Business in Focus – Olympic Edition for McDonald’s

2nd Vote takes a 2nd Look at Worldwide Olympic sponsor McDonald’s, the official restaurant of the Olympic Games.

McDonald’s became the Official Restaurant of the Olympic Games in 1996 for the Atlanta Summer Games, but they have been a sponsor for the Olympics since 1976.  This was not their first involvement with the Olympics however.  During the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble France, they airlifted hamburgers to American athletes after they reported being homesick for McDonald’s food.

For the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, McDonald’s has built two 24-hour restaurants in the Athlete’s Village and 5 permanent restaurants in Sochi and surrounding areas that will remain in operation after the Games have concluded. McDonald’s has more than 30,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. 70 percent of McDonald’s restaurants are independently owned and operated.

McDonalds has an overall score of 4.5, making it a liberal company.  A breakdown of their scorecard is below (all scores are based on a 10-point scale). To learn how we score, please click here.  To view research citations, click here.

2nd Amendment – 6

“McDonald’s company-owned restaurants follow local, state and federal laws as it relates to open carry weapons in our restaurants. For franchisee-owned restaurants, operational decisions regarding open carry weapon laws are made by the independent franchisee. That said, as with all aspects of operating a McDonald’s restaurant, we expect our franchisees and their crew to follow local, state and federal laws.”

Environment – 1

McDonald’s funds and partners with a number of environmental activist organizations that support cap-and-trade, including Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Marriage – 6

McDonald’s has remained neutral on same-sex marriage.

Pro-Life – 6

The McDonald’s Employee Matching Gifts program will not match donations to “pro-life or pro-choice positions, or any other organization which reasonably takes a controversial stand on social issues.”

CEO Activism – 

The CEO of McDonald’s is Donald Thompson. Since 2008, Donald Thompson has contributed to $27,500 to the Democratic National Committee, $2,400 to Cheryle Jackson’s (D-IL) Senate Campaign, and $12,000 to McDonald’s Corporate Political Action Committee.

Corporate PAC – 

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McDonald’s Corporation Political Action Committee has contributed $88,000, or 54% of its political contributions to Democrat candidates in the 2014 election cycle. McDonald’s Corp. PAC has contributed $74,500, or 46% of its political contributions to Republican candidates. (Center for Responsive Politics,, Accessed 2/11/14)

Since 1990, McDonald’s Corp. has contributed $914,300 to Democrat candidates and $2,050,900 to Republican candidates. (Center for Responsive Politics,, Accessed 2/11/14)