Mcdonalds History

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In the history of business, countless companies have failed, some have luckily succeeded, but only one became the world’s largest and most profitable in the fast food industry. That company is McDonalds. The question though however is how McDonalds separated itself from companies like Wendy’s and Burger King to become the world’s most successful fast food restaurant. How did McDonalds start as one restaurant in 1948 to become today’s largest fast food chain in the world? 1 McDonalds surpassed its competition with innovative thinking in restaurant management and operations, through successful marketing, and simply being able to adapt with the times. In the beginning all businesses start off small, but only a select few of these small businesses thrive and multiply to become successful multinational conglomerates like McDonalds. It is hard to imagine McDonalds starting off in 1948 as a small single burger snack in San Bernardino, California seeing how large it is today.2 What separated McDonalds from all other small businesses was their new and innovative idea, “an 'assembly line' whereby a reduced menu (consisting only of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries and drinks) could be cooked cheaper and quicker, which would hopefully lead to a higher turnover of customers.”3 This concept of food preparation is still the heart of the fast food industry. However McDonald’s founders, Richard and Maurice McDonald, did not start their restaurant with this innovative idea. In the 1940’s the McDonald brothers started off with a small drive in restaurant, where people were served to their cars, and had about a twenty five item barbeque menu. They were mildly successful, but the brothers felt they could improve, and on December of 1948 they reopened their business with an innovative way of food preparation that is still used today. It did not take long for business to start surging, in only five years their volume of burgers sold almost doubled, and during peak periods it would not be unusually to see a hundred and fifty customers outside waiting for a burger from this new up incoming business. 4 It did not just attract customers though; it also enticed many business people which initially started the expansion of McDonalds. With word spreading of the success of McDonalds many business people wanted to mimic their success, which piloted the first franchise of McDonalds being sold to Neil Fox in Arizona for merely one thousand dollars. The thousand dollars would buy the right to use the name “McDonalds”, a brief description on how their “Speedee Service System” was done, and the services of their first cashier Art Bender for two weeks to help get them started. However there was one businessman that would change McDonalds forever, his name was Ray Kroc.5 Ray Kroc first came in contact with McDonalds in 1954 when he was trying to sell and supply them with multimixer’s, which were used to make shakes. When Ray Kroc saw firsthand how successful McDonalds was, it made him think about all the untapped potential in the rest of the country. From seeing this, it inspired Kroc to sign a ninety nine year contract with the McDonald brothers who gave Kroc exclusive rights to franchise out McDonald’s restaurants to the rest of the country under a company that Kroc would own and run.6 This incorporated company was called McDonalds System Inc, which was remained to be McDonalds Corporation in 1960.7 The essence of the contact said that Kroc could open as many restaurants as he wanted seeing that no changes were made to the original style of McDonalds without written consent.8 It was also said that Kroc could only charge $950 dollars for initial franchising fee’s, and take only 1.9% of the franchises sales, giving 0.5% back to the McDonalds. Kroc’s first restaurant, the one felt to be first of McDonalds Corp., opened in Des Plaines Illinois in April of 1955.9 It did not take long for more and more McDonalds to open up. By the end of 1956, fourteen...
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