Maurice (“Mac”) and Richard McDonald founded the first McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino, California, in 1940. It was originally a drive-in offering a wide choice of items. However, in 1948 the brothers decided to relaunch the business, and after three months of renovations, a newly envisioned Mcdonald’s opened. Small restaurants are made to produce a lot of food at a low price. To achieve this, the brothers limited the menu—which consisted only of hamburgers, potato chips (later replaced by french fries), drinks, and pies. And developed a simple, efficient format they named the Speedy Service System.
It included a self-service counter. This eliminated the need for waiters and waitresses, and customers received their food quickly. Because the hamburgers were cooked ahead of time, wrapped, and heated under heat lamps. These innovations permitted the brothers to charge just 15 cents for a basic hamburger, about half the price of competing restaurants. Mcdonald’s was a huge success, and the brothers launched a franchise program.
The equipment for Mcdonald’s was purchased from a salesman named Ray Kroc. And Impressed by their need for eight malts and shake mixers. In 1954 he visited the restaurant to see how a small shop could sell so many milkshakes. Realizing that their restaurant concept had great promise, Kroc became a franchise agent for the brothers. In April 1955, Kroc launched McDonald’s Systems, Inc., later known as McDonald’s Corporation, in Des Plaines, Illinois. And opened the first Mcdonald’s franchise east of the Mississippi River there. In 1961, Kroc bought McDonald Brothers.
Brand Evolution: From Franchise to Big Mac
Realizing that franchisees were vital to the company’s success. Kroc developed precise standards for how each Mcdonald’s should be run, from food preparation to cleaning. To ensure standardized operation of the outlets, he created (1961) a program to train franchisees, later known as Hamburger University. In addition, they eventually changed the restaurant format, adding counter staff to take orders. And in 1975 Mcdonald’s in Arizona opened the chain’s first drive-thru window, a feature that soon became ubiquitous.
Mcdonald’s also introduced three characteristics during this time that would define its brand and further public recognition. First, in 1963, the company’s public face was introduced, a clown named Ronald McDonald. However, criticism of marketing to children and an increasingly negative perception of clowns resulted in The company largely sidelining the character in the early 21st century. Perhaps the most notable addition occurred in 1968. when Mcdonald’s added the Big Mac to its national menu; The iconic hamburger reportedly became the company’s best-selling item after french fries. In addition, during the 1960s the series refined its logo, eventually introducing the famous double-arch M design. Which became its enduring symbol and one of the best-known logos in the world. It was inspired by the tall yellow arches that dominated the roofs of earlier Mcdonald’s restaurants.
These changes helped accelerate Mcdonald’s growth. In less than 10 years after Kroc became the sole owner of Mcdonald’s, the chain’s outlet count topped 1,000. Buoyed by these numbers, the company’s stock began trading publicly in 1965.
Detail and Products
The series continued to expand domestically and internationally. A franchise opened in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada in 1967. The first Mcdonald’s location outside the United States. By the beginning of the 21st century, approximately 34,000 outlets were operating in more than 115 countries and territories. Growth was so rapid in the 1990s that it was said that a new Mcdonald’s opened somewhere in the world every five hours. It effectively became the most popular family restaurant out there, with an emphasis on affordable food, fun, and flavor that kids and adults alike loved.
Mcdonald’s also expanded its menu over the years, introducing the Filet-o-Fish Sandwich (1965), Quarter Pounders (1973), Egg McMuffins (1975), Happy Meals (1979), and Chicken McNuggets (1983). In addition, restaurants abroad also adapted their menus to appeal to local customs and tastes.
In the late 20th century, Mcdonald’s moved beyond the hamburger business by acquiring Chipotle Mexican Grill (1998), Donatos Pizza (1999), and Boston Market (2000) in the United States. And bought Aroma Cafe (1999) in the United Kingdom. And had an interest in a sandwich restaurant chain, Pret a Manager (2001). However, as of late 2008, Mcdonald’s no longer owned or held stakes in any of these companies, instead focusing on its own brands.
criticism and feedback
The success of Mcdonald’s has led to increased criticism, much of which relates to its alleged association with the global increase in obesity. In the early 2000s, several lawsuits were filed against the company in the United States, alleging that its food causes health problems. Although no plaintiffs prevailed, several states passed bills banning obesity lawsuits against fast-food companies. Mcdonald’s also experienced a backlash after the popular documentary Super Size Me (2004). In which the filmmaker witnessed a drastic decline in his health while on a diet consisting only of Mcdonald’s foods.
Mcdonald’s responded to the criticism by adding healthier items to its menu, and it began developing a vegetarian “hamburger”. Variations of which would appear under such names as McVegan, PLT, and McPlant. In 2017 the company released its first plant-based hamburger, though it was only available in a few chosen parts of markets. Two years later, it began testing another vegetarian hamburger. Furthermore, in 2018 Mcdonald’s announced that it had stopped using preservatives in most of its hamburgers. The company also removed large parts during this time, and its U.S. And Canadian restaurants stopped using trans fats in many items. However, such measures did not reduce health concerns.
As one of the world’s largest private employers, Mcdonald’s has faced many calls to raise wages. The term McJob was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “low-wage job“. The company has also been criticized for its negative impact on the environment, particularly in relation to its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. In the early 21st century, Mcdonald’s launched initiatives to reduce emissions in the production of its restaurants and its suppliers’ beef. In addition, the company’s packaging was a concern, and during this time Mcdonald’s began a program to move toward renewable or recycled bags, utensils, and other items.
charity work of Mcdonald’s
Mcdonald’s was active in various charities. In 1974 it joined Philadelphia Eagles football player Fred Hill. whose daughter had been diagnosed with leukemia, in establishing the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia. The residence allowed families to live near the hospital where their children were being treated. By the beginning of the 21st century, more than 360 such houses existed worldwide. In addition, Ronald McDonald House Charities (founded in 1987) supports a number of other endeavors. McDonald’s launched additional initiatives as well, and these included a college scholarship program for Hispanic students.