The stories of small fast food restaurants, which initially had no claim to creating a fast food empire, are truly inspiring. We take a look back at the history of the first McDonald's, the first Burger King, the first KFC, and the first Pizza Hut.
The first McDonald’s was created in 1937 by Richard and Maurice McDonald. They were living in Des Plaines in the suburbs of Chicago. They specialised in barbecues but most of their revenue came from hamburger sales. So they decided to close the first restaurant to open a McDonald’s, as we know it today, which specialised in hamburgers. It was located in San Bernardino, California, and opened in 1948. These two restaurants have closed since, and the one in San Bernardino has been transformed into a museum. In the UK, the first McDonald’s opened in Woolwich in southeast London in 1974.
Before being known as Burger King, the brand was Insta Burger King. Created in 1953, it was clearly a competitor of McDonald’s. James McLamore, one of its founders, had visited a McDonald’s and thought it was a genius idea. The first Insta Burger King restaurant opened in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1954, the founders changed the brand name to Burger King. The first UK restaurant opened on Coventry Street in London in 1977.
The first Kentucky Fried Chicken opened its doors in 1952, in Salt Lake City in Utah. Not at all in Kentucky. Ironic? It was set up by Harland Sanders, who had started his experience in catering by serving chicken in a Shell service station in Corbin, Kentucky. The first UK KFC restaurant opened in 1965 in Preston, and it was the first overseas branch to be set up.
Pizza Hut was founded by two students from Wichita in Kansas. They decided to open a pizza stall in 1958, after borrowing 600 dollars (approximately 465 pounds ) from their mother. The small brick house was situated at a busy crossroads in Wichita, and seated up to 25 people. It wasn’t really a hut, but the two brothers wanted a sign with the word ‘PIZZA,’ and there were only 3 more possible letters. And that was how Pizza Hut was born. Its first UK store opened in 1988 in Islington, London.