July, 2009 – Strategic Management, Innovation Article

McDonald’s, the fast-food retailing giant has a proven formula for doing well in a recession – courting consumers globally by targeting local tastes with global menus. McDonald’s has expanded its global appeal which has resulted in good results, even though almost every type of industry is seeing widespread sales dips and tougher times.

While still strong in the United States, McDonald’s sales growth has dipped but has been saved by strong international sales. More than half of the McDonald’s total sales have come from abroad since the late ’90s. In 2008, of the total revenues of $23.5 billion, sales abroad accounted for more than 60%. McDonald’s did particularly well in Europe where even the analysts were not expecting good results. McDonald’s has managed to improve its image in France where earlier it was traditionally met with disdain and seen as a symbol of global capitalism. The company also did well in the U.K. which is seen as a tough market with strong competition and the most skeptical customer base. The company’s sales also rose in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa segment.

McDonald's International Innovations

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Keywords: McDonald’s, fast-food retailing, global menus, Innovation, globalization, adapting to local tastes, International expansion strategy