McDonald’s Innovation in the US

McDonald’s is the second largest fast-food restaurant chain in the world, available in 119 countries with approximately 36,900 restaurants and nearly 68 million customers visiting every day. McDonald’s innovation has played a huge part in its success.

Verdict Foodservice looks at some of the ways McDonald’s has become such a popular restaurant chain, and how McDonald’s innovation is continuing to improve for customers through sustainability goals, delivery options and self-service kiosks.

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Cage-free egg goal

McDonalds USA announced that 33% of its egg supply converted to cage-free in April this year, working towards its goal of sourcing 100% cage-free eggs by 2025.

There will be 726 million cage-free eggs sourced for McDonald’s restaurants in the US this year, after working in partnership with suppliers and farmers Forsman Farms and food management company Cargill.

McDonalds North America SVP and chief supply chain officer Marion Gross said: “McDonald’s uses more than two billion eggs a year in the United States, so the move to 100% cage-free eggs by 2025 is a huge undertaking that we knew we could not do by ourselves. We’re proud of the progress that we, along with our suppliers and farmers, have made in the years since our announcement and look forward to reaching our goal by 2025.”

Cargill Poultry vice president of foodservice Norm Stocker said: “As McDonald’s USA’s egg supplier, the commitment they made to source 100% cage-free eggs represented a shift not only for our business with them but for the industry, given their position as a leader. Consumer preferences are changing and people are increasingly interested in how their food is sourced. McDonald’s has led the way, with a thoughtful and measured approach to switching to cage-free eggs to meet consumer demand at a massive size and scale.”


In 2017 McDonald’s expanded its ‘McDelivery’ delivery service in collaboration with UberEATS to 13 countries including 3,500 restaurants in the US as part of McDonald’s innovation.

McDonald’s is one of the largest providers of delivered food in the world; with over two decades of delivery experience, it says it is enhancing customers’ experiences with new ways to get McDonald’s food.

McDonald’s CEO and president Steve Easterbrook said oof19 July 2018, which the company dubbed Global McDelivery day: “We are excited to bring this new level of convenience to more of our customers around the globe, delivering on our commitment to transform the customer experience in and out of our restaurants. Global McDelivery Day is our way of celebrating the expansion of delivery while highlighting McDonald’s ability to give our customers the great tasting food they love at McDonald’s, where they want to enjoy it.”

UberEATS head of UberEverything Jason Droege said: “We are excited to celebrate our global expansion with McDonald’s. UberEATS is happy to make food delivery easy at the push of a button whether you’re enjoying a McNuggets picnic with a side of fresh air or hanging back at home with a Big Mac and matching pillowcase.”

Coffee sustainability

Another of McDonald’s innovation was in November 2018 McDonald’s announced it sustainably sources 84% of its McCafe coffee for US restaurants and 54% worldwide. It is working towards its goal to sustainably source 100% of its coffee worldwide by 2020 to protect coffee from the adverse effects of climate change, with some markets having already reached that goal.

In March 2018 McDonald’s became the first restaurant company in the world to address global climate change by setting a target approved by independent experts to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

McDonald’s US supply chain sustainability director Bailey Townsend said: “Sustainability can be viewed as merely a buzzword, and few really understand what the transformation toward a sustainable coffee crop looks like, for the roasters, suppliers and farmers. By holding this unique event in Chicago, we wanted to allow coffee lovers to see the company’s sustainable vision for themselves.

“We know many people enjoy coffee as part of their daily routine, and at McDonald’s we are taking meaningful steps to support farmers protecting it from climate change.

“As we continue on our journey to build a better McDonald’s, we are using our size and scale to implement significant changes that are important to our customers, our people and the environment.”

Recyclable cups

McDonald’s partnered with coffee chain Starbucks and Closed Loop Partners in 2018 to create a recyclable and compostable cup through NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge.

The new coffee cup forms part of McDonald’s innovation commitment to packaging and helping reduce waste.

McDonald’s US senior vice president and chief supply chain officer Marion Gross said: “McDonald’s is committed to using our scale for good to make positive changes that impact our planet and the communities we serve. We are excited to join Starbucks and Closed Loop to help solve this pressing challenge as collaboration is key to finding a scalable, lasting global solution.”

Starbucks vice president of global social impact focused on sustainability Colleen Chapman said: “We are proud to come together with industry partners like McDonald’s to drive innovative, scalable solutions for cup waste. A better cup will benefit the entire industry and we invite others to join us as we move these efforts forward.”

Self-service kiosk

McDonald’s uses advancements in technology to offer personalisation to customers through self-service kiosks, where are they able to place orders and make payments without having to queue up and can request for their food to be brought to their table by employees.

McDonald’s innovation also offers a mobile and order pay option, which launched in 20,000 restaurants in 2017, creating a quicker service for customers when they are in the restaurant.

McDonald’s CEO and president Steve Easterbrook said: “We have fundamentally changed the trajectory of our business over the past two years. Now we are fit for purpose, ready to build on our momentum and transition to focus our efforts on profitable, long-term growth. We are building a better McDonald’s, one that makes delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone, and I believe the moves we are making will reassert McDonald’s as the global leader in the informal eating out category.”