The McDonald's brothers and Ray Kroc apparently agreed that it's important to erect a building that would pull drivers off the thoroughfare and into the restaurant parking lot.
While I've never been a fan of the shoe-box McDonald's store architecture I understand that the McDonald's building must evolve. But they don't have to become butt-ugly. The first two pictures above are stores that just completed an MRP. At first glance it looks like the same store but look more closely. One is in the Midwest and one is on the east coast. The third picture is the shoe-box design from a decade ago.
Imagine, you're a parent with kids in the car - would you rather visit the third store pictured for some Food, Folks, and Fun or would you visit the new design that has all the warmth of a Federal Penitentiary.