McDonald's: a name synonymous with fast food, quality and innovation. McDonald's is known worldwide for its Golden Arches symbol and its mascot, Ronald McDonald.
Two brothers from Southern California, Dick and Maurice McDonald, started operating a hot dog/hamburger stand at the Monrovia Airport. Eventually outgrowing that location, they moved the stand to San Bernadino. Realizing that hamburgers were their most popular product, the brothers reinvented their restaurant in 1948 using a concept that was similar to a factory production line. They called their system Speedee Service. This system was unique to the fast food industry. Instead of cooking food at the same time the customer ordered it, with Speedee Service the food was made before being ordered. This system ensured uniformity in product and speed serving the customer. This idea revolutionized the fast food industry.
Ray Kroc was a multi-mixer salesman who sold the McDonald brothers milk shake mixers. When Kroc met the brothers, he found two men running a small but successful restaurant that thrived by having a limited menu. The limited menu allowed them to concentrate on quality and customer service. Kroc had the idea to take the Speedee Service concept and open restaurants nationwide. In 1955, partnering with the McDonald Brothers, Kroc founded the McDonald's Corporation and opened the first franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois. In 1961 he bought the exclusive rights to the McDonald's name for 2.7 million dollars. (http://www.mcspotlight.org)
Hamburger University, the McDonald's training center in Elk Grove, Illinois was opened in 1961. At Hamburger U, franchisees and operators are trained in the methods of successfully running a McDonald's franchise. To date there have been over 80,000 people who have graduated from the program. (www.aboutmcdonalds.com)
In 1963, McDonald's introduced Ronald McDonald, the friendly clown who would become the face of the franchise. Two other significant milestones were the opening of the 500th store and selling one billion hamburgers.
In 1965, the McDonald's Corporation went public. The stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 7, 1966. (http://www.mcspotlight.org)
Ray Kroc always believed in the entrepreneurial spirit and rewarded his franchisees for their ideas. Some of McDonald's most famous menu items were created by franchisees. Examples are, the Big Mac, introduced in 1968, and the Egg McMuffin, introduced in 1971. The Egg McMuffin was test marketed as McDonald's first breakfast menu item. (http://www.mcspotlight.org)
As part of McDonald's philanthropic commitment, the company opened its first Ronald McDonald house in 1974 in Philadelphia, PA. (http://www.mcspotlight.org)The Ronald McDonald house provides a residence free of charge for families whose children are being treated at hospitals away from their hometowns.
Ray Kroc died in 1984; however, the company still forges ahead with new and innovative concepts. McDonald's introduced the PlayPlace concept in 1987, which features crawl tubes and ball pits for children to play in. The McCafe concept was started in Melbourne, Australia in 1993 and now there are over 600 cafes worldwide. The McExpress restaurants are located in Wal-Mart stores, and connected to gas stations and convenience stores. (http://www.mcspotlight.org)
McDonald's restaurants are now found in 119 countries and territories around the world and serve 64 million customers each day. McDonald's operates over 33,000 restaurants worldwide employing more than 400,000 people. (http:www.aboutmcdonalds.com) More than 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are independently owned and operated by local men and women, with 70% women/minority US employees, over 25% women/minorities in leadership and 45% women/minority franchisees. (http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com)
We will begin our study of McDonald's by evaluating...