McDonalds is facing problems from all areas of the PEST analysis. The company is suffering from political threats from wars between countries where the company operates, as well as from governments now adding legislation to force them to put health warnings on their products. They have also become a symbol of capitalism and Americanism - meaning that they have now become the target of terrorist groups and attacks.
McDonalds has no control over these political factors which are making the company suffer greatly. They can only leave war stricken countries, or places where terrorism is a threat. This means a loss in revenue, as well as the company becoming smaller and therefore weaker.
McDonalds are experiencing economical problems lately too. They have found a recent slump in sales from its fastfood business, suggesting customers want more freedom of choice, something which they may not get at McDonalds. To combat this McDonalds have bought out other companies, such as Pret á Manger. By diversifying the company they aim to increase sales again by offering the customer more variety, as this seems to be what consumers are demanding. The Pret á manger chain does not benefit from McDonalds company name, or reputation, and therefore must rely on its own brand name and image. This could be seen as a good thing for the company. If McDonalds is experiencing problems with its image from lawsuits and such Pret á manger may not wish to be associated with McDonalds. The two chains also target different people. Pret á mangers target market is largely professionals, who want healthy snacks and refreshments, whereas McDonalds relies on a different market, that of a more lazy generation, who want quick, cheap, easy and tasty food, regardless of health issues. This may be a good reason to keep the companies separate, any revenue lost from McDonalds to a new type of consumer who is health conscious, or looking for an alternative to junk food may be inclined to visit another chain owned by the same company.