capital.

McDonald’s Organizational Structure

mcdonald-organizational-structure
McDonald’s has a divisional organizational structure where each division – based on geographical location – is assigned operational responsibilities and strategic objectives. The main geographical divisions are the US, internationally operated markets, and international developmental licensed markets. And on the other hand, the hierarchical leadership structure is organized around regional and functional divisions.

McDonald’s PESTEL Analysis

mcdonalds-pestel-analysis

McDonald’s SWOT Analysis

mcdonalds-swot-analysis

Franchising Business Model

franchising
Franchising is a business model where the owner (franchisor) of a product, service, or method utilizes the distribution services of an affiliated dealer (franchisee). Usually, the franchisee pays a royalty to the franchisor to be using the brand, process, and product. And the franchisor instead supports the franchisee in starting up the activity and providing a set of services as part of the franchising agreement. Franchising models can be heavy-franchised, heavy-chained, or hybrid (franchained).

Coca-Cola Business Model

coca-cola-business-strategy
Coca-Cola follows a business strategy (implemented since 2006) where through its operating arm – the Bottling Investment Group – it invests initially in bottling partners operations. As they take off, Coca-Cola divests its equity stakes, and it establishes a franchising model, as long-term growth and distribution strategy.

Coca-Cola Mission Statement

coca-cola-vision-statement-mission-statement
Coca-Cola’s Purpose is to “refresh the world. make a difference.” Its vision and mission are to “craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body & spirit. And done in ways that create a more sustainable business and better-shared future that makes a difference in people’s lives, communities, and our planet.”

Read Also: McDonald’s Business Model, Coca-Cola Business Model, Coca-Cola Distribution Strategy.

Types of Organizational Structures

organizational-structure-types
Organizational Structures

Siloed Organizational Structures

Functional

functional-organizational-structure
In a functional organizational structure, groups and teams are organized based on function. Therefore, this organization follows a top-down structure, where most decision flows from top management to bottom. Thus, the bottom of the organization mostly follows the strategy detailed by the top of the organization.

Divisional

divisional-organizational-structure

Open Organizational Structures

Matrix

matrix-organizational-structure

Flat

flat-organizational-structure
In a flat organizational structure, there is little to no middle management between employees and executives. Therefore it reduces the space between employees and executives to enable an effective communication flow within the organization, thus being faster and leaner.

Connected Business Frameworks

Portfolio Management

project-portfolio-matrix
Project portfolio management (PPM) is a systematic approach to selecting and managing a collection of projects aligned with organizational objectives. That is a business process of managing multiple projects which can be identified, prioritized, and managed within the organization. PPM helps organizations optimize their investments by allocating resources efficiently across all initiatives.

Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

kotters-8-step-change-model
Harvard Business School professor Dr. John Kotter has been a thought-leader on organizational change, and he developed Kotter’s 8-step change model, which helps business managers deal with organizational change. Kotter created the 8-step model to drive organizational transformation.

Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model

nadler-tushman-congruence-model
The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model was created by David Nadler and Michael Tushman at Columbia University. The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model is a diagnostic tool that identifies problem areas within a company. In the context of business, congruence occurs when the goals of different people or interest groups coincide.

McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom

mckinseys-seven-degrees
McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth is a strategy tool. Developed by partners at McKinsey and Company, the tool helps businesses understand which opportunities will contribute to expansion, and therefore it helps to prioritize those initiatives.

Mintzberg’s 5Ps

5ps-of-strategy
Mintzberg’s 5Ps of Strategy is a strategy development model that examines five different perspectives (plan, ploy, pattern, position, perspective) to develop a successful business strategy. A sixth perspective has been developed over the years, called Practice, which was created to help businesses execute their strategies.

COSO Framework

coso-framework
The COSO framework is a means of designing, implementing, and evaluating control within an organization. The COSO framework’s five components are control environment, risk assessment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring activities. As a fraud risk management tool, businesses can design, implement, and evaluate internal control procedures.

TOWS Matrix

tows-matrix
The TOWS Matrix is an acronym for Threats, Opportunities, Weaknesses, and Strengths. The matrix is a variation on the SWOT Analysis, and it seeks to address criticisms of the SWOT Analysis regarding its inability to show relationships between the various categories.

Lewin’s Change Management

lewins-change-management-model
Lewin’s change management model helps businesses manage the uncertainty and resistance associated with change. Kurt Lewin, one of the first academics to focus his research on group dynamics, developed a three-stage model. He proposed that the behavior of individuals happened as a function of group behavior.

Organizational Structure Case Studies

Airbnb Organizational Structure

airbnb-organizational-structure
Airbnb follows a holacracy model, or a sort of flat organizational structure, where teams are organized for projects, to move quickly and iterate fast, thus keeping a lean and flexible approach. Airbnb also moved to a hybrid model where employees can work from anywhere and meet on a quarterly basis to plan ahead, and connect to each other.

eBay Organizational Structure

ebay-organizational-structure
eBay was until recently a multi-divisional (M-form) organization with semi-autonomous units grouped according to the services they provided. Today, eBay has a single division called Marketplace, which includes eBay and its international iterations.

IBM Organizational Structure

ibm-organizational-structure
IBM has an organizational structure characterized by product-based divisions, enabling its strategy to develop innovative and competitive products in multiple markets. IBM is also characterized by function-based segments that support product development and innovation for each product-based division, which include Global Markets, Integrated Supply Chain, Research, Development, and Intellectual Property.

Sony Organizational Structure

sony-organizational-structure
Sony has a matrix organizational structure primarily based on function-based groups and product/business divisions. The structure also incorporates geographical divisions. In 2021, Sony announced the overhauling of its organizational structure, changing its name from Sony Corporation to Sony Group Corporation to better identify itself as the headquarters of the Sony group of companies skewing the company toward product divisions.

Facebook Organizational Structure

facebook-organizational-structure
Facebook is characterized by a multi-faceted matrix organizational structure. The company utilizes a flat organizational structure in combination with corporate function-based teams and product-based or geographic divisions. The flat organization structure is organized around the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, and the key executives around him. On the other hand, the function-based teams based on the main corporate functions (like HR, product management, investor relations, and so on).

Google Organizational Structure

google-organizational-structure
Google (Alphabet) has a cross-functional (team-based) organizational structure known as a matrix structure with some degree of flatness. Over the years, as the company scaled and it became a tech giant, its organizational structure is morphing more into a centralized organization.

Tesla Organizational Structure

tesla-organizational-structure
Tesla is characterized by a functional organizational structure with aspects of a hierarchical structure. Tesla does employ functional centers that cover all business activities, including finance, sales, marketing, technology, engineering, design, and the offices of the CEO and chairperson. Tesla’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, decide the strategic direction of the company, with international operations given little autonomy.

McDonald’s Organizational Structure

mcdonald-organizational-structure
McDonald’s has a divisional organizational structure where each division – based on geographical location – is assigned operational responsibilities and strategic objectives. The main geographical divisions are the US, internationally operated markets, and international developmental licensed markets. And on the other hand, the hierarchical leadership structure is organized around regional and functional divisions.

Walmart Organizational Structure

walmart-organizational-structure
Walmart has a hybrid hierarchical-functional organizational structure, otherwise referred to as a matrix structure that combines multiple approaches. On the one hand, Walmart follows a hierarchical structure, where the current CEO Doug McMillon is the only employee without a direct superior, and directives are sent from top-level management. On the other hand, the function-based structure of Walmart is used to categorize employees according to their particular skills and experience.

Microsoft Organizational Structure

microsoft-organizational-structure
Microsoft has a product-type divisional organizational structure based on functions and engineering groups. As the company scaled over time it also became more hierarchical, however still keeping its hybrid approach between functions, engineering groups, and management.

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