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McDonald's: The Origins of a Fast Food Empire

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 Economics   |   Society / Culture   |   Social Science
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22nd video of the Behind the Business Series.

McDonald's is an American hamburger and fast food restaurant chain. It was founded in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California. In 1948, they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand, using production line principles. The first McDonald's franchise using the arches logo opened in Phoenix, Arizona in 1953. Businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchise agent in 1955 and subsequently purchased the chain from the McDonald brothers.

Today, McDonald's is the world's largest restaurant chain, serving approximately 68 million customers daily in 120 countries across approximately 36,900 outlets. McDonald's primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken products, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, fish, wraps, smoothies, and fruit. A McDonald's restaurant is operated by either a franchisee, an affiliate, or the corporation itself. The McDonald's Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants.

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