Critics plan to confront CEO Don Thompson during the question-and-answer portion of the annual event. On Wednesday, McDonald's closed one of its buildings in Oak Brook, Illinois, where hundreds of protesters planned to demonstrate over the low wages paid to workers.
The protesters planned to turn out again an hour before the meeting Thursday.
Shareholder meetings offer a rare opportunity for average investors to face top executives at publicly traded companies. Public pension funds and activist groups often show up in hopes of changing corporate practices. The McDonald's meeting is a frequent target because of the company's high profile.