The finalists were picked by an independent group of judges, and McDonald's was selected for its "improvements in humane poultry slaughter and its ‘healthy feet' project for improved welfare of its dairy herds".
Journalist and judge, Richard Johnson, said narrowing a strong field of nominations was difficult.
"Compiling the shortlist was a daunting task given the calibre of contenders and the varied but solid commitments to animal welfare they each demonstrated."
Five restaurants were also selected as finalists in the independent restaurant category.
Harbour Lights Fish & Chip Restaurant, Falmouth; Percy's Country Hotel & Restaurant, Virginstow, Devon; Restaurant Alimentum, Cambridge; The Norway Inn, Truro; and The Swan Inn, Hungerford were all shortlisted.
David Bowles, head of external affairs for the RSPCA said the quality and quantity of entries to the restaurant category had improved dramatically in the past four years.
"This year, our finalists have demonstrated resolute welfare standards and we would now like to see other restaurants follow suit, and go the extra mile to include animal welfare as part of their ethical business policy."
The RSPCA Good Business Awards ceremony takes place at the Natural History Museum, London, on 9 October.
By Mike Steere
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