McDonald's is an American fast food company, founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California, United States. They rechristened their business as a hamburger stand, and later turned the company into a franchise, with the Golden Arches logo being introduced in 1953 at a location in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1955, Ray Kroc, a businessman, joined the company as a franchise agent and proceeded to purchase the chain from the McDonald brothers. McDonald's had its original headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, but moved its global headquarters to Chicago in early 2018.
McDonald's is the world's largest restaurant chain by revenue, serving over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across 37,855 outlets as of 2018. Although McDonald's is best known for its hamburgers, cheeseburgers and french fries, they also feature chicken products, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes and a negative backlash because of the unhealthiness of their food, the company has added to its menu salads, fish, smoothies, and fruit. The McDonald's Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. According to two reports published in 2018, McDonald's is the world's fourth-largest private employer with 1.7 million employees (behind Walmart with 2.3 million employees).
|Genre||Fast food restaurant|
|Founded||May 15, 1940 in San Bernardino, California|
|Founders||Richard and Maurice McDonald|
Number of locations
|37,855 restaurants (2018)|
|Revenue||US$21.025 billion (2018)|
|US$8.823 billion (2018)|
|US$5.924 billion (2018)|
|Total assets||US$32.811 billion (2018)|
|Total equity||US$-6.258 billion (2018)|
Number of employees
|~ 210,000 (2018)|
|Footnotes / references|
The siblings Richard and Maurice McDonald opened in 1940 the first McDonald's at 1398 North E Street at West 14th Street in San Bernardino, California (at ) but it was not the McDonald's recognizable today; Ray Kroc made changes to the brothers' business to modernize it. The brothers introduced the "Speedee Service System" in 1948, putting into expanded use the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant that their predecessor White Castle had put into practice more than two decades earlier. The original mascot of McDonald's was a chef hat on top of a hamburger who was referred to as "Speedee". In 1962, the Golden Arches replaced Speedee as the universal mascot. The symbol, Ronald McDonald, was introduced in 1965. The clown, Ronald McDonald, appeared in advertising to target their audience of children.
On May 4, 1961, McDonald's first filed for a U.S. trademark on the name "McDonald's" with the description "Drive-In Restaurant Services", which continues to be renewed. By September 13, McDonald's, under the guidance of Ray Kroc, filed for a trademark on a new logo—an overlapping, double-arched "M" symbol. But before the double arches, McDonald's used a single arch for the architecture of their buildings. Although the "Golden Arches" logo appeared in various forms, the present version was not used until November 18, 1968, when the company was favored a U.S. trademark.
The present corporation credits its founding to franchised businessman Ray Kroc in on April 15, 1955. This was in fact the ninth opened McDonald's restaurant overall, although this location was destroyed and rebuilt in 1984. Kroc later purchased the McDonald brothers' equity in the company and begun the company's worldwide reach. Kroc was recorded as being an aggressive business partner, driving the McDonald brothers out of the industry.
Kroc and the McDonald brothers fought for control of the business, as documented in Kroc's autobiography. The San Bernardino restaurant was eventually torn down (1971, according to Juan Pollo) and the site was sold to the Juan Pollo chain in 1976. This area now serves as headquarters for the Juan Pollo chain, and a McDonald's and Route 66 museum. With the expansion of McDonald's into many international markets, the company has become a symbol of globalization and the spread of the American way of life. Its prominence has also made it a frequent topic of public debates about obesity, corporate ethics, and consumer responsibility.
McDonald's restaurants are found in 120 countries and territories around the world and serve 68 million customers each day. McDonald's operates 37,855 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 210,000 people as of the end of 2018. There are currently a total of 2,770 company-owned locations and 35,085 franchised locations, which includes 21,685 locations franchised to conventional franchisees, 7,225 locations licensed to developmental licensees, and 6,175 locations licensed to foreign affiliates.
Focusing on its core brand, McDonald's began divesting itself of other chains it had acquired during the 1990s. The company owned a majority stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill until October 2006, when McDonald's fully divested from Chipotle through a stock exchange. Until December 2003, it also owned Donatos Pizza, and it owned a small share of Aroma Cafe from 1999 to 2001. On August 27, 2007, McDonald's sold Boston Market to Sun Capital Partners.
Notably, McDonald's has increased shareholder dividends for 25 consecutive years, making it one of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats. The company is ranked 131st on the Fortune 500 of the largest United States corporations by revenue. In October 2012, its monthly sales fell for the first time in nine years. In 2014, its quarterly sales fell for the first time in seventeen years, when its sales dropped for the entirety of 1997.
In the United States, it is reported that drive-throughs account for 70 percent of sales. McDonald's closed down 184 restaurants in the United States in 2015, which was 59 more than what they planned to open. This move was also the first time McDonald's had a net decrease in the number of locations in the United States since 1970.
For the fiscal year 2017, McDonalds reported earnings of US$5.2 billion, with an annual revenue of US$22.8 billion, an decrease of 7.3% over the previous fiscal cycle. McDonald's shares traded at over $145 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$134.5 billion in September 2018.
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The company currently owns all the land, which is valued at an estimated $16 to $18 billion, on which its restaurants are situated. The company earns a significant portion of its revenue from rental payments from franchisees. These rent payments rose 26 percent between 2010 and 2015, accounting for one-fifth of the company's total revenue at the end of the period. In recent times, there have been calls to spin off the company's US holdings into a potential real estate investment trust, but the company announced at its investor conference on November 10, 2015, that this would not happen. The CEO, Steve Easterbrook discussed that pursuing the REIT option would pose too large a risk to the company's business model.
The United Kingdom and Ireland business model is different from the U.S, in that fewer than 30 percent of restaurants are franchised, with the majority under the ownership of the company. McDonald's trains its franchisees and management at Hamburger University located at its Chicago headquarters. In other countries, McDonald's restaurants are operated by joint ventures of McDonald's Corporation and other, local entities or governments.
According to Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (2001), nearly one in eight workers in the U.S. have at some time been employed by McDonald's. Employees are encouraged by McDonald's Corp. to maintain their health by singing along to their favorite songs in order to relieve stress, attending church services in order to have a lower blood pressure, and taking two vacations annually in order to reduce risk for myocardial infarction. Fast Food Nation also states that McDonald's is the largest private operator of playgrounds in the U.S., as well as the single largest purchaser of beef, pork, potatoes, and apples. The selection of meats McDonald's uses varies to some extent based on the culture of the host country.
On June 13, 2016, McDonald's confirmed plans to move its global headquarters to Chicago's West Loop neighborhood in the Near West Side. The 608,000-square-foot structure was built on the former site of Harpo Productions (where the Oprah Winfrey Show and several other Harpo productions taped) and opened on June 4, 2018.
The McDonald's former headquarters complex, McDonald's Plaza, is located in Oak Brook, Illinois. It sits on the site of the former headquarters and stabling area of Paul Butler, the founder of Oak Brook. McDonald's moved into the Oak Brook facility from an office within the Chicago Loop in 1971.
As of January 2019, the board of directors had the following members:
On March 1, 2015, after being chief brand officer of McDonald's and its former head in the UK and northern Europe, Steve Easterbrook became CEO, succeeding Don Thompson, who stepped down on January 28, 2015.
McDonald's has become emblematic of globalization, sometimes referred to as the "McDonaldization" of society. The Economist newspaper uses the "Big Mac Index": the comparison of a Big Mac's cost in various world currencies can be used to informally judge these currencies' purchasing power parity. Switzerland has the most expensive Big Mac in the world as of July 2015, while the country with the least expensive Big Mac is India (albeit for a Maharaja Mac—the next cheapest Big Mac is Hong Kong).
Thomas Friedman once said that no country with a McDonald's had gone to war with another. However, the "Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention" is not strictly true. Exceptions are the 1989 United States invasion of Panama, NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999, the 2006 Lebanon War, and the 2008 South Ossetia war. McDonald's suspended operations in its corporate-owned stores in Crimea after Russia annexed the region in 2014. On August 20, 2014, as tensions between the United States and Russia strained over events in Ukraine, and the resultant U.S. sanctions, the Russian government temporarily shut down four McDonald's outlets in Moscow, citing sanitary concerns. The company has operated in Russia since 1990 and at August 2014 had 438 stores across the country. On August 23, 2014, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich ruled out any government move to ban McDonald's and dismissed the notion that the temporary closures had anything to do with the sanctions.
Some observers have suggested that the company should be given credit for increasing the standard of service in markets that it enters. A group of anthropologists in a study entitled Golden Arches East looked at the impact McDonald's had on East Asia and Hong Kong, in particular. When it opened in Hong Kong in 1975, McDonald's was the first restaurant to consistently offer clean restrooms, driving customers to demand the same of other restaurants and institutions. McDonald's has taken to partnering up with Sinopec, the second largest oil company in the People's Republic of China, as it takes advantage of the country's growing use of personal vehicles by opening numerous drive-thru restaurants. McDonald's has opened a McDonald's restaurant and McCafé on the underground premises of the French fine arts museum, The Louvre.
The company stated it would open vegetarian-only restaurants in India by mid-2013. Foreign restaurants are banned in Bermuda, with the exception of KFC, which was present before the current law was passed. Therefore, there are no McDonald's in Bermuda.
On January 9, 2017, 80% of the franchise rights in the mainland China and in Hong Kong were sold for US$2.080 billion to a consortium of CITIC Limited (for 32%) and private equity funds managed by CITIC Capital (for 20%) and Carlyle (for 20%), which CITIC Limited and CITIC Capital would also formed a joint venture to own the stake.
On April 1, 2019 Nations Restaurant News reported that McDonald’s made a rare choice, spending $3.7 million to invest in Plexure (a New Zealand app developer). Which makes this investment a first for McDonald’s.
McDonald's predominantly sells hamburgers, various types of chicken, chicken sandwiches, French fries, soft drinks, breakfast items, and desserts. In most markets, McDonald's offers salads and vegetarian items, wraps and other localized fare. On a seasonal basis, McDonald's offers the McRib sandwich. Some speculate the seasonality of the McRib adds to its appeal.
Products are offered as either "dine-in" (where the customer opts to eat in the restaurant) or "take-out" (where the customer opts to take the food off the premises). "Dine-in" meals are provided on a plastic tray with a paper insert on the floor of the tray. "Take-out" meals are usually delivered with the contents enclosed in a distinctive McDonald's-branded brown paper bag. In both cases, the individual items are wrapped or boxed as appropriate.
Since Steve Easterbrook became CEO of the company, McDonald's has streamlined the menu which in the United States contained nearly 200 items. The company has also looked to introduce healthier options, and removed high-fructose corn syrup from hamburger buns. The company has also removed artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets, replacing chicken skin, safflower oil and citric acid found in Chicken McNuggets with pea starch, rice starch and powdered lemon juice.
In September 2018, McDonald's USA announced that they no longer use artificial preservatives, flavors and colors entirely from seven classic burgers sold in the U.S., including the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, double Quarter Pounder with Cheese and the Big Mac. Nevertheless, the pickles will still be made with an artificial preservative, although customers can choose to opt out of getting pickles with their burgers.
Restaurants in several countries, particularly in Asia, serve soup. This local deviation from the standard menu is a characteristic for which the chain is particularly known, and one which is employed either to abide by regional food taboos (such as the religious prohibition of beef consumption in India) or to make available foods with which the regional market is more familiar (such as the sale of McRice in Indonesia, or Ebi (prawn) Burger in Singapore and Japan).
In Germany and some other Western European countries, McDonald's sells beer. In New Zealand, McDonald's sells meat pies, after the local affiliate partially relaunched the Georgie Pie fast food chain it bought out in 1996.
In the United States and Canada, after limited trials on a regional basis, McDonald's began offering in 2015 and 2017, respectively, a partial breakfast menu during all hours its restaurants are open.
Most standalone McDonald's restaurants offer both counter service and drive-through service, with indoor and sometimes outdoor seating. Drive-Thru, Auto-Mac, Pay and Drive, or "McDrive" as it is known in many countries, often has separate stations for placing, paying for, and picking up orders, though the latter two steps are frequently combined; it was first introduced in Sierra Vista, Arizona in 1975, following the lead of other fast-food chains. The first such restaurant in Britain opened at Fallowfield, Manchester in 1986.
In some countries, "McDrive" locations near highways offer no counter service or seating. In contrast, locations in high-density city neighborhoods often omit drive-through service. There are also a few locations, located mostly in downtown districts, that offer a "Walk-Thru" service in place of Drive-Thru.
McCafé is a café-style accompaniment to McDonald's restaurants and is a concept created by McDonald's Australia (also known, and marketed, as "Macca's" in Australia), starting with Melbourne in 1993. As of 2016, most McDonald's in Australia have McCafés located within the existing McDonald's restaurant. In Tasmania, there are McCafés in every restaurant, with the rest of the states quickly following suit. After upgrading to the new McCafé look and feel, some Australian restaurants have noticed up to a 60 percent increase in sales. At the end of 2003, there were over 600 McCafés worldwide.
From 2015–2016, McDonald's tried a new gourmet burger service and restaurant concept based on other gourmet restaurants such as Shake Shack and Grill'd. It was rolled out for the first time in Australia during the early months of 2015 and expanded to China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Arabia and New Zealand, with ongoing trials in the US market. In dedicated "Create Your Taste" (CYT) kiosks, customers could choose all ingredients including type of bun and meat along with optional extras. In late 2015 the Australian CYT service introduced CYT salads.
After a person had ordered, McDonald's advised that wait times were between 10–15 minutes. When the food was ready, trained crew ('hosts') brought the food to the customer's table. Instead of McDonald's usual cardboard and plastic packaging, CYT food was presented on wooden boards, fries in wire baskets and salads in china bowls with metal cutlery. A higher price applied.
In November 2016, Create Your Taste was replaced by a "Signature Crafted Recipes" program designed to be more efficient and less expensive.
Some locations are connected to gas stations/convenience stores, while others called McExpress have limited seating and/or menu or may be located in a shopping mall. Other McDonald's are located in Walmart stores. McStop is a location targeted at truckers and travelers which may have services found at truck stops.
In Sweden, customers who order a happy meal can use the meal's container for a pair of happy goggles. The company created a game for the goggles known as "Slope Stars. " McDonald's predicts happy goggles will continue in other countries. In the Netherlands, McDonald's has introduced McTrax that doubles as a recording studio; it reacts to touch. They can create their own beats with a synth and tweak sounds with special effects.
McDonald's playgrounds are called McDonald's PlayPlace. Some McDonald's in suburban areas and certain cities feature large indoor or outdoor playgrounds. The first PlayPlace with the familiar crawl-tube design with ball pits and slides was introduced in 1987 in the US, with many more being constructed soon after.
McDonald's Next use open-concept design and offer "Create Your Taste" digital ordering. The concept store also offers free mobile device charging and table service after 6:00 pm. The first store opened in Hong Kong in December 2015.
The goal of the redesign is to be more like a coffee shop, similar to Starbucks. The design includes wooden tables, faux-leather chairs, and muted colors; the red was muted to terracotta, the yellow was shifted to golden for a more "sunny" look, and olive and sage green were also added.
To create a warmer look, the restaurants have less plastic and more brick and wood, with modern hanging lights to produce a softer glow. Many restaurants now feature free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Other upgrades include double drive-thrus, flat roofs instead of the angled red roofs, and replacing fiber glass with wood. Also, instead of the familiar golden arches, the restaurants now feature "semi-swooshes" (half of a golden arch), similar to the Nike swoosh.
McDonald's began banning smoking in 1994 when it restricted customers from smoking within its 1,400 wholly owned restaurants.
Since the late 1990s, McDonald's has attempted to replace employees with electronic kiosks which would perform actions such as taking orders and accepting money. In 1999, McDonald's first tested "E-Clerks" in suburban Chicago, Illinois, and Wyoming, Michigan, with the devices being able to "save money on live staffers" and attracting larger purchase amounts than average employees.
In 2013, the University of Oxford estimated that in the succeeding decades, there was a 92% probability of food preparation and serving to become automated in fast food establishments. By 2016, McDonald's "Create Your Taste" electronic kiosks were seen in some restaurants internationally where customers could custom order meals. As employees pushed for higher wages in the late-2010s, some believed that fast food companies such as McDonald's would use the devices to cut costs for employing individuals.
On August 5, 2013, The Guardian revealed that 90 percent of McDonald's UK workforce are on zero hour contracts, making it possibly the largest such private sector employer in the country. A study released by Fast Food Forward conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research showed that approximately 84 percent of all fast food employees working in New York City in April 2013 had been paid less than their legal wages by their employers.
From 2007 to 2011, fast food workers in the US drew an average of $7 billion of public assistance annually resulting from receiving low wages. The McResource website advised employees to break their food into smaller pieces to feel fuller, seek refunds for unopened holiday purchases, sell possessions online for quick cash, and to "quit complaining" as "stress hormone levels rise by 15 percent after ten minutes of complaining." In December 2013, McDonald's shut down the McResource website amidst negative publicity and criticism. McDonald's plans to continue an internal telephone help line through which its employees can obtain advice on work and life problems.
Liberal think tank, the Roosevelt Institute, accuses some McDonald's restaurants of actually paying less than the minimum wage to entry positions due to 'rampant' wage theft. In South Korea, McDonald's pays part-time employees $5.50 an hour and is accused of paying less with arbitrary schedules adjustments and pay delays. In late 2015, Anonymous aggregated data collected by Glassdoor suggests that McDonald's in the United States pays entry-level employees between $7.25 an hour and $11 an hour, with an average of $8.69 an hour. Shift managers get paid an average of $10.34 an hour. Assistant managers get paid an average of $11.57 an hour. McDonald's CEO, Steve Easterbrook, currently earns an annual salary of $1,100,000. His total compensation for 2017 was $21,761,052.
McDonald's workers have on occasions decided to strike over pay, with most of the employees on strike seeking to be paid $15.00. When interviewed about the strikes occurring, former McDonald's CEO Ed Rensi stated: "It's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making $15 an hour bagging french fries" with Rensi explaining that increasing employee wages could possibly take away from entry-level jobs. However, according to Easterbrook, increasing wages and benefits for workers saw a 6% increase in customer satisfaction when comparing 2015's first quarter data to the first quarter of 2016, with greater returns seen as a result.
In September 2017, two British McDonald's stores agreed to a strike over zero-hours contracts for staff. Picket lines were formed around the two stores in Crayford and Cambridge. The strike was supported by the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.
In March 2015, McDonald's workers in 19 US cities filed 28 health and safety complaints with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration which allege that low staffing, lack of protective gear, poor training and pressure to work fast has resulted in injuries. The complaints also allege that, because of a lack of first aid supplies, workers were told by management to treat burn injuries with condiments such as mayonnaise and mustard. The Fight for $15 labor organization aided the workers in filing the complaints.
In 2015, McDonald's pledged to stop using eggs from battery cage facilities by 2025. Since McDonald's purchases over 2 billion eggs per year or 4 percent of eggs produced in the United States, the switch is expected to have a major impact on the egg industry and is part of a general trend toward cage-free eggs driven by consumer concern over the harsh living conditions of hens. The aviary systems from which the new eggs will be sourced are troubled by much higher mortality rates, as well as introducing environmental and worker safety problems. The high hen mortality rate, which is more than double that of battery cage systems, will require new research to mitigate. The facilities also have higher ammonia levels due to faeces being kicked up into the air. Producers raised concerns about the production cost, which is expected to increase by 36 percent.
McDonald's has for decades maintained an extensive advertising campaign. In addition to the usual media (television, radio, and newspaper), the company makes significant use of billboards and signage, and also sponsors sporting events ranging from Little League to the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games. Television has played a central role in the company's advertising strategy. To date, McDonald's has used 23 different slogans in United States advertising, as well as a few other slogans for select countries and regions.
In 2007, it was celebrated in 17 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, England, Finland, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, and Uruguay.
According to the Australian McHappy Day website, McHappy Day raised $20.4 million in 2009. The goal for 2010 was $20.8 million.
In 1995, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital received an anonymous letter postmarked in Dallas, Texas, containing a $1 million winning McDonald's Monopoly game piece. McDonald's officials came to the hospital, accompanied by a representative from the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, who examined the card under a jeweler's eyepiece, handled it with plastic gloves, and verified it as a winner. Although game rules prohibited the transfer of prizes, McDonald's waived the rule and made the annual $50,000 annuity payments for the full 20-year period through 2014, even after learning that the piece was sent by an individual involved in an embezzlement scheme intended to defraud McDonald's.
McRefugees are poor people in Hong Kong, Japan, and China who use McDonald's 24-hour restaurants as a temporary hostel. One in five of Hong Kong's population lives below the poverty line. The rise of McRefugees was first documented by photographer Suraj Katra in 2013.
In 1990, activists from a small group known as London Greenpeace (no connection to the international group Greenpeace) distributed leaflets entitled What's wrong with McDonald's?, criticizing its environmental, health, and labor record. The corporation wrote to the group demanding they desist and apologize, and, when two of the activists refused to back down, sued them for libel in one of the longest cases in British civil law. A documentary film of the McLibel Trial has been shown in several countries.
In the late 1980s, Phil Sokolof, a millionaire businessman who had suffered a heart attack at the age of 43, took out full-page newspaper ads in New York, Chicago, and other large cities accusing McDonald's menu of being a threat to American health, and asking them to stop using beef tallow to cook their french fries.
Though the company objected, the term "McJob" was added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary in 2003. The term was defined as "a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement".
In 2001, Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation included criticism of the business practices of McDonald's. Among the critiques were allegations that McDonald's (along with other companies within the fast food industry) uses its political influence to increase its profits at the expense of people's health and the social conditions of its workers. The book also brought into question McDonald's advertisement techniques in which it targets children. While the book did mention other fast-food chains, it focused primarily on McDonald's.
Morgan Spurlock's 2004 documentary film Super Size Me claimed that McDonald's food was contributing to the increase of obesity in society and that the company was failing to provide nutritional information about its food for its customers. Six weeks after the film premiered, McDonald's announced that it was eliminating the super size option, and was creating the adult Happy Meal.
In 2006, an unsanctioned McDonald's Video Game by Italian group Molleindustria was released online. It is parody of the business practices of the corporate giant, taking the guise of a tycoon style business simulation game. In the game, the player plays the role of a McDonald's CEO, choosing whether or not to use controversial practices like genetically altered cow feed, plowing over rainforests, and corrupting public officials. McDonald's issued a statement distancing itself from the game.
In January 2014, it was reported that McDonald's was accused of having used a series of tax maneuvers to avoid taxes in France. The company confirmed that tax authorities had visited McDonald's French headquarters in Paris but insisted that it had not done anything wrong, saying, "McDonald's firmly denies the accusation made by L'Express according to which McDonald's supposedly hid part of its revenue from taxes in France."
In response to public pressure, McDonald's has sought to include more healthy choices in its menu and has introduced a new slogan to its recruitment posters: "Not bad for a McJob". The word McJob, first attested in the mid-1980s and later popularized by Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland in his book Generation X, has become a buzz word for low-paid, unskilled work with few prospects or benefits and little security. McDonald's disputes this definition of McJob. In 2007, the company launched an advertising campaign with the slogan "Would you like a career with that?" on Irish television, asserting that its jobs have good prospects.
In an effort to respond to growing consumer awareness of food provenance, the fast-food chain changed its supplier of both coffee beans and milk. UK chief executive Steve Easterbrook said: "British consumers are increasingly interested in the quality, sourcing, and ethics of the food and drink they buy". In a bid to tap into the ethical consumer market, McDonald's switched to using coffee beans taken from stocks that are certified by the Rainforest Alliance, a conservation group. Additionally, in response to pressure, McDonald's UK started using organic milk supplies for its bottled milk and hot drinks, although it still uses conventional milk in its milkshakes, and in all of its dairy products in the United States. According to a report published by Farmers Weekly in 2007, the quantity of milk used by McDonald's could have accounted for as much as 5 percent of the UK's organic milk output.
McDonald's announced on May 22, 2008, that, in the United States and Canada, it would switch to using cooking oil that contains no trans fats for its french fries, and canola-based oil with corn and soy oils, for its baked items, pies and cookies, by year's end.
With regard to acquiring chickens from suppliers who use CAK/CAS methods of slaughter, McDonald's says that it needs to see more research "to help determine whether any CAS system in current use is optimal from an animal welfare perspective."
After McDonald's received criticism for its environmental policies in the 1970s, it began to make substantial progress in reducing its use of materials. For instance, an "average meal" in the 1970s—a Big Mac, fries, and a drink—required 46 grams (1.6 oz) of packaging; today, it requires only 25 grams (0.88 oz), a 46 percent reduction. In addition, McDonald's eliminated the need for intermediate containers for cola by having a delivery system that pumps syrup directly from the delivery truck into storage containers, saving two million pounds (910 tonnes) of packaging annually. Overall, weight reductions in packaging and products, as well as increased usage of bulk packaging, ultimately decreased packaging by twenty-four million pounds (11,000 tonnes) annually. McDonald's effort to reduce solid waste by using less packaging and by promoting the use of recycled-content materials has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In 1990, McDonald's worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to stop using "clam shell"-shaped styrofoam food containers to house its food products. Twenty years later, McDonald's announced they would try replacing styrofoam coffee cups with an alternative material.
In April 2008, McDonald's announced that 11 of its Sheffield, England restaurants have been engaged in a biomass trial program that cut its waste and carbon footprint by half in the area. In this trial, wastes from the restaurants were collected by Veolia Environmental Services and were used to produce energy at a power plant. McDonald's plans to expand this project, although the lack of biomass power plants in the United States will prevent this plan from becoming a national standard there anytime soon. In addition, in Europe, McDonald's has been recycling vegetable grease by converting it to fuel for its diesel trucks.
McDonald's uses a corn-based bioplastic to produce containers for some of its products. The environmental benefits of this technology are controversial, with critics noting that biodegradation is slow, produces greenhouse gases, and that contamination of traditional plastic waste streams with bioplastics can complicate recycling efforts.
In an effort to reduce energy usage by 25 percent in its restaurants, McDonald's opened a prototype restaurant in Chicago in 2009 with the intention of using the model in its other restaurants throughout the world. Building on past efforts, specifically a restaurant it opened in Sweden in 2000 that was the first to intentionally incorporate green ideas, McDonald's designed the Chicago site to save energy by incorporating old and new ideas such as managing storm water, using skylights for more natural lighting, and installing some partitions and tabletops made from recycled goods.
McDonald's has been involved in a number of lawsuits and other legal cases, most of which involved trademark disputes. The company has threatened many food businesses with legal action unless it drops the Mc or Mac from trading names.
In April 2017, Irish fast-food chain Supermac's submitted a request to the European Union Property Office to cancel McDonald's owned trademarks within the European Union, claiming that McDonald's engaged in "trademark bullying; registering brand names... which are simply stored away in a war chest to use against future competitors", after the trademarks had prevented Supermac's from expanding out of Ireland. The EUIPO ruled in Supermac's favour, finding that McDonald's "has not proven genuine use" of many trademarks, cancelling McDonald's owned trademarks such as 'Big Mac' and certain 'Mc' related trademarks within the European Union.
On September 8, 2009, McDonald's Malaysian operations lost a lawsuit to prevent another restaurant calling itself McCurry. McDonald's lost in an appeal to Malaysia's highest court, the Federal Court.
The longest-running legal action of all time in the UK was the McLibel case against two defendants who criticized a number of aspects of the company. The trial lasted 10 years and called 130 witnesses. The European Court of Human Rights deemed that the unequal resources of the litigants breached the defendants rights to freedom of speech and biased the trial. The result was widely seen as a "PR disaster."
A famous legal case in the US involving McDonald's was the 1994 decision in Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants where Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident Stella Liebeck was initially awarded $2.86 million (equivalent to $4.49 million in 2018) after 81 year old Liebeck suffered third-degree burns after spilling a scalding cup of McDonald's coffee on herself. The award was later reduced to $640,000 (equivalent to $1.0 million in 2018).
In April 2014, it was reported that McDonald's in Europe will use chicken meat that was produced by using genetically modified animal feed. Greenpeace argues that McDonald's saves less than one Eurocent for each chicken burger and goes down a path not desired by its customers.
At the end of 2018, a study was published by London Metropolitan University showing that bacteria were found on McDonald's self-service screens, which normally only occur in intestinal tracts or faeces. A total of eight restaurants were examined in London and Birmingham, and more than 10 potentially harmful germs were found, including an antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
In 1962, McDonald's golden arches replaced Speedee as the restaurant's main symbol, and ads told customers to "Look for the golden arches." ... Kroc believed in advertising heavily and in targeting children. In 1965, the company introduced a new mascot, a red-haired clown named Ronald McDonald, who became a frequent and friendly face in television commercials.
These and other tips appear on a "McResource Line" website created by the McDonald's Corp. to advise workers on stress, health and personal finances. Among the tips that appear on the site: "Chewing gum can reduce cortisol levels by 16%"; "At least two vacations a year can cut heart attack risk by 50%"; "Singing along to your favorite songs can lower your blood pressure"; and "People who attend more church services tend to have lower blood pressure."
The Big Mac is a hamburger sold by international fast food restaurant chain McDonald's. It was introduced in the Greater Pittsburgh area, United States, in 1967 and nationwide in 1968. It is one of the company's flagship products.Chicken McNuggets
Chicken McNuggets are a type of chicken product sold by the international fast food restaurant chain McDonald's. Chicken McNuggets were conceived by Keystone Foods in the late 1970s eventually leading to their introduction in select markets in 1981. The nuggets were made available worldwide by 1983 after the fixing of a supply issue. The formula was changed in 2016 to remove artificial preservatives and improve the nutrition. They consist of small pieces of processed boneless chicken meat that have been battered and deep fried.Fast food restaurant
A fast food restaurant, also known as a quick service restaurant (QSR) within the industry, is a specific type of restaurant that serves fast food cuisine and has minimal table service. The food served in fast food restaurants is typically part of a "meat-sweet diet", offered from a limited menu, cooked in bulk in advance and kept hot, finished and packaged to order, and usually available for take away, though seating may be provided. Fast food restaurants are typically part of a restaurant chain or franchise operation that provides standardized ingredients and/or partially prepared foods and supplies to each restaurant through controlled supply channels. The term "fast food" was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam–Webster in 1951.Arguably, the first fast food restaurants originated in the United States with White Castle in 1921. Today, American-founded fast food chains such as McDonald's (est. 1940) and KFC (est. 1952) are multinational corporations with outlets across the globe.
Variations on the fast food restaurant concept include fast casual restaurants and catering trucks. Fast casual restaurants have higher sit-in ratios, offering a hybrid between counter-service typical at fast food restaurants and a traditional table service restaurant. Catering trucks (also called food trucks) often park just outside worksites and are popular with factory workers.Filet-O-Fish
The Filet-O-Fish, also known as the Fish-O-Filet, is a fish sandwich sold by the international fast food restaurant chain McDonald's. It was created in 1962 by Lou Groen, a McDonald's franchise owner in Cincinnati, Ohio, in response to falling hamburger sales on Fridays resulting from the Roman Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays. While the fish composition of the sandwich has changed through the years to satisfy taste and supply shortcomings, the framework of its ingredients have remained constant; a fried breaded fish fillet, a steamed bun, tartar sauce and pasteurized processed American cheese.Happy Meal
A Happy Meal is a kids' meal sold at the fast food restaurant chain McDonald's since June 1979. A small toy is included with the food, both of which are usually contained in a red box with a yellow smiley face and the McDonald's logo. The packaging and toy are frequently part of a marketing tie-in to an existing television show, film, or toy brand.History of McDonald's
This history of McDonald's is an overview of the original restaurant and of the chain.Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants
Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants, also known as the McDonald's coffee case and the hot coffee lawsuit, was a 1994 product liability lawsuit that became a flashpoint in the debate in the United States over tort reform. Although a New Mexico civil jury awarded $2.86 million to plaintiff Stella Liebeck, a 79-year-old woman who suffered third-degree burns in her pelvic region when she accidentally spilled hot coffee in her lap after purchasing it from a McDonald's restaurant, ultimately Liebeck was only awarded $640,000. Liebeck was hospitalized for eight days while she underwent skin grafting, followed by two years of medical treatment.
Liebeck's attorneys argued that, at 180–190 °F (82–88 °C), McDonald's coffee was defective, claiming it was too hot and more likely to cause serious injury than coffee served at any other establishment. McDonald's had refused several prior opportunities to settle for less than what the jury ultimately awarded. The jury damages included $160,000 to cover medical expenses and compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages. The trial judge reduced the final verdict to $640,000, and the parties settled for a confidential amount before an appeal was decided.The case was said by some to be an example of frivolous litigation; ABC News called the case "the poster child of excessive lawsuits", while the legal scholar Jonathan Turley argued that the claim was "a meaningful and worthy lawsuit". Ex attorney Susan Saladoff however sees the manner in which the case was portrayed in the media, as purposeful misrepresentation due to political and corporate influences. In June 2011, HBO premiered Hot Coffee, a documentary that discussed in depth how the Liebeck case has centered in debates on tort reform.List of McDonald's products
McDonald's is one of the world's largest fast food chains, founded in 1940 in San Bernardino, USA and incorporated in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955. Since then, McDonald's has become a household name in American households, known for selling a variety of convenience food items at thousands of locations worldwide. Throughout its history, McDonald's has experimented with a number of different offerings on the menu. In 2007, McDonald's had only 85 items on its menu. In 2013, McDonald's grew to 145 items on its menu.List of countries with McDonald's restaurants
This is a listing of countries with McDonald's restaurants. McDonald's is the largest chain of fast food restaurants in the world. It has more than 35,000 outlets worldwide. The majority of McDonald's outlets outside of the United States are franchises.
The biggest temporary McDonald's restaurant in the world was opened during 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which had 3,000 square metres (32,000 sq ft). The biggest still standing one is probably that at Will Rogers Turnpike.The list of countries follows the company's own calculation, and contains several non-sovereign territories.Mac Tonight
Mac Tonight was a fictional character used in the marketing for McDonald's restaurants during the 1980s. Known for his crescent moon head, sunglasses and piano-playing, the character used the song "Mack the Knife" which was made famous in the United States by Bobby Darin. Throughout the campaign, Mac was portrayed by actor Doug Jones in his fourth Hollywood job.
Originally conceived as a promotion to increase dinner sales by Southern California licensees, Mac Tonight's popularity led McDonald's to take it nationwide in 1987. However, McDonald's ceased airing the commercials after settling a lawsuit brought by Darin's estate in 1989, although the character was reintroduced in Southeast Asia in 2007.McDonald's All-American Game
The McDonald's All-American Game is the all-star basketball game played each year for American and Canadian boys' and girls' high-school basketball graduates. Consisting of the top players, each team plays a single exhibition game after the conclusion of the high-school basketball season, in an East vs. West format. As part of the annual event, boys and girls compete in a slam dunk contest and a three-point shooting competition, and compete alongside All-American Game alumni in a timed team shootout. The last of these competitions replaced separate overall timed skills competitions for boys and girls. It is rare for girls to compete in the slam dunk contest. However, that contest has been won twice by girls—first in 2004 by Candace Parker, and most recently in 2019 by Fran Belibi. The boys' game has been contested annually since 1978, and the girls game has been played each year since it was added in 2002.
The McDonald's All-American designation began in 1977 with the selection of the inaugural team. That year, the All-Americans played in an all-star game against a group of high school stars from the Washington, D.C. area. The following year, the McDonald's game format of East vs. West was begun with a boys contest. In 2002, with the addition of a girls contest, the current girl-game / boy-game doubleheader format began.
The McDonald's All-American Team is the best-known of the American high-school basketball All-American teams. Designation as a McDonald's All-American instantly brands a player as one of the top high-school players in the United States or Canada. Selected athletes often go on to success in college basketball. Every college team to win the NCAA men's championship since 1978 has had at least one McDonald's All-American on its roster, except for the 2002 Maryland Terrapins and 2014 Connecticut Huskies.The teams are sponsored by the fast-food chain, McDonald's. Proceeds from the annual games go to local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and their Ronald McDonald House programs.McDonald's Monopoly
The McDonald's Monopoly game is a sales promotion of McDonald's and Hasbro, which uses the theme of the latter's board game Monopoly. The game first ran in the U.S. in 1987 and has since been used worldwide.
The promotion has used other names, such as Monopoly: Pick Your Prize! (2001), Monopoly Best Chance Game (2003–2005), Monopoly/Millionaire Game, Prize Vault (2013-2014), Money Monopoly (2016-), Coast To Coast (2015-) in Canada, Golden Chances in the UK (2015-), Prize Choice in the UK (2016-), Win Win in the UK (2017-) and Wiiiin!! in the UK (2018-).McDonaldland
McDonaldland was a fantasy world used in the marketing for McDonald's restaurants during the 1970s through the 1990s. McDonaldland was inhabited by Ronald McDonald and other characters. In addition to being used in advertising, the characters were used as the basis for equipment in the "PlayPlaces" attached to some McDonald's. The McDonaldland commercials alongside the characters were dropped from McDonald's advertising in 2003, but Ronald McDonald is still seen in commercials and in Happy Meal toys.McLibel case
McDonald's Corporation v Steel & Morris  EWHC QB 366, known as "the McLibel case", was an English lawsuit for libel filed by McDonald's Corporation against environmental activists Helen Steel and David Morris (often referred to as "The McLibel Two") over a factsheet critical of the company. Each of two hearings in English courts found some of the leaflet's contested claims to be libellous and others to be true.
The original case lasted nearly ten years which, according to the BBC, made it the longest-running libel case in English history. McDonald's announced it did not plan to collect the £40,000 it was awarded by the courts. Following the decision, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in Steel & Morris v United Kingdom the pair had been denied a fair trial, in breach of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to a fair trial) and their conduct should have been protected by Article 10 of the Convention, which protects the right to freedom of expression. The court awarded a judgement of £57,000 against the UK government. McDonald's itself was not involved in, or a party to, this action, as applications to the ECHR are independent cases filed against the relevant state.
In 2013 it was revealed that one of the authors of the "McLibel leaflet", Bob Lambert, had been an undercover police officer who had infiltrated London Greenpeace. In 2016 it was revealed that a second undercover police officer, John Dines, had a sexual, romantic relationship with Helen Steel.
Franny Armstrong and Ken Loach made a documentary film, McLibel, about the case.Quarter Pounder
The Quarter Pounder is a hamburger sold by international fast food chain McDonald's, so named for containing a patty with a precooked weight of a quarter of a pound (113.4 g). It was first introduced in 1971. In 2013, the Quarter Pounder was expanded to represent a whole line of hamburgers that replaced the company's discontinued Angus hamburger. In 2015, McDonald's increased the precooked weight to 4.25 oz (120.5 g).Ray Kroc
Raymond Albert "Ray" Kroc (October 5, 1902 – January 14, 1984) was an American businessman. He joined the California company McDonald's in 1954, after the McDonald brothers had franchised 6 locations out from their original 1940 operation in San Bernardino. This set the stage for national expansion with the help of Kroc, eventually leading to a global franchise, making it the most successful fast food corporation in the world. Kroc was included in Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and amassed a fortune during his lifetime. He owned the San Diego Padres baseball team from 1974 until his death in 1984.Richard and Maurice McDonald
Richard James and Maurice James McDonald were American siblings who founded the McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, California, and inventors of the "Speedee Service System," now commonly known as "fast food".Ronald McDonald
Ronald McDonald is a clown character used as the primary mascot of the McDonald's fast-food restaurant chain. In television commercials, the clown inhabited a fantasy world called McDonaldland to which he had adventures with his friends Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird and The Fry Kids. As of 2003, McDonaldland has been largely phased out, and Ronald is instead shown interacting with normal children in their everyday lives.Many people work full-time making appearances in the Ronald McDonald costume, visiting children in hospitals and attending regular events. At its height there may have been as many as 300 full-time clowns at McDonald's. There are also Ronald McDonald Houses where parents can stay overnight when visiting sick children in nearby chronic care facilities.Super Size Me
Super Size Me is a 2004 American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker. Spurlock's film follows a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003, during which he ate only McDonald's food. The film documents this lifestyle's drastic effect on Spurlock's physical and psychological well-being, and explores the fast food industry's corporate influence, including how it encourages poor nutrition for its own profit.
Spurlock ate at McDonald's restaurants three times per day, eating every item on the chain's menu at least once. Spurlock consumed an average of 20.9 megajoules or 5,000 kcal (the equivalent of 9.26 Big Macs) per day during the experiment. An intake of around 2,500 kcal within a healthy balanced diet is more generally recommended for a man to maintain his weight. As a result, the then-32-year-old Spurlock gained 11.1 kilograms (24 lb), a 13% body mass increase, increased his cholesterol to 230 mg/dL (6.0 mmol/L), and experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver. It took Spurlock fourteen months to lose all the weight gained from his experiment using a vegan diet supervised by his then-girlfriend, a chef who specializes in gourmet vegan dishes.
The reason for Spurlock's investigation was the increasing spread of obesity throughout U.S. society, which the Surgeon General has declared "epidemic", and the corresponding lawsuit brought against McDonald's on behalf of two overweight girls, who, it was alleged, became obese as a result of eating McDonald's food (Pelman v. McDonald's Corp., 237 F. Supp. 2d 512). Spurlock argued that although the lawsuit against McDonald's failed (and subsequently many state legislatures have legislated against product liability actions against producers and distributors of "fast food") as well as the McLibel case, much of the same criticism leveled against the tobacco companies applies to fast food franchises whose product is both physiologically addictive and physically harmful.The documentary was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and won Best Documentary Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America. A comic book related to the movie has been made with Dark Horse Comics as the publisher containing stories based on numerous cases of fast food health scares.Spurlock released a sequel, Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, in 2017.