McDonalds – Brothers in Business

Richard McDonald and his brother Maurice McDonald were the founders and pioneers of America’s biggest fast food chain – McDonalds. In the 1920’s the brothers moved to California, where they opened their first hot dog stand in Pasadena. It was a typical drive-in setup and one of its kinds in that era, where drivers parked their cars and carhops came to take their orders. In the late 1940’s they closed the hotdog stand and opened a larger restaurant in San Bernardino. This was apparently the official McDonalds restaurant.

Brief History

The McDonalds family moved from to Hollywood in the late 1920s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald began working as set movers and handymen at motion-picture studios. In 1940, Maurice and Richard opened up their first official McDonalds restaurant in San Bernardino, California. The restaurant was renamed “McDonald’s Bar-B-Q” and had a menu that had mostly barbecue items. In 1948, after running their shop for almost 8 years, the brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers. This made them eventually close down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a more streamlined system with a simple menu. The restaurant became more of a self-service operation. The brothers took great care in setting up their kitchen like an assembly line to ensure maximum efficiency and output. The restaurant’s name was changed again, to simply “McDonald’s”.

Around 1952, the brother realized that they need to optimize their establishment and make it more visible, appealing and eye-catching in appearance. They collaborated with Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. Working with the McDonalds brothers, Stanley came up with the idea of the “Golden Arches”.

The Franchisee

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. He became curious, and went to San Bernardino to take a look at the McDonalds’ restaurant. Ray immediately became inspired by their organized establishment and financial success of the brothers’ concept. He partnered with the brothers, and within a few years turned their small idea into the huge franchise that would become the McDonald’s Corporation.

Ray Kroc opened the Des Plaines, Illinois restaurant in 1955, and with the first Golden Arches, launched a renowned brand. He saw the value of a restaurant system that could be famous for offering constantly prepared, quality food that tasted the same in every location and every time. In 1958, McDonald’s sold its 100 millionth burger.

The Present

As of 2015, the McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers everyday in 119 countries across 35,000 outlets. The company also operates other restaurant brands, such as Piles Café. A McDonald’s restaurant is operated by a franchisee, an affiliate, or the actual corporation itself. The revenue revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. The primarily menu include hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, and desserts.

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