McDonald’s

McDonald’s is an American fast food company, founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States. They rechristened their business as a hamburger stand, and later turned the company into a franchise, with the Golden Arches logo being introduced in 1953 at a location in Phoenix, Arizona.

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In 1955, Ray Kroc, a businessman, joined the company as a franchise agent and proceeded to purchase the chain from the McDonald brothers. McDonald’s had its original headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, but moved its global headquarters to Chicago in early 2018. McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, serving over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across 37,855 outlets as of 2018.

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McDonald's in the 1950's (Lithograph)

McDonald’s in the 1950’s (Lithograph)

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Although McDonald’s is best known for its hamburgers, cheeseburgers and french fries, they also feature chicken products, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes and a negative backlash because of the unhealthiness of their food, the company has added to its menu salads, fish, smoothies, and fruit. The McDonald’s Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. According to a BBC report published in 2012, McDonald’s is the world’s second-largest private employer (behind Walmart) with 1.9 million employees, 1.5 million of whom work for franchises.

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McDonald’s has become emblematic of globalization, sometimes referred to as the “McDonaldization” of society. The Economist newspaper uses the “Big Mac Index”: the comparison of a Big Mac’s cost in various world currencies can be used to informally judge these currencies’ purchasing power parity. Switzerland has the most expensive Big Mac in the world as of July 2015, while the country with the least expensive Big Mac is India.

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Retro Style McDonald’s in Best, The Netherlands

Retro Style McDonald’s in Best, The Netherlands

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