McDonald's and its franchisees employ approximately 1.9 million employees. McDonald's has more than 35,000 locations in over 100 countries. About 80 percent of locations are franchised.
McDonald's is headquartered in the United States in Oak Brook, Ill. McDonald's began in 1940 in San Bernardino, Calif., as a barbecue restaurant run by Richard and Maurice McDonald. The McDonalds restructured their barbecue business as a hamburger stand in 1948. Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchisee in 1955 and soon after purchased the chain from the McDonald brothers. McDonald's restaurants are operated by the McDonald's corporation, an affiliate or a franchisee.