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McDonaldsHome of the Big Mac and the Happy Meal, McDonald's is 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.

McDonald's history

With 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.

"Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese,
pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun."

Selling 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.

It was a fateful meeting with milkshake maker salesman Ray Croc in 1954, however, which resulted in the concept of fast food going national.

By 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.

Soon 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.

With 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.

In 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.

Today, 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.

Ronald McDonald
Recognition quotient: world's
second most familiar figure
in the world, after Santa Claus.


McDonald's fun facts

  • Antarctica is the only continent without a McDonalds.

  • Since his 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.

  • One out of eight people have worked at McDonald's at one point in their lives.

  • Famous Americans who have worked at McDonald's include Jay Leno, Sharon Stone, Shania Twain, D.L. Hughley, and founder Jeff Bezos.

  • The world's largest McDonald's is located in Orlando, Florida, in a building decorated to look like a large bag of fries.

  • For decades the No. 1 global restaurant chain, McDonald's has since been surpassed by multi-brand operator Yum! with KFC, Taco Bell and Subway falling under its banner.

McDonald's menu

Main menu - 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

Fries with that? - Small, medium, large and Super Size french fries

Breakfast - McMuffin, breakfast burrito, hotcakes, Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit, Sausage Biscuit, Sausage Biscuit w/ Egg, Ham, Egg & Cheese Bagel, Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel, Cinnamon Melt, Danish

Beverages - Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, tea, coffee, iced tea, milkshakes, 1% milk, 1% chocolate milk, and apple juice

Desserts - Strawberry Sundae, Hot Fudge Sundae, Hot Caramel Sundae, The McFlurry, McDonaldland Cookies, The Fruit and Yogurt Parfait, Nestle fresh baked cookies, pies, smoothies.

More about McDonalds around the Web: - 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.

McDonald's - 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 and resources.

McDonald's Franchise Information - Overview from with information on franchise growth and rankings, costs and startup fees, and what to expect in terms of corporate help and support.


also see in Fast Food ->

  Arby's Hardee's Pizza Hut
  Burger King KFC Subway
  Chick-Fil-A McDonald's Taco Bell


Papa John's Wendy's



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