How can the senior directors of McDonald’s maintain great family experiences across every outlet around the world by better understanding the motivations of their customers?

16 children

1country: UK

  • Consumer behaviour
  • Immersive approach
  • Lifestyle trends
  • On-site ethnography
The Opportunity

McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue and has the ninth-highest global brand valuation (2020). It serves meals and snacks to millions of customers daily in over 100 countries. As part of an extensive futurology project, intO worked in collaboration with retail innovation consultancy, GDR Creative Intelligence. Our goal was to breathe real life into the annual symposium of global senior directors, which was being held in London, and demonstrate the power of contextual research. 

Our Approach

We designed and implemented an immersive research experience that would connect senior directors with McDonald’s consumers and allow them to experience – first hand – how changing attitudes to health were translating amongst family diners in their restaurants. Consumer participants were recruited based on attitudinal factors, and McDonald’s stakeholders were split into small teams and invited to attend our on-site ethnographic events. intO managed the logistics and implementation of five concurrent experiences in McDonald’s restaurants around London. A bespoke approach was applied to gather and capture consumer behaviour and trends insights from the research participants, other McDonald’s diners and the senior directors themselves. 

Business Impact

intO’s engaging delivery of ethnographic research was an impactful and enlightening experience for the McDonald’s senior team, all of whom reported significantly higher levels of understanding and appreciation for the credibility and value of contextual research methods.