Having seen a fair few McDonalds conspiracies on the web and here at ATS, I decided to have a look at the history and facts about this massive fast
food chain. I found this a strangely interesting subject, although I'm not too sure why, maybe because of the size of the company, I don't know. I
thought I would share some of the interesting facts I found in case others found it interesting too.
Love it or hate it, McDonalds is famous the world over and to some, it represents what people love or hate about America. But where did it all start
and by whom?
It does depend on who you ask, for instance if you ask McDonalds they will say that the company was founded in 1955 by Ray Kroc, but there are deeper
roots than that, so lets start at the very beginning.
In my opinion it all started in 1937 when the McDonald brothers (Mac & Dick, I guess if they named a burger after themselves it would be the MacDick)
took out a $5,000 loan and opened the Airdrome hot dog stand in California.
In 1940 (which is the date many attribute to the beginnings of McDonalds) the brothers moved their business from Arcadia to San Bernardino and changed
the name to McDonald's Bar-B-Q.
First ever McDonalds (Carhop stand) -
The original menu contained some 40 items, including peanut butter & jelly with fries for 20c
(Menu front cover) -
After great success the brothers decided they wanted to experiment with a different method of doing things. They noticed that 80% of their sales were
burgers and that having a carhop was not the best approach as only adults and teens would come, they wanted a family place for kids too (the answer to
many conspiracies regarding McDonalds targeting children has been found and it was way back in the beginning!). The brothers also wanted to make
things faster and easier.
The brothers studied how Henry Ford changed car manufacturing with an assembly line, so they wanted to adopt this method to see if it works in their
They also changed the carhop method to a self-serve drive-in restaurant and reduced the menu to just 9 items
New 1940's menu, notice the McDonalds logo of a burger headed guy, I've seen that before somewhere.
In 1948 they closed their eatery for three months, redeveloped it and opened their new experimental restaurant.
McDonald brothers during the redevelopment works in 1948 -
It was a great success and they soon set the standard for success in the fast food industry. They called their much more efficient method of a food
preparation the Speedee System
(later to become known by most as fast food).
In the next six years, business was doing so well that the brothers sold 21 franchises and opened nine outlets [source: Gilpin]. The original
restaurant was bustling with so much business that the brothers ordered eight Multimixers -- machines that made five milkshakes at one time. The
distributer of Multimixers -- a salesman by the name of Ray Kroc -- was so intrigued at this news that he traveled to California to see what the fuss
So along comes Ray Kroc, the man credited with founding the McDonalds we know today -
Amazed and inspired at the success of the McDonald brothers, Kroc wanted in. He had dreams for the potential of McDonald's restaurants and
asked Dick and Mac to hire him as their franchise agent. In exchange for licensing the name to him, the brothers would get a percentage of
In 1955 Ray opened his first McDonalds restaurant in Des Plaines, the restaurant took $366.12 in the first day.
Although Kroc's business deal with the McDonald brothers started swimmingly, relations soon soured. At first, Kroc just wanted to sell as many
Multimixers as possible. But by 1961, he bought the entire business for $2.7 million. When they gave up rights to the McDonald's name, Dick and Mac
reopened their original San Bernardino hamburger joint as The Big M. Kroc, upset over the brothers' refusal to relinquish the original restaurant,
opened up a McDonald's restaurant nearby. The Big M was run out of business.
Soon, using these tactics, Kroc made short work of the rest of the competition. Now in control of McDonald's Corp., he was ready to take on the
So.... in the end Kroc runs the McDonald brothers out of business and all other competition by the looks of it, not sure this guy is so nice.
Other fun facts -
- In 1962 the first indoor seating is introduced to McDonalds restaurants
- In 1963 the first Fillet O-Fish is introduced to build volume with the Roman Catholic customers (not sure why though??)
- In 1967 the first international restaurants are built in Canada and Puerto Rico
- In 1968 the first Big Mac is introduced
- Also in 1968 McDonalds first becomes involved in the Olympic movement by 'airlifting' hamburgers to US athletes in France, who were homesick
- In 1969 the 'Golden Arches' logo is introduced
- In 1973 the first Quarter Pounder is introduced
- In 1975 the first drive-thru is built in Arizona
- In 1984 Ray Kroc dies
Today McDonalds has over 33,000 restaurants, employs over 420,000 people, has a net income of over $5.5 billion per year and assets of over $32.9
To finish off and as this is ATS I thought I would throw out a conspiracy related item too. Below is a link to a blog by someone who claims that Ray
Kroc confessed that he was a member of the Satanic Church and that he donated most of his money to them. The blogger claims he made this confession
live on TV (the Mike Douglas Show) in the 70's but can't find anything on the internet that confirms this.
Did you see this show? or can ATS find anything to confirm this? I have no idea if this is true but the way the blog is written makes me feel this guy
believes what he is saying -
I'm hungry now....