Rank in Food Services: 1
(Previous rank: 1)
Overall score: 7.97
Why it's admiredWhat makes McDonald's such an admired, recognizable brand, even amid an enduring fast-food backlash? New items on the menu have helped: salads (with Newman's Own low fat dressing!), wraps, oatmeal, and apple dippers.
In addition, the chain constantly adds to its Dollar Menu, catering to those who have felt the recession's crunch.
McDonald's also operates a wide range of charity programs, including teacher awards and youth basketball games. And financially, the company is doing fine. In January, McDonald's announced that sales were way up; since then, the stock has continued to rise, though shares overall are still down 2% year to date. --D.R.
Should McDonald's be admired, or what?