Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

McDonald’s Corporation (MCD): Five Investment Ideas for the Hungry Investor

A recent survey found that Americans visit fast-food restaurants a lot. In fact, they comprise many of the most frequently visited businesses in the nation. Which restaurants do we visit most often and what are reasons they top the list?

Tasty prospects
The recently released Placed survey found that more than half of the top 10 most-visited U.S. businesses were quick-service restaurants, indicating we’re a ravenous and time-starved society.

McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD)

The study found that McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is the single most frequented business in the U.S., despite the company’s same-store sales declines since early last year. The fast-food giant is scaling back its bloated menu, which has expanded by 70% since 2007 to roughly 145 items. Menu bloat has led to slower operations, tarnishing customer service. The company has more singularly focused on the value-conscious consumer, but the drive toward this consumer has hurt McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD). The Golden Arches saw weak earnings growth in the most recent quarter, due to sacrificing profit margins by focusing on value menus to avoid losing customers.

Competition is intensifying between Nos. 5 and No. 6 on the list, Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) and The Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN), respectively. Nicole Seghetti Nicole Seghetti Following McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD)’ lead, both are undergoing restaurant renovations. The Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN) reported lousy earnings in the most recent quarter, mostly due to heavy remodel spending. Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) is following Mickey D’s another way — by copying McDonalds menu. And, also like McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), The Wendy’s Co (NASDAQ:WEN) is placing particular emphasis on value-centric consumers. The company has beefed up advertising of its lower-priced items more aggressively this year. Even though CEO Emil Brolick sees the value side of the business as a challenge, Wendy’s plans to further hype up its stable of $0.99 menu items.

Taco Bell helped Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) secure the No. 9 position on the list. Taco Bell has been incredibly successful with its innovative Doritos Locos Tacos, with more than 500 million sold since the product’s March 2012 launch. Typically visited for lunch or dinner, the taco maker will soon step up its presence earlier in the day. It plans to roll out its breakfast menu — featuring items like bite-size Cinnabon-branded cinnamon rolls, breakfast wraps, oatmeal, and coffee — nationwide by the end of 2014. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) hopes to double Taco Bell’s domestic annual sales by 2021.

Not to be outdone by burger and taco shops, coffee giant Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) sits between McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and the rest of the pack, at No. 4 on the list. Transforming the way the world experiences coffee, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) still possesses a great deal of international growth potential. And with its recent Teavana acquisition, CEO Howard Schultz intends to do for tea what Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) has done for coffee. A tall order, but one I wouldn’t put past the caffeinated powerhouse.

Foolish takeaway
Will these same quick-service restaurants make the list next year? That’s anyone’s guess. Consumers can be fickle and fussy. But we’re not gaining hours in our days and our stomachs still rumble at noon, so it’s likely fast-food businesses will once again rank near the top of the list.

The article 5 Investment Ideas for the Hungry Investor originally appeared on and is written by Nicole Seghetti.

Fool contributor Nicole Seghetti has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow her on Twitter @NicoleSeghetti. The Motley Fool recommends Burger King Worldwide, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Biotech Stock Alert - 20% Guaranteed Return in One Year

Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Piling Into

One of 2015's best hedge funds and two insiders snapped up shares of this medical device stock recently. We believe its transformative and disruptive device will storm the $3+ billion market and help it achieve 500%-1000% gains in 3 years.

Get your FREE REPORT and the details of our 20% return guarantee today.

Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.
Loading Comments...

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 102% in 3 years!! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!