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The McDonald's Story

When Maurice and Richard McDonald opened the first McDonald's restaurant in 1940, they could not have predicted the incredible success their brand would achieve. The first McDonald's was a drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California called "McDonald's Bar-B-Q," offering a diverse menu of items.

In 1948, the brothers restructured their business, reducing their menu to only burgers, fries, drinks, and pies and creating their "Speedee Service System." Burgers were cooked in advance and kept warm under heated lamps, and a self-service model allowed customers to quickly receive their food. This led to a reduction in costs and enabled the brothers to offer burgers at a lower price than their competitors.

Their business model was so effective that the brothers decided to franchise it, and had sold several franchises by the time Ray Kroc visited their San Bernardino restaurant in 1954. Kroc became the brothers' franchise agent, and opened his first franchised restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955. He bought the company for $2.7 million in 1961, with the brothers keeping only their San Bernardino restaurant and renaming it "Big M."

Kroc's focus was on franchising the brand, creating standards for how each restaurant should operate, and establishing "Hamburger University" to train franchisees. Today, McDonald's has over 40,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries, making it one of the world's most successful companies.


How often do you eat at McDonald's? What do you usually order?

What are the most popular American fast food restaurants in your country?

What would you say is the best burger place in your town or city?

If you were to make the perfect burger, what ingredients would you use?


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