McDonald's: Everything to know about the fast-food chain from founders to first menu items

From its humble beginnings in San Berdardino, to the global business it is today, here's a look at McDonald's journey.

Everything to know about McDonalds - How did it start and which the prices of the first menu items
© Ralf-Finn Hestoft / Contributor / Getty_Images
Everything to know about McDonalds - How did it start and which the prices of the first menu items

McDonald’s today is synonymous with fast food. But, the origins of the first ever McDonald’s restaurant date back to the 1940s. Started by two brothers in 1948 in San Bernardino, the first McDonald’s restaurant franchise has grown exponentially over the years. It started as a drive-in restaurant that served burgers, and the brothers were doing quite well. Being near and dear to customers across all borders, from January to December, north to south, McDonald's has truly seen great success year by year. Now, McDonald's opens new outlets near every home in almost most countries across the world.

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The new restaurant in the 40s was very different from the global fast food chain it is now. It started as a small food company and soon made history for its service and food. From the restaurant's first burger in one location to the multi-location outlets close to every home, the chain currently serves breakfast through dinner. With united menu items which are available globally, today, people drive to outlets near and far, to McDonald's restaurants. Here’s the complete scoop on the evolution of McDonald’s based on its origins, food, original menu items, and prices.

History of McDonald’s

Things took a turn for the restaurant about the time Ray Kroc became its franchise agent for the brothers. Ray Kroc's visions for the restaurants were unlike anything else. He opened the McDonald’s Systems and McDonald’s Corporation and soon Kroc bought out the brothers. When Kroc opened his first franchise, people were still getting used to the concept of fast food. This move, which is considered iconic, made news at the time around the world and set the path for a booming fast food business. And every day, since that day, the fast-food chain has grown to become the huge business conglomerate it is, as it continually opens new branches in North America and the rest of the globe.

Soon, iconic features such as the Big Mac, Ronald McDonald, fries, famous breakfast menu items, and coffee started, in order to attract customers. Its impeccable service drives people to the restaurants every day. Images from the first-ever outlet make the company almost unrecognizable to this day. In 1963, McDonald's introduced Ronald McDonald, thus redefining its image. And just like that, what started as a small company based out of San Bernardino became a fan-favorite restaurant from January to December.

McDonald’s first menu items

The original McDonald’s offering was unlike any menu you see around the world. The original menu set by the brothers only featured items like hamburgers and potato chips. Drinks such as cola and milkshakes, and pies accompanied this. This was before the era of the famous Big Mac, McFlurry, and so on, which came into the picture later on.

McDonald's original prices

McDonald's made news at the time when they served burgers at a better price than their competitors. A burger used to cost 15 cents, and a cup of coffee was only about 10 cents when they opened. The prices went up around the years McDonald's rebranded itself, but even then, it was cheaper than other restaurants. As business kept booming, McDonald's united its menu and added items such as the cheeseburger for 19 cents. And french fries that were priced at 10 cents for their customers.

McDonald's today

Over the years, McDonald's has seen immense success. Anytime you search for images of a burger, there's a chance that you'll find a picture of McDonald's. Its reach is unparalleled, and it continues to grow by the minute with every new outlet it opens.

Sources used:

- Britannica: 'McDonald's American Corporation'

McDonald's: Here are the most popular menu items of the fast-food chain McDonald's: Here are the most popular menu items of the fast-food chain