The History of McDonald’s

Hayley Linquist, Staff Writer

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Fast food is one of the most common concepts in our society. However, most never contemplate the history behind well-known chains like McDonald’s.

The founders of the McDonald’s chain were two brothers, Mac and Dick McDonald, who tried their hands at drive in restaurants after failing in the movie business. Originally, the restaurant was called McDonald’s Bar-B-Que and sold mainly barbecue, but soon after realized that most of their profits came from hamburgers and decided it was time for a re-brand. So, in the year 1948 the brothers began using a system they called the Speedee Service System to serve 15 cent hamburgers, potato chips, coffee, sodas, and apple pies. Soon after, they took the quantitative route and made their kitchen more like an assembly line in order to increase the efficiency.

In December of 1948 they officially changed the restaurant’s name to McDonald’s. By 1952, the brothers were enlisting the help of architect Stanley Meston to design their building to be more eye catching, hoping to include bright neon signs, their mascot Speedee, and their staple golden arches.

As the business grew, drastic “marketing” techniques were implemented to convert the restaurants from a sit-down to more of a fast food chain. Some of these techniques included turning off the air conditioning and making the cups in a cone shape so they couldn’t be set down, warranting people to leave sooner.  Shortly after, other competitors began following suit began turning their restaurants into fast food establishments as well, creating chains such as both Burger King and White Castle.

It was at this point in time when the brothers began franchising and opened nine other McDonald’s Corporation establishments. In 1954, Roy Kroc visited the chain and was intrigued, later suggesting a plan to the McDonald’s brothers that they open their restaurants throughout the country. They agreed to a deal where Kroc would be responsible for the restaurants outside of Arizona and California. After a few years, 106 new locations were opened due to Krocs. By the time the sixties came along, and advertisement was on the rise, “look for the golden arches” took face as their major campaign motto.

After selling their one millionth burger, the famed Ronald McDonald was finally introduced. From there, McDonald’s quickly developed into the major corporation that is known today.