The first McDonald’s franchise was awarded 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 has 25 items.
His restaurant was a hangout 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 renovating it to become a restaurant that mainly served hamburgers, which had been their best-selling item. They prided themselves on being quick to get their food to customers and created a kind of food preparation assembly line. They downsized their menu to have 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 that it opened in Toledo Ohio. This was also the year that McDonald’s celebrated the sale of its billionth burger.
In 1967, McDonald’s crossed the Canadian border and opened its first restaurant outside of the United States in Richmond, British Columbia. A year later, in 1968, the 1000th McDonald’s restaurant opened and the Big Mac and hot apple pie were introduced on the menu. Apple pies were deep fried until baked apple pie replaced the deep-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, the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia.
In 1972, there were 2,200 McDonald’s franchises in operation around the world. The following year, the world met the quarter pound and the McMuffin egg.
1974 was a good year for McDonald’s with the opening of its 3,000th restaurant and, more importantly, the first Ronald McDonald’s house opened.
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 uniforms off base, except in a vehicle.
Happy Meal was a huge success since its introduction to the United States in 1978.
In 1980, the 6000 McDonald’s 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 main sponsor of the 1984 Summer Olympics and has remained the main sponsor of the Olympics ever since. This was also the year that McDonald’s served its 50 billionth burger that was cooked by the same person who cooked its first burger, Dick McDonald.
In 1988, McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in a communist country with the opening of a franchise in Belgrade Yugoslavia, which is now known as Serbia. Two years later the first McDonald’s franchise was opened in the Soviet
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 opened a restaurant so many years ago that their restaurant chain would become an international landmark for billions of people and become a part of history for generations. They are a true example of success and what can be done with a dream and some perseverance.