McDonald’s is one of the most well-known fast-food restaurants globally, but did you know McDonald’s has a lot of competitors both in the United States and abroad?
I’m going to tell you all about which 23 fast-food restaurants are considered McDonald’s competition worldwide, so keep reading below to find out which companies are on the list!
McDonald’s Competitors In 2023
McDonald’s main competitors are Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Subway, and Jack in the Box as of 2023. Not all of McDonald’s competitors focus on hamburgers, and some competitors like Tim Hortons or Starbucks compete with each other for the coffee-lover customer base. Outside of the United States, Hungry Jack’s and MOS Burger are McDonald’s competitors.
Do you want to know more details about which other fast-food restaurants are competitors to McDonald’s in the United States and internationally? Read on to learn more!
1. Burger King
Burger King is the closest competitor to McDonald’s because it has the Whopper, a direct competition to the Big Mac.
Also, Burger King has fries, chicken sandwiches, and other items similar to McDonald’s, with affordable prices if you’re on a budget.
Additionally, Burger King has more than 18,000 locations worldwide and can be found in more than 100 countries.
KFC is thought to be more of an indirect competitor to McDonald’s because KFC is focused on chicken, whereas McDonald’s offers burgers and chicken.
However, both KFC and McDonald’s purchase large quantities of chicken and compete in the chicken sandwich market.
Also, KFC removed potato wedges from the menu and replaced them with fries, which adds another layer to the KFC and McDonald’s competition.
Subway is the largest fast-food restaurant globally in terms of the number of locations it has in the United States and all over the world, which makes it a direct threat to McDonald’s.
Furthermore, Subway has over 41,000 locations worldwide, and over 21,000 of those locations are in the United States. That said, Subway has a significant advantage in the location department.
On the other hand, McDonald’s has more than 39,000 locations worldwide but only has 14,000 locations in the United States.
4. Yum! Brands
Yum! is a brand you’ve probably never heard of, but Yum! Brands operates several fast-food restaurants, including KFC, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill, and Pizza Hut.
Therefore, Yum! is a competition to McDonald’s since Yum! has more than 50,000 locations worldwide and operates in more than 150 different countries!
On top of that, Yum! Brands beat McDonald’s in both the number of locations and availability in other countries, so McDonald’s competes with it directly in that area.
Starbucks directly competes with McDonald’s in the coffee market and has more than 32,000 locations operating in over 76 countries!
Further, the battle between Starbucks drinks and McDonald’s McCafe products keeps getting hotter, as some people prefer McDonald’s coffee to Starbucks.
Wendy’s is a direct competitor of McDonald’s since both fast-food restaurants focus on burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries.
There is always competition between McDonald’s and Wendy’s as both locations offer delicious breakfast sandwiches and quick drive-thru service.
Additionally, Wendy’s has more than 6,500 locations worldwide and operates in 29 different countries.
Also, Wendy’s is the third-biggest seller of hamburgers behind McDonald’s and Burger King while offering incredible salads and cheap menu options like McDonald’s.
7. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is one of Yum! Brands’ restaurants that compete with McDonald’s because it’s a fast-food chain that offers a lot of variety in menu items at very low prices.
Furthermore, Taco Bell and McDonald’s are both good at having a large variety of menu items.
Additionally, there are more than 6,000 Taco Bell locations throughout the world, and it operates in more than 26 different countries.
Even though Domino’s is a pizza place, it’s a competitor to McDonald’s because both try to appeal to the fast-food customer base.
Additionally, Domino’s offers quick delivery service, good customer service, and has affordable menu options, so it’s like McDonald’s in some aspects, if not better.
Moreover, Domino’s has more than 18,300 locations throughout 90 countries and has the popularity and image that makes it similar to McDonald’s.
9. Jack In The Box
Jack In The Box primarily focuses on hamburgers, giving McDonald’s a run for its money while having a cult-like following similar to McDonald’s.
That said, there are a lot of hamburgers available at Jack In The Box, with some featuring wild names. Additionally, there’s a level of customization available that you can’t find at McDonald’s.
Further, Jack in the Box can be found in 21 states and has over 2,200 locations, including Guam!
10. Pret a Manger (Primarily U.K.-Based)
Pret a Manger is an authentic sandwich shop primarily located in the United Kingdom, although there are a few locations within the United States.
Furthermore, Pret a Manger offers coffee, espresso, bakery items, sandwiches, soup, and breakfast items, so it’s similar to McDonald’s in many ways!
However, you’ll find that Pret a Manger has more fresh bakery items and is considered better quality than the sub-par bakery items at McDonald’s.
Also, there are 502 shops worldwide, and it has some of the best coffee and sandwiches, which compete with the McCafe.
Sbarro is a competitor of McDonald’s in Russia and the United States, featuring Italian-American cuisine and pizza items.
Even though it’s not burgers that Sbarro is known for, the two restaurants go head-to-head because both go after people who enjoy fast food.
Further, there are more than 600 locations worldwide, and it’s available in more than 26 countries.
12. Hungry Jack’s (Australia)
In Australia, Hungry Jack’s is one of McDonald’s main competitors because it’s a fast-food franchise of the Burger King Corporation.
Since Hungry Jack’s is a franchise of Burger King, you can go into one of those restaurants and know the kind of food you’ll find, and the quality is very similar to American Burger King locations.
Furthermore, there are over 400 locations of Hungry Jack’s in Australia, and it’s considered the second-largest Burger King franchise in the world!
13. Nordsee (Germany)
Nordsee primarily operates in Germany, and it’s a competitor to McDonald’s, especially when it comes to fish sandwiches.
That said, Nordsee is a fast-food restaurant that primarily focuses on seafood, including a delicious variety of fish sandwiches.
Additionally, Nordsee has more than 400 locations worldwide, including Germany, Austria, the Middle East, and all over Europe.
14. MOS Burger (Japan)
MOS Burger is a hamburger chain located in Japan that’s a direct competitor of McDonald’s in that country, and it’s the second-largest fast-food restaurant in Japan behind McDonald’s.
With over 1,700 restaurants, MOS Burger has expanded into nine different countries, most of them in Asia.
Additionally, you’ll find that MOS Burger has a lot of fresh burger options available on the menu, which makes it better than McDonald’s.
15. Hua Lai Shi Catering Management And Services (China)
In China, McDonald’s main competition comes from Hua Lai Shi Catering Management and Services, which offers chicken legs, soda, fries, and burgers for incredibly low prices.
Furthermore, if you’re someone that likes chicken or fries, the competition between McDonald’s and Hua Lai Shi Catering Management and Services is fierce!
With that, there are more than 4,000 locations throughout China, and it’s one of the most popular fast-food restaurants in the country outside of cuisine like KFC and McDonald’s.
16. Pizza Hut
An indirect competitor of McDonald’s is Pizza Hut, a Yum! Brands fast-food restaurant specializing in pizza, wings, cheesy bread, pasta, and dessert.
Furthermore, there are more than 18,000 Pizza Hut locations worldwide, and it operates in 110 different countries!
Even though Pizza Hut specializes in pizza, it offers affordable, fast food that’s delivered quickly.
17. Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts specializes in coffee and bakery products and goes head-to-head with McCafe drinks and McDonald’s dessert items.
Additionally, there are over 11,300 Dunkin’ Donuts locations worldwide, with 3,200 restaurants being international.
Furthermore, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts sell coffee products in stores, so that’s another level of competition when you want people to purchase your coffee at the grocery store.
18. Tim Hortons (Primarily Canada)
Tim Hortons is primarily based in Canada and is a competition to McDonald’s in the coffee market and a general fast-food competitor.
That said, there are around 5,000 Tim Hortons locations worldwide, with 4,000 of those in Canada. Also, the United States has the second-most Tim Hortons locations.
A fast-food chain that competes with McDonald’s for customers is Chipotle, although Chipotle serves Mexican cuisine, including burritos, salads, and tacos.
Furthermore, Chipotle has over 2,700 locations within the United States and operates 40 different locations worldwide, including in Germany, France, and Canada.
However, one thing that sets Chipotle apart is that you can get a ton of different toppings, and there’s a level of customization you won’t find with McDonald’s!
20. Panera Bread
Panera Bread competes with McDonald’s in the fast-food market, making delicious sandwiches that have satisfied customers for years, and has high-quality chicken.
Also, there are more than 2,000 locations throughout the United States and Canada.
21. Caffe Nero (U.K Based)
Caffe Nero, primarily based in the United Kingdom, is a competitor to McDonald’s for coffee enthusiasts.
That said, this British coffee shop chain has more than 800 locations and has stores in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, and Europe.
22. Papa John’s
Papa John’s is a pizza-focused fast-food restaurant but competes with McDonald’s because both go after the same customer base.
For example, there are more than 5,400 Papa John’s locations worldwide in over 45 countries throughout the world.
On top of that, Papa John’s scores very high on the American Customer Satisfaction Index with a 78, and that’s far better than McDonald’s 70, so people are happier with the service.
Sonic is a direct competitor of McDonald’s because the primary focus is burgers and fries, although Sonic has some interesting drinks available too.
Also, there are quite a few burgers available at Sonic that aren’t too expensive, so it’s an excellent affordable burger joint when you compare it to McDonald’s.
Furthermore, there are over 3,500 Sonic locations within the United States, and it’s available in 46 out of 50 states!
To know more about McDonald’s, you can also check our posts on the biggest McDonald’s in the world, McDonald’s competitive advantages, and McDonald’s statistics & facts.
McDonald’s has a lot of competitors both within the United States and in countries such as Japan, Russia, Australia, and China.
Further, some of the biggest competition for McDonald’s include Burger King, KFC, Subway, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell.
Pizza places such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut are in direct competition since both go after the fast-food customer base and offer products at reasonable prices.
On top of that, you have Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and other restaurants that focus on coffee products being a direct competitor to McDonald’s and McCafe.
As you can see, there are a lot of restaurants that compete with McDonald’s even though they don’t serve hamburgers or fries.