MCDonald’s MCHAT

We had the opportunity to support McDonald’s to design a conference communications platform to build connectivity within the iconic restaurant chain’s network of employees, franchisees, and partners. As an extension of this work, we have refined the platform’s design, leveraging its potential to build and sustain community beyond the convention itself.



Conventions are a big part of the McFamily. They bring together corporate leaders and staff with franchisees and partners. These events are often very successful at sparking ideas, but the momentum is lost as soon as the lights go out.

They arrive as co-workers and colleagues — but can they leave as a community?

We wanted to maximize the tremendous investment that McDonald’s makes in face-to-face conventions and remove the barriers to sustained interactions. An application just for conventions wasn’t going to cut it. Nor would a standalone online workspace like Slack or Microsoft Teams. We needed to create a product that would enrich the convention experience, allow for conversations to continue, and infuse the day-to-day work life with interactions that harken back to the creative energy of the face-to-face. Furthermore, this product had to seamlessly connect with the existing communication infrastructure at McDonald’s.

Dare I say? I’m lovin’ it.
— Director of management communications, Chicago

THE strategy: community enablement

Why not use a third-party conference app combined with a day-to-day online workspace? A custom platform that is at home in both worlds would allow the organization to foster networks that interact in both of these environments as well as infuse the digital experience with iconography and other features that reflect and build organization culture and values. A corporate-led platform also allows for greater security and helps to manage organizational risk.

By investing in and elevating an in-house digital communications platform, McDonald’s can support dynamic teaming as well as create space for new voices and ideas to foster the productive evolution of the organization’s culture and strategies. In addition, McDonald’s has increased difficulty attracting and retaining top talent. Improving their digital product suite will increase team cohesion and also serve as a touchpoint for attracting the next generation of leaders.

P.S. A special note for the designers: We made the hamburger menu a little more literal — and added some cheese. :P




We glimpsed behind the curtain of the elegant and clandestine world of private clubs with our self-initiated Sesame project. Our challenge was to bring this deliberately obscured realm into the digital landscape without removing any of the charm.


Our favorite projects are in the Financial technology (fintech) space. Our research for Pennyfeather took us around the globe and presented a crash course in the experience economy, banking and the future of wealth management.