The history of McDonald's™

The history of McDonald’s™

We are proud of our History as we are of making burgers.

In 1954, Ray Kroc visited a restaurant in San Bernardino, California. There he found a small but successful restaurant run by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald and was stunned by the effectiveness of their operation. The McDonald’s brothers produced a limited menu, concentrating on just a few items – burgers, fries and beverages – which allowed them to focus on quality and quick service.

They were looking for a new franchising agent and Ray Kroc saw an opportunity. In 1955, he founded the McDonald’s System, Inc., a predecessor of the McDonald’s Corporation, and six years later bought the exclusive rights to the McDonald’s name and operating system. By 1958, McDonald’s had sold its 100 millionth hamburger.

1955

1955

Kroc opens his first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois on April 15. The attention getting red and white tiled building with the Golden Arches was designed by architect Stanley Meston in 1953. First day sales are $366.12.

1955
1956

1956

Fred Turner, future McDonald’s Chairman is hired to work as a counter man for the Des Plaines McDonald’s. He would soon become the head of McDonald’s Operations defining the quality, service and cleanliness that continue to this day.

1956
1961

1961

McDonald’s System, Inc. acquires the legal rights from the McDonald brothers for 2,7 million dollars.

1961
1965

1965

Filet-o-Fish

The Filet-O-Fish sandwich was the first item added to the national menu. It was created by Lou Groen, a McDonald’s Cincinnati franchisee, to help build volume in the predominantly Roman Catholic community in which his restaurant was located.

1965
1968

1968

Big Mac

The Big Mac™, developed by owner/operator Jim Delligatti of Pittsburgh, is added to the national menu.

1968
1973

1973

Quarter Pounder™

The Quarter Pounder™ and Quarter Pounder™ with Cheese are added to the menu.

1973
1975

1975

Egg McMuffin™

The Egg McMuffin™, created by owner/operator Herb Peterson of Santa Barbara, California, is added to the national menu.

1975
1983

1983

Chicken McNuggets™

 

The Chicken McNuggets are introduced into all domestic US restaurants.

1983
1991

1991

McDonald’s™ in Greece

The first McDonald’s™ restaurant in Greece, opens its doors at in the heart of the city of Athens, at Syntagma square.

1991
1993

1993

McCafe™

The world’s first McCafe™ opens in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

1993
1995

1995

McFlurry™

McFlurry™ desserts, invented by Ron McLellan, owner/operator in Canada, are added to the McDonald’s Canada menu.

1995
2003

2003

I’m Lovin’ it

McDonald’s first global ad campaign, “I’m lovin’ it”, is launched in Munich, Germany, on September 2.

2003
2015

2015

Breakfast all day

McDonald’s™ USA launches All-Day Breakfast.

2015
2017

2017

McDelivery

Global McDelivery™ Day is celebrated on July 26th in USA to support the global launch of McDelivery™ with UberEATS.

2017