FEATURE23 October 2017

Key takeaway

x Sponsored content on Research Live and in Impact magazine is editorially independent.
Find out more about advertising and sponsorship.

Features Impact Innovations Leisure & Arts Mobile

McDonald’s has recently introduced changes to its restaurants, some of which have had surprising consequences, as Victoria Hodson, its vice-president of business strategy and insight, explains to Jane Bainbridge.


McDonald’s is a brand that engenders as much criticism as it does love. Over the years, it’s gathered more than a few negative headlines. From the ‘McLibel’ case in the 1990s, when it took two environmental activists to court, to – in the past few months – the first strikes by UK staff over zero-hours contracts and conditions; these are not the stories big brands covet. 

But alongside the media storms has been the business success, not least after Briton Steve Easterbrook took over as CEO in 2015. McDonald’s has enjoyed 45 consecutive quarters of sales growth in the UK, and a distinct sharpening of its global business strategy. 

In interviews, Easterbrook has cited a number of factors in its improved performance, including: investing in the menu; refocusing on its ‘value’ proposition; and making sure improvements – be they in staff, service or interiors – are evident to customers. 

Since the McLibel debacle, McDonald’s has adopted a strategy of being more ...