Big shake-up imminent at McDonald's, says Cramer

Expect a "big shake-up" at McDonald's after the fast food giant on Tuesday delivered "horrible" third-quarter earnings results, CNBC's Jim Cramer said.

Read MoreMcDonald's misses revenue estimates

Jim Cramer
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Jim Cramer

McDonald's reported both earnings and revenue on Tuesday that fell below the average Wall Street analyst's expectations. It posted a profit of $1.09 a share, shy of estimates of $1.37, though the company said many one-time items affected its results.

All in all, McDonald's admitted its Q3 performance fell short by any measure.

"This is so bad. This is so horrible that there's no way this company can stay McDonald's," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." "There is no way that there will not be wholesale change at this company after this quarter."

To Cramer, the "benchmark bad quarter" will warrant a "big shake-up." The likely scenario, he said, is that an activist investor will approach the company and stir up its board. Cramer offered up hedge funder Nelson Peltz, who has loudly criticized PepsiCo's management, as a good candidate.

Read MoreNelson Peltz has Pepsi wrong: Cramer

"I think it's a Darden situation, frankly," Cramer said, referring to the restaurant chain operator that recently ousted its entire 12-person board following sub-par results.

Still, Cramer had some praise for McDonald's. He thinks the company has a "good balance sheet" and likes the stock's juicy dividend yield.

DISCLOSURE: When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust did not own McDonald's or Darden Restaurants.