HISTORY OF MCDONALD’S
In 1937, Patrick J. McDonald opened "The Airdrome", an octagonal food stand, Monrovia, California. Hamburgers were ten cents, and all-you-can-drink orange juice was five cents. The restaurant was renamed "McDonald's Bar-B-Q" and served twenty five barbecued items on their menu. In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu of just hamburgers, cheeseburgers, french fries, shakes, soft drinks, and apple pie. The restaurant's name was again changed, this time to simply "McDonald's," and reopened its doors on December 12, 1948. In 1953, the McDonald brothers began to franchise their successful restaurant, starting in Phoenix, Arizona and Downey, California; the latter is today the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. The Speedee sign was erected in 1959 at Downey with its single giant arch and is a one-of-a-kind. Recognizing the historic and nostalgic value of the intact 1953 structure, the McDonald's Corporation acquired the store in 1990 and rehabilitated it to a modern but nearly original condition, and then built an adjacent museum and gift shop to commemorate the site. In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Multi-mixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to San Bernardino to take a look at the McDonalds' restaurant. The Big Mac hamburger made its debut in 1968.
In 1960, the McDonald's advertising campaign "Look for the Golden Arches" gave sales a big boost. Kroc believed that advertising was an investment that would in the end come back many times over, and advertising has always played a key role in the development of the McDonald's Corporation. Indeed, McDonald's ads have been some of the most identifiable over the years. In 1962, McDonald's introduced its now world-famous Golden Arches logo. A year later, the company sold its billionth hamburger and introduced Ronald McDonald, a red-haired clown designed to appeal to children. In the early 1960s, McDonald's really began to take off. The growth in U.S. automobile use that came with suburbanization contributed heavily to McDonald's success. In 1961 Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million, aiming at making McDonald's the number one fast-food chain in the country. In 1962, the Filet-O-Fish sandwich, billed as "the fish that catches people," was introduced in McDonald's restaurants. The new item had originally met with disapproval from Kroc, but after its successful test marketing, he eventually agreed to add it. In 1965, McDonald's Corporation went public. McDonald's success in the 1960s was in large part due to the company's skillful marketing and flexible response to customer demand. In 1968, McDonald's opened its 1,000th restaurant, and Fred L. Turner became the company's president and chief administrative officer. Kroc became chairman and remained CEO until 1973. Turner had originally intended to open a McDonald's franchise, but when he had problems with his backers over a location, he went to work as a grillman for Kroc in 1956. In 1974, with the opening of the first restaurant in the United Kingdom, the corporation became embroiled in a public relations nightmare. On the employment forms (brought in from the U.S.) it asked employees if they wished to contribute money to an I.R.A. (Individual Retirement Account). Given that the I.R.A. is also an acronym for the terrorist organization the Irish Republican Army, the employees believed that McDonald's was contributing money to a terrorist group. In 1975, McDonald's opened its first drive-thru window in Sierra Vista, Arizona, following Wendy's lead. This service gave Americans a fast, convenient way to procure a quick meal. The company's goal was to provide service in 50 seconds or less....
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