McDonald's Corporation, fast-food restaurant company based in Oak Brook, Illinois. Since the 1950s, McDonald's family-oriented restaurants have revolutionized the fast-food business and the company has become one of the best known in the world. Thousands of McDonald's restaurants in countries around the world serve millions of customers a day. McDonald's restaurants, which offer toy promotions and often feature playgrounds, are especially popular with children.
In 1948 brothers Dick and Mac McDonald remodeled their McDonald's drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California, creating the prototype for the modern fast-food restaurant.
The menu was limited to nine items: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, three types of soft drinks, milk, coffee, potato chips, and pies. French fries and milkshakes were soon added. By focusing on efficient production and service, McDonald's cut the price of their hamburgers from 30 cents to 15 cents.
By the mid-1950s the original McDonald's generated $350,000 a year in revenues. In 1954 Ray Kroc, then a 52-year-old salesman of milkshake machines, visited the restaurant and became convinced that its concept could work in other cities. The McDonald brothers agreed to let Kroc sell McDonald's franchises (the right to market the company's products within a certain area). In 1955 Kroc established a franchising company known as McDonald's Systems, Inc. and opened a second McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. Within its first four years, the company had opened 228 restaurants, which generated $37.6 million in annual sales. In 1961 Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million.
During the 1960s, McDonald's began to mount aggressive advertising and marketing campaigns. In 1962 the company adopted the golden arches as its trademark. Ronald McDonald, the familiar clown that serves as McDonald's mascot, was introduced in 1963. That year, signs at McDonald's restaurants announced that the company had... [continues]
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