Sales of company-operated restaurants in 2022 are expected to be approximately $9 billion. This figure certainly indicates the growth of the company. When McDonald’s opened its first franchise on April 15, 1955, the first day’s sales were $366.12.
According to a timeline detailed on McDonald’s official website, brothers Dick and Mac McDonald moved to California in search of opportunities that seemed unavailable in New England. After failing in the movie business, she later found success in running drive-in restaurants. In 1948, they streamlined their operations and introduced our country’s current speed service system of 15-cent hamburgers. The restaurant’s success prompted the brothers to franchise their idea. Thus nine operating restaurants.
At the San Bernardino location, Dick’s and Mac’s McDonald’s featured a limited menu of fifteen-cent hamburgers, shakes, and fries in their speed service system. The brothers sold 14 franchises. 10 of which became operating restaurants for their main outlet in San Bernardino.
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Ray Kroc takes over
A native Chicagoan, Ray Kroc dropped out of high school after his sophomore year and joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps during World War I. However, the war ended before his unit could be sent overseas. Ray returned home to earn a living as a musician and later sold paper cups. In 1939 he became the exclusive distributor of the Multimixer (milk shake mixing machine). In 1954 he visited McDonald’s brothers, which led to Ray Kroc becoming their franchise agent. In 1955, Kroc opened the first McDonald’s franchise east of the Mississippi River.
Later, Dick and Mac McDonald opened McDonald’s fourteenth outlet in San Bernardino, California, a Bar-B-Q restaurant. However, later the McDonald brothers closed their restaurant for three months. It later reopened as a self-service drive-in restaurant. The menu was narrowed down to nine items: hamburger, cheeseburger, soft drinks, milk, coffee, potato chips and pie. The 15 cent hamburger became the main attraction on the menu. In 1949, French fries and triple thick milkshakes were added to McDonald’s menu instead of potato chips.
It was at this point that Ray Kroc approached the McDonald brothers who were looking for a nationwide franchising agent. McDonald’s opens its first outlet in 1955. The red and white tiled building with golden arches was designed by architect Stanley Meston in 1953. The quality, service and cleanliness that continues to this day is what makes McDonald’s popular.
New items are added to the menu
From there McDonald’s grew and innovated. New items like Filet-O-Fish, Big Mac, Quarter Pounder and Chicken McNuggets were added to the menu. In 1961, they opened Hamburger University in the basement of one of their Illinois restaurants. Graduates there are awarded degrees in Hamburgerology.
In 1993, the world’s first McCafe Victoria opened in Melbourne, Australia. In 2002, McDonald’s published its first social responsibility report. Later, McFlurry’s desserts, invented by Ron McClellan, were added to the McDonald’s menu in Canada. McDonald’s first global advertising campaign, “I’m Lovin’ It” launched on September 2, 2003 in Munich, Germany. In 2020, McDonald’s opened its first net-zero-design restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort. It generates renewable energy on-site to meet 100% of energy demand on an annual basis.
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The fastest growing brand in the world
With over 1000 locations in the United States alone, Ray Kroc had a vision for the company when he first opened McDonald’s in Illinois. In line with its objective, McDonald’s expanded its global reach by operating outlets outside the US as early as 1967. Today McDonald’s has over 37,000 locations in over 120 countries. 1.9 million workers are employed in these outlets. Every day, it serves more than 69 million individuals. At one point McDonald’s opened a new restaurant every 14.5 hours.
The company has also introduced salads, smoothies and fruits to its menu in response to changing consumer tastes and health concerns. McDonald’s Corporation’s revenue comes from rent, royalties and fees paid by franchisees and sales at company-operated restaurants. McDonald’s ranks ninth among global brands with a value of US$155 billion in 2021. In 2020 there has been a 20% increase from this.
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