September 15, 2013
The United States has the largest fast food industry in the world, and American fast food restaurants are in over 100 countries. That alone tells you that millions of consumers partake in fast food. By definition, fast food is food that can be prepared and served very quickly. A typical fast food meal in the United States includes a hamburger, French fries, and a soft drink. Out of all of the fast food restaurants in the United States, there are two companies that comes to mind that are the biggest chains in the country. Those two fast food chains are Burger King and McDonald’s.
These two companies own more than half of the fast food market in the U.S. With that said, in the past couple of years there has been concern over the obesity rate in the United States. People believe that fast food is a factor because of how easy it is to get it and the price range of it. Because of the perceptions of fast food, every one is looking to the biggest fast food chains to set the example and make their menus healthier. McDonald’s and Burger King are the two fast food chains trying to convert their menu to provide healthier foods, each in their own way.
Before looking at the menus of both fast food chains, one has to understand the history. What made them who they are today? How was it created? When did it go public? The first restaurant is McDonald’s. In 1937, Patrick McDonald opened “The Airdome”, which was a food stand in Monrovia, California. Hamburgers were ten cents and all you can drink. In 1940, his two sons, Maurice and Richard, brought the food stand from their father and moved the entire operation 40 miles and changed the name to “McDonald’s Bar-B-Q” and served 25 barbecued items on their menu. In October 1948, the brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers so they closed down the establishment. On December 12, 1948, the restaurant’s name was once again changed to “McDonald’s” and went to a menu of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries, shakes, soft drinks, and apple pie. After 5 years of growing popularity and success the brothers decided to start franchising the restaurant. One year later, Ray Kroc, who sold Multi-mixer milkshakes machines, learned that one of the McDonald’s restaurants were using eight of his machines and he decided to take a look for himself. After meeting with the McDonald brothers, Kroc thought that they could franchise the restaurants throughout the country. The brothers did not think the same way so Kroc decided to take it upon himself to do so. By 1959, Kroc had 102 successful restaurants in the United States and by 1961 Kroc brought the business rights from the McDonald brothers for about three million dollars.
Like McDonald’s, Burger King also has a long and rich history. It was founded in 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida as Insta-Burger King. Inspired by the McDonald brother’s original store location in San Bernardino, California, the founders and owners, Keith J. Kramer and his wife’s uncle Matthew Burns, began searching for a concept to open a new restaurant around. After purchasing the rights to two pieces of equipment called “Insta” machines, the two opened their first stores around a cooking device known as the Insta-Broiler. The Insta-Broiler over proved to be so successful at cooking burgers; they required all of their franchises to carry the device. With their new success in the way they cooked burgers, the company had rapidly expanded throughout the state of Florida until its operations totaled more than 40 locations in 1955. By 1961, Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties and the pair of McLamore and Edgarton purchased the national rights to the chain. It was rechristened as Burger King of Miami. The company would eventually become the Burger King Corporation and began selling territorial franchise licenses to private owners across the...