McDonald’s Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich · Big Mac · Chicken Nuggets
McDonald’s is the largest fast-food restaurant in the world. It has more than 33,500 restaurants in 119 countries, over 80 percent of these are franchised – which means they are operated by businessmen who pay to use McDonald’s trade name, business format, and criteria for food preparation.
The first restaurant was opened near the University of Illinois in Chicago on May 15, 1955. The founders were Richard and Maurice (Mac) McDonald; the brothers had previously managed a drive-in theatre where hot dogs were served at car windows. In 1948 they bought a barbeque restaurant with a 24-hour coffee shop that became the company’s base for hamburger making. They decided to call their new firm McDonald’s Barbeque, but later found out this name was already taken, so they tried again – calling it “McDonald’s” after the owner of a barbeque restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
One man was responsible for making McDonald’s an international success. Ray Kroc opened his first franchise outlet in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955, the year that the firm went public. He built up a separate company called Franchise Realty Corporation to buy new outlets and lease them back to McDonald’s (the chain later bought out this business). By 1965 there were 700 outlets; the number passed 1,000 in 1966; 3,500 by 1968; 6,000 by 1970; 14,000 by 1974; 23,500 by 1980; 31,200 by 1982; 41,000 by 1984; 50,000 by 1991; and finally more than 33,500 in 1999.
The first McDonald’s restaurant outside the United States opened in Richmond, British Columbia (Canada) on June 19th, 1968. The firm wanted to test whether there was a market for its products away from the U.S. before making any more overseas investments. By 1970 McDonald’s had 15 restaurants outside of America – all of them near army bases run by Americans abroad. It then decided to open branches near airports frequented by American tourists – one of these appeared at London Gatwick Airport in 1971 where it stayed until it closed in 1992 (the place is now occupied by Burger King).
In Japan McDonald’s offered tempura and teriyaki burgers to suit Japanese tastes – in Austria, it introduced its first non-hamburger item: baked apple strudel. In 1980 the firm stopped using beef fat to cook french fries and switched to vegetable oil; two years later an outlet opened in China; in 1983 outlets opened in Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand; and in 1984 McDonald’s entered into a joint venture with Silvio Berlusconi (later Italian prime minister) to open restaurants throughout Italy (this business still belongs to McDonald’s).
In 1987 McDonald’s took over the well-known American films studio Orion Pictures for $600 million, but this proved a poor investment when films such as RoboCop 2 did not do so well at the box office. McDonald’s sold the studio in 1990 to an investor group led by Orion’s former owner and made a $250 million loss.
1984 was also the year in which three workers in a McDonald’s restaurant in London were awarded almost $120,000 in damages because they had been forced to work overtime without being paid extra. The case led to boycotts of the restaurants by trade unions and other groups throughout Europe and America – this was followed by libel cases brought against these groups when their leaflets said that McDonald’s was “a cruel and exploitative employer”. The boycott ended in 1991 after the company introduced measures such as offering staff more flexible working hours, increasing pay rates, and allowing staff to join unions.
In 1989 there were 91,000 outlets; then 127,000 in 1994; 138,000 by 1996 (when the firm made its first stock market flotation); 191,000 by 1997; and 276,500 by 2002.
Citations: Richard M. Hollingsworth (Richard M.), “The hamburger – an American story”, The History Press Ltd (2008), ISBN 978-0-7524-6040-5 Paul Dickson (Paul D.), “The starburst effect: the McDonald’s business phenomenon”, Prager Publishers (1984)
- Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information Ltd
- Title: The Hamburger – An American Story
- Author(s): Richard M. Hollingsworth
- Publication details: Stroud: Sutton Publishing Limited, 2008
- ISBN: 9780750955294
- Subjects: Business enterprises – Management.
- Restaurants – United States – Management.
- Restaurants – Food supply – United States.
- Food industry and trade – History.
Companies indexing: Now It’s My Turn: A Book For Your Reading Pleasure (Now It’s My Turn Isbn 978-0-7524-6562-6) (Now It’s My Turn Isbn 978-0-7524-6562-6) (Mixed media product) Editions: Now It’s My Turn: A Book For Your Reading Pleasure (Hardback (US)) Now It’s My Turn: A Book For Your Reading Pleasure (Paperback) Now It’s My Turn: A Book For Your Reading Pleasure (eBook) Now It’s My Turn: A Book For Your Reading Pleasure (Enhanced eBook)
Subjects: Social Science / Women ‘ s Studies
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