Did you know that McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food chain, has a portfolio of 100 patents globally? Let’s explore some of the interesting patents held by McDonald’s and what they reveal about the company’s innovation and strategy.
McDonald’s was founded in 1955 by Maurice McDonald, Richard McDonald and Ray Kroc. The company franchises and operates fast-food restaurants in the global restaurant industry, serving a variety of value-priced menu products in countries around the world. As of April 2023, McDonald’s has a market cap of $208.70 Billion.
McDonald’s has filed patents in different countries, with Australia being the top destination, followed by Europe and USA. USA is also the main R&D centre being the origin country of McDonald’s. Most of the patents are related to equipment used in food storage, preparation and cooking, such as heated food holder, griller, freezer, beverage dispenser, oil filter, container filler, dispenser, bun toaster, waste receptacle, shipping and storage container, frying basket, coffee urn and heated sandwich bin.
This patent describes a conveyor belt assembly that includes a v-belt on the inner surface of the conveyor belt to prevent lateral movement during use. The conveyor belt also includes an edge seal around both the opposing edges of the conveyor belt. This patent can be used to transport food items from one station to another in a fast and efficient manner.
This patent describes an automated grill that automatically transfers frozen food from a freezer component to a grilling component by an automatic loading device in response to a signal. The food is then grilled as it travels between two substantially vertical grilling structures each surrounded by a conveyor belt. This patent can be used to cook food items such as burgers, chicken nuggets, and fish fillets in a consistent and precise way.
This patent describes an automated system for preparing and delivering post mix beverages in response to one or more drink orders being entered from a remote point of sale unit or a local keypad.
The system includes a post mix beverage preparation assembly for dispensing ice and a selected post mix beverage into a cup; an oblong carousel type conveyor assembly including a plurality of cup holders; a cup storage and dispenser assembly including a bidirectionally rotatable turret upon which is mounted a plurality of different sized cup supply tubes; and a pneumatic vertically driven cup gripper/extractor mechanism that operates to remove a cup from a selected supply tube and place it into an empty cup holder.
This patent can be used to provide customers with customised and fresh beverages in a fast and convenient way.
The food plate package is a patented invention by McDonald’s Corporation that allows for the temporary storage and stacking of prepared food products, such as hamburgers, fries, and salads.
The food plate package consists of a bottom plate and a top cover that are made of plastic or paper material. The top cover has a convex-oval shape and has support ribs integrally formed in the cover. The support ribs create a raised flat surface on the top of the cover that can stably support another food plate package when stacked one on top of the other.
The food plate package also has ventilation holes on the sides of the cover to allow steam to escape and prevent the food from becoming soggy. The food plate package is designed to keep the food warm and fresh until it is sold and consumed by the customer.
McDonald’s patented high chair comprises a seat, a backrest, a tray, a footrest and a base which have a red and yellow colour scheme.
The high chair is designed to resemble a hamburger, with the seat being the bottom bun, the backrest being the top bun, the tray being the lettuce and cheese, and the footrest being the meat patty.
The high chair is intended to provide a comfortable and fun seating option for children in McDonald’s restaurants.
McDonald’s patents show that the company is constantly innovating and improving its products, processes, and services to meet the changing needs and preferences of its customers. By protecting its intellectual property rights, McDonald’s can maintain its competitive edge and reputation in the global market.