Some Interesting McDonald’s Franchise Stories
The first McDonald’s franchise was given to Nathan Fox in 1953 and opened in Phoenix, Arizona. This was thirteen years after the McDonald brothers opened their first McDonald’s restaurant. Dick and Mack had started their McDonald’s legacy with a restaurant in San Bernardino California in 1940 with a menu that had 25 items.
His restaurant was a gathering place for many of the local teenagers and his menu consisted mainly of barbecue dishes. Eight years later, they closed their restaurant for several months while they renovated it into a restaurant serving primarily hamburgers, which had been their best-selling item. They prided themselves on being quick to get food to customers and created a type of assembly line food preparation. They reduced their menu to just three items: burgers, fries, shakes, and found immediate success in the changes. The third and fourth McDonald’s restaurants opened in 1954 in Saginaw Michigan and Downey California. The location on Lakewood Blvd in Downey is the oldest McDonald’s restaurant still in operation.
In 1963, just ten years after the first franchise was created, McDonald’s opened its 500th restaurant in Toledo, Ohio. This was also the year that McDonald’s celebrated the sale of its billionth hamburger.
In 1967, McDonald’s crossed the Canadian border with the opening of its first restaurant outside the United States in Richmond, British Columbia. A year later, in 1968, the 1,000th McDonald’s restaurant opened and the Big Mac and hot apple pie were added to the menu. Apple pies are fried until the baked apple pie replaced the fried version in most places in 1992.
The third country to have a McDonald’s franchise was Costa Rica where a restaurant was opened in 1970 and in 1971 franchises were opened in Japan, Holland, Germany and Australia.
In 1972, there were 2,200 McDonald’s franchises in operation worldwide. The following year, the world was introduced to the Quarter Pounder and the Egg McMuffin.
1974 was a good year for McDonald’s with the opening of its 3,000th restaurant and, more importantly, the first Ronald McDonald House opened for business.
In 1975, the first Drive Through was opened in Sierra Vista, Arizona to accommodate Soldiers from a nearby base who were not allowed to wear their battle gear off base except in a vehicle.
Happy Meal was a huge success since its introduction to the United States in 1978.
In 1980, McDonald’s 6,000th restaurant opened with a location in Munich, Germany.
The first Ronald McDonald House outside the United States opened a year later in Toronto, Canada.
1984 was the year McDonald’s became the largest sponsor of the 1984 Summer Olympics and has remained the title sponsor of the Olympics ever since. This was also the year that McDonald’s served its 50 billionth hamburger, which was cooked by the same person who cooked its first hamburger, Dick McDonald.
In 1988, McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in a communist country with the opening of a franchise in Belgrade Yugoslavia, now known as Serbia. Two years later, the first McDonald’s franchise was opened in the Soviet Union.
In 1995, a McDonald’s franchise opens in South Africa and helps the country celebrate the end of apartheid.
Mac McDonald passed away in 1971 from cancer while his brother Richard (Dick) McDonald lived until 1998 when he passed away at the age of 89. These two brothers never dreamed when they started a restaurant so many years ago that their restaurant chain would become an international landmark for billions of people and a part of history for generations. They are a true example of success and of what can be done with enthusiasm and perseverance.