of the Big Mac and the Happy Meal, McDonald's has also come to
serve as a global representative of US culture and peculiarly
American phrases such as as "Have a nice day" and
"...want fries with that?"
is also the classic American success story, with humble beginnings
as a popular 1940's California burger and shake joint. Today,
McDonald's is a global operation that literally feeds the world
serving nearly 47 million customers around the planet every day.
the very first location currently a famous Route 66 travel stop
for tourists motoring through San Bernadino, the landmark McDonald's
"Speedee Service System" is traditionally heralded by
historians as the very first quick-service restaurant.
all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese,
pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun."
milkshakes, 15 cent hamburgers and 10 cent fries, brothers Dick
and Mac McDonald burger joint became a popular favorite during
the post-WW II baby boom era.
was a fateful meeting with milkshake maker salesman Ray Croc in
1954, however, which resulted in the concept of fast food going
1955, Kroc opened the first McDonald's franchise in Des Plaines,
Illinois and later purchased the McDonald brothers share in the
company that led to McDonald's national brand expansion.
the golden arches were also rising over cities in Canada, Costa
Rica, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Australia as
the concept of fast food grew in popularity throughout the 60's.
the now-famous character Ronald McDonald introduced in 1963, it
was the introduction of the Big Mac in 1968 that McDonald's built
its fortune on, coinciding with a golden age of advertising throughout
the 70's. With it came worldwide campaigns with taglines such
as "You Deserve a Break Today" and catchy TV commercial
jingles that brought the message of fast food convenience into
homes around the world.
By 1973, breakfast was also on the menu with the introduction
of the Egg McMuffin. Six
years later, McDonald's began attracting kids and toddlers to
its counters with the Happy Meal, another phenomenal success for
the company from which it continues to reap huge profits. Many
outlets now feature amusement areas so that parents could enjoy
a relaxing meal while kids play, in addition to kids' party rooms
for birthday and family celebrations.
response to a growing number of health-conscious consumers, McDonald's
has also experimented with its menu by including such healthier
alternatives as salads, wraps and fresh fruit in recent years.
the company continues its double-digit growth, with earnings of over $22 billion (2008) while employing 400,000 employees in
31,000 corporate-owned or franchise locations worldwide.
Recognition quotient: world's
second most familiar figure
in the world, after Santa Claus.
is the only continent without a McDonalds.
introduction in 1963 (originally played by American TV weatherman,
Willard Scott) Ronald McDonald has taken the No. 2 spot behind
only Santa Claus as the world's most recognizable figure.
of eight people have worked at McDonald's at one point in their
Americans who have worked at McDonald's include Jay Leno, Sharon
Stone, Shania Twain, D.L. Hughley, and Amazon.com founder Jeff
largest McDonald's is located in Orlando, Florida, in a building
decorated to look like a large bag of fries.
the No. 1 global restaurant chain, McDonald's has since been
surpassed by multi-brand operator Yum! with KFC,
Bell and Subway
falling under its banner.
- Hamburger, cheeseburger, Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Double Cheeseburger,
The Big N' Tasty, Angus Third Pounder, Happy Meal, McChicken,
Southern Style Chicken Sandwich, Snack Wrap, Chicken McNuggets,
Chicken Selects, Filet-O-Fish, McRib
- The official site featuring information on current deals, coupons
and sweepstakes, menu food and nutrition facts, store locations
finder, and a guide to the company's Ronald McDonald House charities.
- Wikipedia - Good overview of company history and its
menu, along with McDonald's place in American culture and pop
history including related controversies, photo gallery, references
Franchise Information - Overview from Entrepreneur.com
with information on franchise growth and rankings, costs and startup
fees, and what to expect in terms of corporate help and support.