What Is the History of McDonald's?

In 1940, Dick and Mac McDonald opened the McDonald's Bar-B-Q, a drive-in restaurant with a car hop service in San Bernardino, California. In 1948, the brothers closed shop for renovations and reopened as a self-serve restaurant featuring nine items and focusing on hamburgers. Ray Kroc, a Multimixer salesman, who had a vision of expanding the restaurant all over the United States, visited this small but effective restaurant in 1954.

In 1955, Kroc founded McDonald's System, Inc.; and by 1958, the company had sold its 100 millionth hamburger. Following Ray Kroc's slogan, "In business for yourself, but not by yourself," and the core principles of quality, service, cleanliness and value, McDonald's has a unique philosophy and a strong adherence to systems. Since 1961, 80,000 people have graduated from Hamburger University and received a Bachelor of Hamburgerology degree. Hamburger University is a training restaurant in Illinois that teaches successful methods for running a restaurant. Ray Kroc worked for McDonald's until his death in 1984.

In 1962, the first McDonald's with indoor seating opened in Denver, Colorado. By 1965, there were over 700 McDonald's restaurants in the United States. Also in 1965, the company offered its first public stock at $22.50 per share. 1967 saw the first McDonald's television commercial, and the first international McDonald's restaurants opened in Canada and Puerto Rico in 1968.

In 1973, McDonalds added the Quarter Pounder and the Quarter Pounder with Cheese to the menu. In 1974, the first Ronald McDonald House opened in Philadelphia. McDonalds added the Egg McMuffin to the menu in 1975, Happy Meals in 1979, salads in 1987, Fruit 'n Yogurt in 2000, and Grilled and Crispy Snack Wraps in 2006. As of 2015, there are more than 36,000 McDonald's locations worldwide, serving 69 million customers each day in over 100 countries.