McDonald's won the chain restaurant category of the awards, which recognise the best animal welfare policies among UK businesses, in part for its commitment to the use of free-range eggs in its restaurants in Europe.
The RSPCA also commended the fast-food chain's decision to host a poultry round-table discussion on a long-term strategic approach to the humane killing of chickens.
McDonald's beat finalists Leon and fish restaurant group Loch Fyne to the title.
The best independent restaurant award went to the Norway Inn in Truro, Cornwall, in recognition of its strong traceability policy. The policy means all farmers supplying animal produce to the restaurant are highlighted on its menu.
Judge Richard Johnson said each of the winners has made "great strides towards improving standards across the industry".
"For the Norway Inn
"For McDonald's UK, this is to a large extent about a commitment to using its sheer scale to influence the livestock industry on a European - and even a global - level."
Former Caterer Adopted Business Restaurant Alimentum in Cambridge was presented with an Innovation Award in the independent restaurant category for its use of free-range animal bones in all its stock, as well as use of organic meat that has been reared to higher welfare standards.
By Kerstin KÁ¼hn
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