3 More Ways QSR’s Should be More Like McDonald’s

In our previous blog, "3 Ways QSR's Should be More Like McDonald's," we shared some valuable lessons that the golden arches has taught the Quick Service Restaurant industry. But wait, there's more! We're serving up three more ideas that QSR's can steal from the McDonald's playbook to replicate their success. So, grab a seat, and let's dive in.


Menu Innovation 

McDonald's knows how to keep up with the ever-changing desires of customers and the trends that sweep through the market. They're always cooking up something new, whether it's tempting limited-time offerings, seasonal promotions, or experimental creations to cater to a wide variety of tastes.

Why Does it Matter?

McDonald's menu innovations allow them to adapt to evolving tastes, dietary trends, and cultural preferences. From offering salads to providing nutritional information, McDonald's are embracing health-conscious consumers. And they’re not afraid to shake things up with limited-time international menu items like the McSpicy Paneer in India, and the Teriyaki McBurger in Japan. They're in tune with what the people want.

Their innovative creations help them stand out from the crowd. McDonald's has become renowned for its McFlurry lineup, regularly introducing new, limited-time flavors that coincide with seasonal themes throughout the year. They occasionally collaborate with popular candy brands to create special McFlurry flavors that tap into the nostalgia associated with beloved treats. But what's truly great about their McFlurry innovations, is that they keep customers excited and coming back for more. 

How Can I do it?

QSR's, listen up: if you want to keep customers hungry for more, menu innovation is the secret ingredient. Take a page from McDonald's book and focus on keeping your menu fresh, exciting, and capable of satisfying diverse customer segments.


Connect with your Community 

McDonald's isn't just flipping burgers; it's flipping the script when it comes to community engagement. They're not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get involved, whether it's through heartwarming initiatives like Ronald McDonald House Charities or hosting community events. They've got their finger on the pulse of social responsibility, and they're building rock-solid relationships with the communities they serve.

Why Does it Matter?

Consumers are hungry for a side of social responsibility with their meals—they’re looking for places that share their values and support local communities. Turns out, 90% of savvy young diners (aged 18-34) are more likely to choose a restaurant that embraces social responsibility & sustainability over another, according to Technomic's 2022 CSR and Sustainability Study.

How Can I do it?

Here's some food for thought—take a page from McDonald's book and get out there and support local causes, lend a helping hand to those in need, and establish yourself as a brand with a big heart. It's all about making a positive impact in the communities that fuel your success, and watch as your brand reputation flourishes.


Embrace Partnerships

McDonald's has mastered the art of partnerships by leveraging collaborations with iconic brands like Coca-Cola, Disney, Uber, and more. They’ve used these brand synergies to boost their visibility and seduce new customer segments.

Why Does it Matter?

McDonald's and Disney's shared mission of creating magical experiences makes them a match made in family-friendly heaven. Happy Meals decked out with Disney characters and toys are absolute kid-magnets. And hey, they don't stop at meals—McDonald's sponsors Disney events, and Disney showcases those golden arches in their marketing. Cross-promotion that takes both brand’s reach and exposure to the next level.

How Can I do it?

Start exploring strategic partnerships and co-branding opportunities to tap into new markets. Join forces with a local cinema to offer coupons for a meal-and-movie combo. Team up with local craft beer brewers so customers can sample new beers with their meal. When a new business opens nearby, supply food or drinks for their grand opening to show goodwill and introduce your food to a fresh audience.

And hey, it doesn't have to stop there; find any local business that complements your eats and whip up a delicious collaboration. Being a good neighbour can gain you loyal community supporters.

Dig Deeper: Want more? Here are five ways local coffee shops should be more like Starbucks