Step Inside The Building Where McDonald's Runs Its Global Empire

mcdonalds headquarters tour

Photo: Kim Bhasin / Business Insider

We visited McDonald’s global headquarters in Oak Brook, Il., to see how the fast food behemoth handles its business.The huge campus includes office buildings, a Hyatt hotel, and Hamburger University.

The main office building, called the C.O.B. — for Campus Office Building — is the mothership of McDonald’s.

Disclosure: McDonald’s provided travel and accommodations for the trip.

Here we are at the McDonald's headquarters' main office building.

Inside the main atrium, the first thing you notice is the building's three big tiers.

Directories on each floor are key since the place is so huge.

The building is broken up in big sections of cubicles. The office was pretty quiet while we were there.

The carpeting is done in squares so that when there's a spill, they can just remove the affected square without having to tear everything up.

The conference rooms are named after important people in McDonald's history. This one's the Fred Room — for former CEO Fred Turner.

A series of kitchens and the campus cafeteria are all located on one side of the office building, on Big Mac Blvd.

The Culinary centre is here. It's where the chefs test all sorts of potential products.

The test kitchens are outfitted with all the equipment that you would find a regular McDonald's.

Chefs were hard at work trying to figure out the next big thing.

This is the Campus Arch — the building's one cafeteria.

And yes, it's a McDonald's.

Outside the Arch there's some company paraphernalia on display.

Like this jersey from the Olympics. McDonald's was a big sponsor.

Walking around the complex, you're quick to notice that the place is designed to let in a lot of natural light.

There are lots of paneled windows in the walls and roof.

Need more proof? The main entrance has a big, three-story wall of windows.

You can see all the way across the campus from the third floor.

Drink stations are found throughout the building, complete with fountain drinks. They're Coca-Cola brands, of course.

We headed over to where the communications folks sit. Halloween was in full swing and they had some decorations up.

There's Margaret Bode, a manager for McDonald's Global External Communications, with one of those drinks on her desk.

Some employees are more enthusiastic about showcasing their affinity for the McDonald's brand than others. Look at all this McDonald's gear in Lizzie Roscoe's workspace!

She loves — LOVES — Grimace.

And even has a little McDonald's lego drive-thru.

We stumbled upon a Big Mac business card holder.

And a gigantic french fry box.

This desk has a french fry mouse pad.

Nowadays, no office is complete without an Angry Birds toy.

They have a quaint little patio for workers to hang out and get some fresh air when the weather's nice.

Art sculptures are all over the place, like this display of kids with a McDonald's kite.

And this wheel.

The design folks had a bunch of related reading on display.

The walls throughout the HQ are adorned with all kinds of paintings.

All right — time to head out. Below the offices, there's a large underground parking lot.

Now lets go down the supply chain...

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