The restaurant industry has become highly competitive, leading different food chains to fiercely compete and outshine each other. The statistical information shows that this year the industry is going to grow rapidly, almost like a Hayabusa engine. For the very first time in the history of the restaurant business, sales are going to cross $1 trillion. This volume of sales will also increase employment. According to the data we have, the total employment rate will cater to 15.7 million people.

With such intense competition among restaurants, there are a few eateries that have always distinguished themselves and beat their competitors to the punch. One of them is McDonald's, having 38,000 locations worldwide and serving millions of customers on a daily basis. This particular food chain has achieved a distinct level of global recognition and dominance, owing to its enjoyable dining experiences, fruitful branding, and effective management.

McDonald's lives up to the corporate motto of quality, service, cleanliness, and value (QSC&V). It is a golden standard that all restaurants strive to accomplish, but not every restaurant is quite capable.

You must be thinking, Well what did McDonald's do so differently from the get-go?

That is what we are here for today—to tell you about five powerful branding strategies derived from the consistent efforts of McDonald's. If you are a small local diner and wish to turn into a franchise empire, we will give you some valuable insights from the success of McDonald's.

1. Hit the Customer Contact Points

To make it happen, visualize yourself across all touchpoints. It may sound taxing, but it is among the most fundamental and simple aspects of a successful business operation.

Visual Identity

The iconic golden arches of McDonald's are similar to the talk of the town, just minus the rumor part because the arches exist magnificently. These golden arches are a sign of strong visual identity, and they are featured on signage, packaging, and advertising materials of McDonald's. The company has used proper visual elements that a catering business logo requires, including the color scheme and the typography.

The Color Scheme

Consisting primarily of red and yellow, the color scheme of McDonald's checks all boxes of an ideal brand identity.


The dominating color is red, rooted in the company's branding materials. We are aware of the boldness of the red color which grabs attention and arouses passion, excitement, and even appetite stimulation. Moreover, the red color in the logo of McDonald's reflects the restaurant's quick service and energy. A good food chain always believes in giving its customers a family-friendly atmosphere, and McDonald's does exactly that by the color red, for it is an echo of warmth and comfort.


In the branding of McDonald's, the color yellow is prominent in the form of the iconic golden arches. According to Color Psychology, yellow is closely related to happiness and positivity. Since the color of sunshine is yellow as well, McDonald's integrates it into the red color and exhibits comfort, warmth, happiness, and positivity all round.

The Typography

The typography or the style of composing of McDonald's logo is a masterclass in simplicity and distinction. It carries the essence of the brand with a timeless and noticeable aesthetic. Crafted with precision and purpose, the letterforms McDonald's are typified by their rounded strokes and balanced proportions.

The typeface of McDonald's logo is bespoke or custom to tailor to its branding needs. Furthermore, outside of the logo, McDonald's uses a combination of sans-serif fonts for its branding and marketing materials. Sans-serif fonts are necessary as they modernize a logo, and McDonald's has utilized them for its contemporary brand image.

Brand Messaging

McDonald's has been in harmony with its brand message since the beginning. From social media to in-store promotions, McDonald's has worked towards the goals of affordability, convenience, and quality.

For instance, the I'm Lovin' It slogan, introduced in 2003, is a byword for McDonald's now. Whenever you watch advertisements of this eatery, you will definitely run your eyes over the slogan, feeling a sense of curiosity.

Store Ambiance

In an era where you are free to present yourself online, it is important to recognize the vitality of a physical store. Physical stores enable customers to purchase and obtain products in an instant, thereby improving customer experience.

2. Prioritize Customer Experience

Speaking of improved customer experience, McDonald's ensures that its customers are valued at all hours of the day. Whether it is through speedy service, clean facilities, or friendly staff, the company is devoted to enhancing customer satisfaction.

Staff Training

"McDonald's is a people business, and that smile on that counter girl's face when she takes your order is a vital part of our image." — Ray Kroc (Former CEO of McDonald's)

Staff members of McDonald's are known for their polite gestures, pleasant demeanor, and responsiveness. Employees undergo various and rigorous training programs, and the best lesson of these programs is the delivery of excellent customer service. They are taught to greet customers with a smile, take personalized orders, and address concerns in a timely manner. A research study implies that if employee training provisions are not controlled, inconsistencies could arise.

Hygiene Standards

Unlike many restaurants not being too big on maintaining a clean and hygienic environment, McDonald's considers it a top priority. The Food Standards Agency has already given a greenlight to McDonald's for hygienic food handling, clean building facilities, and food safety management.

Customization equals personalization! The menu of McDonald's is well-regarded, mainly due to having food items suited to individual preferences and dietary restrictions. Did you know that McDonald's has a Create Your Taste platform? Currently it is part of Signature Crafted Recipes and allows consumers to customize their burgers with a choice of ingredients, toppings, and sauces.

3. Innovate Menu Offerings

McDonald's has a knack for creativity in its menu offerings. In other words, the company bets bottom dollar on introducing new products in case consumer preferences change. Staying relevant is the key component for McDonald's, and in doing so, it has appealed to a diverse audience.

Credibility of a restaurant business is usually at the risk of breakdown when it comes to upgrading menu. However, McDonald's mitigated that risk—instead, it found imperative to subject the proposed upgrades to a thorough assessment, considering both immediate and long-term consequences. Guess what? It always prevailed.

4. Engage Your Community

"I don't believe in saturation. We're thinking and talking worldwide." — Ray Kroc

It is not only the interior of McDonald's. Kroc wanted to step outside and make the company a worldwide phenomenon. For its realization, he encouraged maximum participation in community initiatives and manifested great commitment to coming on the scene as a socially responsible individual. In virtue of this strategy, McDonald's strengthened its brand image and formed a deep connection with customers and stakeholders alike.

Local Community Support

McDonald's engages with local communities and supports numerous projects and events like sponsoring youth sports teams, playing a role in local festivals, and hosting fundraisers for charitable organizations.

Charitable Partnerships

One renowned partnership of McDonald's is with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), providing housing and support to families of hospitalized children and local food banks to tackle issues such as childhood illness and starvation.

Transparency and Accountability

The Scale for Good is a chief example of transparency and accountability. This scale is aimed at dealing with social and environmental challenges through the global activities of McDonald's. In layman's terms, the scale is designed to encompass a range of sustainability and responsibility efforts, ensuring that the planet remains devoid of negative impacts. That way, McDonald's is able to look out for the health of its employees and customers too.

A fast food industry should attract new customers, and this is precisely what McDonald's has done. The last branding strategy is decisive because it will help you emerge as a global leader of the industry.


With the passage of time, McDonald's began to include technology-driven solutions in its operations. The company started mobile ordering, self-service kiosks, and delivery services to accommodate changing consumer behaviors and inclinations. Ultimately, the brand image was reinforced and McDonald's evolved into a customer-centric company.

Convenience Culture

Seamless payment options and 24-hour drive-thru services allowed McDonald's to capitalize on the convenience culture. Most customers are busy with their work, and to guarantee that they eat heartily, McDonald's established convenient dining solutions and increased its competitive advantage in the fast food market.

Last, But Not Least

These branding strategies are inspired by the prosperity of McDonald's. The company commenced from the focal point of a business, which was the point of contact. Then, it moved on to value customers and enriched their experience. At this stage, it was time to adjust and personalize the menu for customers, motivating the company to broaden its horizons and reach out to local communities. Finally, McDonald's stood its ground and blended with market trends to dodge contingencies.

Keep these branding strategies in mind the next time you make a maneuver to expand your restaurant business in today's hasty world of commerce.