How did McDonald’s restaurants become popular around the world?

In March 2022, McDonald’s closed some Russian restaurants and cafes indefinitely. In May, it became known that the business network is leaving the country completely and instead will open similar fast food restaurants with different names and logos in Russia. It is not clear exactly what the new plant will be named, but the logo is already there – these are two yellow sticks with an orange circle, symbolizing two french fries and a burger. If you believe the statistics, every day McDonald’s served 1.5 million people, which is not surprising – they were very popular. Let’s take a quick look at how fast food chains have become so popular around the world?

McDonald’s restaurants are popular all over the world. What is their secret?

Интересный факт: с 2011 года сеть McDonald’s в России считается не сетью ресторанов, а сетью магазинов по продаже продуктов питания. Далее все равно будем их называть «ресторанами», потому что в основном речь идет об их развитии в США, да и так привычнее.

The story of McDonald’s

Many books and movies could be written about how McDonald’s was founded. However, there are – there are many books and the best movie on the subject is The Founder, released in 2016. Let’s not go into too much detail and look only at the most interesting parts of this story.

Who are the MacDonald brothers?

McDonald’s amazing story begins with brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald. In the 1930s, they worked as decorators in Hollywood and then opened their own movie theater in Glendale, California. He worked for four years and brought enough money for the brothers to open the Pig Stand restaurant. The menu consisted only of a fried pork sandwich, but that was enough – in those days, ordering directly from inside the car was very popular, something the siblings used.

McDonald brothers

The first McDonald’s

There was money, so the brothers decided to move on. In 1940 they opened the first McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino. The restaurant had many attractive features: people could watch the preparation of food from large windows, the prices for hamburgers and other dishes were as affordable as possible and the waiters served the guests in a very short time. Every day the first McDonald’s restaurant was visited by up to 300 people and 20 waitresses were busy with their service. It is noteworthy that in the beginning of the company’s history, restaurants were particularly popular with young people.

The first McDonald’s in the world

But all this did not last long. At one point, the restaurant had competitors, staff left for higher-paying jobs, guests started stealing dishes or leaving without waiting for the order because the waiters did not have time to serve everyone quickly.

How fast does McDonald’s serve customers?

It was necessary to change something, so the restaurant was closed for three months. The executives decided to completely rebuild the kitchen, replacing the glassware with disposable plastic, reducing the size of the hamburger and its cost and generally reducing the menu. But the most important innovation was the optimization of the workflow. Each employee had his own role: someone cooked meat, made cocktails, someone cooked potatoes, etc. Thanks to the well-coordinated work, the employees started serving the people in a matter of seconds – not a single restaurant could boast about it.

Yes, working at McDonald’s is not easy.

Also, McDonald’s restaurants have become more focused not on young people, but on families with young children. The burgers and potatoes were very cheap, which confused the customers at first. But they were still able to watch the cooking through the large windows, after which the doubts were dispelled.

Restaurant menu in the 1960s

How was the McDonald’s franchise made?

The McDonald’s restaurant would only exist in one spot in the United States if it were not for the founders’ decision to create a franchise. That’s what they did – the first franchise was sold in 1952. Anyone could buy a “package” from them with a building plan, landscaping license, quick customer service instructions, etc. What the McDonald brothers did not take into account was that people who opened new restaurants by their name could add new dishes, set their own prices, and do anything else that would jeopardize their reputation.

Become as rich as the MacDonald brothers wanted

How did Ray Kroc influence McDonald’s?

But the company was saved by businessman Ray Kroc, who used to supply mixers. He met the McDonald brothers and bought from them the right to open restaurants with the same name and content throughout the United States. As early as 1955, the businessman opened a McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. He then started selling franchises to other entrepreneurs, but on the “right” terms. In 1961, he bought all the rights to the restaurants from McDonalds.

Ray Croc in front of McDonald’s

What’s the secret to McDonald’s restaurant success?

The key to McDonald’s success is proving to be the fastest customer service possible. Another important point is the right approach to business development. As early as the 1960s, Ray Kroc made McDonald’s one of the most recognizable brands. In 1962, the familiar letter “M” appeared to everyone in the form of two arcs – it is impossible not to recognize and not notice this sign. Then, to attract children, the clown Ronald McDonald was invented. Then there were collaborations with other companies, games and so on.

Clown Ronald MacDonald

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The composition of the dishes played an important role in the popularization of “McDonald’s”. Everything, especially before, was full of sugar and other flavor enhancers – thanks to them, french fries, wings and so on, make you want to try more. It goes without saying that such foods do not offer many benefits, we have many articles on this topic. Today, the company offers more healthy foods, but people still choose unhealthy foods – they happen to taste better.

Favorite Big Mac

Here are some articles on the dangers of fast food:

McDonald’s in Russia

The situation with McDonald’s in Russia deserves special attention. The first restaurant in Moscow opened in 1990 on Pushkinskaya Square. The institution that came from abroad is in stark contrast to Soviet public catering, so thousands of people rushed there immediately. On its opening day, the first Russian McDonald’s served about 30,000 people. After that, fast food restaurants opened in St. Petersburg and other major Russian cities. According to 2020 data, there were about 760 McDonald’s in the country, but something else will soon open up to replace them.

The queue at the first McDonald’s in Moscow

How often have you eaten at McDonald’s and how do you feel about it in general? Share your opinion in the comments and join the discussion in our Telegram chat.

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