History of McDonald’s

A man named Patrick McDonald opened a small food stand called “The Airdome” in Monrovia, California in the late 1930s. The stand served burgers and orange juice that cost ten and five cents, respectively. By 1940, Patrick’s sons Dick(Richard) and Mac(Maurice) McDonald had inherited and been operating their father’s small business, and moved the restaurant’s location in San Bernardino, California.

It was in the year 1948 where the true foundations of McDonald’s lay. When Mac and Dick McDonald realized that the burgers became more sought-after and successful sellers than their BBQ’s, the brothers reorganized their business into a burger restaurant. Their present menu since the refurbishing consisted of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries, soft drinks, apple pies and milkshakes. It was quite a simple menu compared to their previous BBQ offering, but the very simplicity gave the business astounding success.

The ambitious Ray Kroc

Enter Ray Kroc into the picture. Kroc was a milkshake machine salesman who found out that the McDonald brothers had previously bought eight of his multi-mixer milkshake makers. Fueled by curiosity, he decided to visit McDonald’s San Bernardino restaurant where all of eight milkshake machines were installed. This was in 1954 when the brothers were enjoying their franchising success.

Kroc saw the immense potential of McDonald’s and had plans to expand it with more franchising throughout the country. Despite Mac and Dick’s initial refusal, Kroc still went out of his way with the right to open more McDonald’s branches throughout the country. When his first McDonald’s restaurant opened in Des Plaines, Illinois, Kroc integrated his company to McDonald’s in 1955. This is where the foundation of McDonald’s Corporation was established.

When McDonald’s phenomenal success started to kick off, Ray Kroc set bigger, farther sights. In 1961, the ambitious businessman bought the entire company from the brothers for a total of $2.7 million. He had the goal of making McDonald’s restaurants the country’s number one fast food chain. In 1963, the mascot Ronald McDonald was created and designed to attract the little ‘uns. McDonald’s went public in 1965.

With Kroc and his people’s innovative marketing ideas, adaptability to respond to the demand of their customers, new introductions and additions to their menu (such as their breakfast menus and the “Happy Meal”, which offers free toys for the kids with every purchase), McDonald’s grew more rapidly than ever. In 1968, the Big Mac was born and has remained the chain’s signature best-seller.

McDonald’s Today

Today, McDonald’s maintains over 34,000 restaurants around the world, serving up everything from Breakfast McMuffins to unique dishes like the McShrimp. One of the world’s truly global corporations, McDonald’s restaurants can be found in countries as far abroad as Indonesia and Egypt, where the company has a special halal menu.

This rapid expansion has earned the company both praise from business analysts and scorn from cultural preservationists, who claim that McDonald’s has pushed its way into countries that didn’t want it. The company’s ethics aside, its success as a global franchise is undeniable, and it is one of the 20th century’s biggest successes.

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