McDonald’s is the undisputed king of burgers. This has been the trend in the fast-food industry from their creation in the 1960’s to their massive growth in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and now the new millennium. Over the past forty years, McDonald’s has fully taken advantage of their strengths but because of maturity in the fast food industry, more focus will have to be put on opportunities, weaknesses, and threats.
The first strength of McDonald’s has been their product strategy. Throughout the past three decades they have simply been a hamburger and fries Restaurant. Growing customer wants and needs along with increased competition has forced them to alter and improve their menu to better fit the environment. Factors such as growing competition and consumers becoming more health conscious have forced them to make these changes.
Today McDonald’s offers a wide variety of products that consist of 26 items. Breakfast items include biscuit sandwiches, Egg McMuffin, hotcakes and sausage, sausage McMuffin with egg, and scrambled eggs. Sandwiches include the Big Mac, cheeseburger, Crispy Chicken Deluxe, Filet-O-Fish, Grilled Chicken Deluxe, Grilled Chicken Salad Deluxe, hamburger, Quarter Pounder, and the Quarter Pounder with cheese. Dessert items include baked apple pies, chocolate chip cookie, hot fudge sundae, ice cream cone, McFlurry, and milkshakes. Other items on the menu include the apple-bran muffin, Chicken McNuggets, French fries, Garden Salad, Happy Meals, soft drinks, and other beverages.
Promotion has also been a strength for McDonald’s. They have always focused promotion around good food, friendly folks, and fun. They have also spent a considerable amount of money on promotional programs such as Monopoly, Happy Meals, and the Big Mac. In addition to these promotions, McDonald’s signed a ten-year contract with Disney combining promotions for food items with Disney movies. They also continue the successful Beanie Baby promotion that is credited as the company’s most successful promotion ever. On October 25 they introduced the American Trio Collection of Beanie Babies that celebrate the American Political Process.
In addition to promotion, McDonald’s has also been successful at placing restaurants in every available position. The increase of outlets per year has remained at 5% for the last two decades despite a falling increase in sales. In 1988 they had 10,167 restaurants, of which 7,567 were located in the United States. Throughout the 1990’s they have increased that number to 28,454 restaurants in about 120 countries. The table below gives the number of restaurants and sales per geographic region as of September 2000:
McDonald’s Locations and Sales
Location # Restaurants Sales (in millions)
United States 12,703 $5,051.4
Asia/Pacific 5,989 1,820.2