For the past 100 years, the McDonald’s brand has become a household name, earning it a place among the most iconic brands in the world.
While McDonald’s is known for its fast food, it also has a long history of supporting progressive causes and organizations.
In celebration of its centennial anniversary in 2018, McDonald’s released a statement outlining the iconic brand’s future direction, namely its commitment to serving society and the environment.
Below, we dissect McDonald’s mission statement and provide you with key lessons you can learn from it.
Lesson #1: Create value for customers & society
The first key lesson from McDonald’s mission statement is the notion that the company exists to create value for its customers. To put it another way, McDonald’s is in the business of creating a good experience for its customers so that they come back for more. Additionally, McDonald’s sees itself as a steward of society, using its platform to create positive change and make the world a better place.
Customer value and positive social change are not mutually exclusive – as a company, McDonald’s can create value for its customers while also advocating for positive change. For example, McDonald’s could provide environmentally sustainable packaging or offer more plant-based options for its customers.
As for the idea that McDonald’s is committed to serving society, there’s little question that the company has made a concerted effort to do good in the world. Since its inception, McDonald’s has donated over 1 billion servings of food to those in need around the world.
Additionally, McDonald’s restaurants in over 170 countries feature “Clean Water” and “Food for Workplaces” programs that provide employees with food that is grown or manufactured locally.
Lastly, McDonald’s has partnered with the non-profit World Food Programme to help provide nourishment and relief to people in need around the world. Together, they fund water and sanitation projects, enabling people to lead healthier lives.
Lesson #2: Create a positive environment
The second key lesson from McDonald’s mission statement is the notion that the company exists to create a positive environment for its employees.
To put it another way, McDonald’s is in the business of attracting and retaining a great staff by providing them with an environment that is conducive to their well-being.
Additionally, McDonald’s seeks to create an environment where employees can learn and grow, as the company believes that fostering innovation and creativity leads directly to improved service and product development.
In terms of creating a positive work environment, McDonald’s does this in a variety of ways. For example, the company provides its employees with generous paid leave, invests in their health and wellness through their Employee Assistance Program, and participates in community events and volunteer work to give back to the local community.
Incentives such as these help create a positive working environment by instilling pride in employees and serving as a source of motivation. In 2019 alone, McDonald’s provided more than 430 million hours of paid leave to its employees – the equivalent of over 52 weeks of paid leave to every employee.
Lesson #3: Measure performance & effectiveness
The third lesson from McDonald’s mission statement is the notion that the company measures and examines its performance regularly in order to improve and direct its efforts where they are needed most.
To put it another way, McDonald’s sees itself as a high-performance organization, which sets it apart from other companies. In order to track its performance, McDonald’s evaluates every aspect of its business, from sales to delivery to customer experience, to determine what is working and what needs to be changed.
As with any business, there are always areas that can be improved upon, as McDonald’s takes a keen interest in operational excellence.
For example, McDonald’s recently launched an app that tracks and provides real-time feedback on a restaurant’s performance – enabling managers to understand where and what they should be working on to improve their service and efficiency.
Lesson #4: Identify External stakeholder opinions & requirements
The fourth key lesson from McDonald’s mission statement is the notion that the company endeavors to identify and meet the external stakeholder opinions and requirements that pertain to its operations. To put it another way, McDonald’s sees itself as an organization that is responsive to the needs of its customers, the community, and the environment – which is a lot to live up to!
In terms of meeting the external stakeholder opinions and requirements, McDonald’s does this through a variety of mechanisms, ranging from regular surveys and feedback sessions with customers to studying rivals’ offerings and analyzing market trends to determine what products and services will be most effective and popular.
For example, in late 2019, McDonald’s launched a new line of vegan burgers in the UK, alongside the discontinuation of others due to slow sales.
The company’s insight into what is working and what isn’t, coupled with its understanding of consumer preferences, enabled it to produce popular vegan options that meet the needs of its customers.
Lesson #5: Identify Internal stakeholder opinions & requirements
The fifth lesson from McDonald’s mission statement is the notion that the company strives to identify and incorporate the internal stakeholder opinions and requirements that pertain to its operations.
To put it another way, McDonald’s sees itself as an organization that is responsive to the needs of its employees, managing director, and others associated with the company.
In terms of incorporating the opinions and requirements of its employees, stakeholders, and others associated with the company, McDonald’s does this through a variety of methods, ranging from regular brainstorming sessions and workshops to listening to and acting on the feedback it receives.
In late 2019, McDonald’s launched a new line of vegan burgers in the UK, alongside the discontinuation of others due to slow sales. As a result of this and other product changes, the company experienced a decline in sales of traditional burgers and a corresponding increase in those purchasing vegan options.
Analysis of market trends and survey data revealed that customers were changing their preferences to better match their values – with more people choosing vegan options because they believed that these products were healthier and more environmentally sustainable.
Lesson #6: Create win-win solutions
The final key lesson from McDonald’s mission statement is the notion that the company creates solutions that create win-win situations for its customers, society, and the environment.
To put it another way, McDonald’s works to create mutual benefit – something that can be difficult to achieve in today’s world.
To illustrate, in 2019, during the height of the pandemic, the demand for takeaway food soared, particularly in London.
However, as restaurants and other businesses closed down due to government restrictions, delivery services faced increasing financial strain as fewer people needed and wanted their food.
It was a classic case of supply and demand – as people were buying less, the companies that provided that service experienced financial hardship.
This is where McDonald’s comes in.
The company had the foresight to reinvent its business model during this time of need, launching a food delivery service that enables them to reach more customers and provide them with a better experience – while also ensuring that they can continue to serve the communities that they support.
In light of the pandemic, it is clear that many businesses and organizations across the world haven’t been as responsive to changing consumer demands and operating in a sustainable way.
The success of fast food chains like McDonald’s in the future will hinge on their ability to continually evolve with the times while also continuing to provide value for their customers.
The ability to do this is largely down to their strong culture, which is defined by a focus on continuous improvement, openness to new ideas, and a desire to stay ahead of the curve.