The first McDonald’s opened 77 years ago today — here’s what it was like

McDonald’s had humble
beginnings.

What is now the biggest fast-food chain in the world began as a
small hamburger stand in San Bernardino, California, 77
years ago on May 15, 1940. 

Two brothers, 
Dick and Maurice “Mac”
McDonald, opened the stand as “McDonald’s Bar-B-Q.” 

They later shut it down and reopened it in 1948, with a
pared-down menu of just nine items, including hamburgers
($0.15) cheeseburgers ($0.19 cents) and drinks, such as
coffee, Coca-Cola, and Orangeade, for $0.10.

Here’s a picture of the stand from 1948:


First McDonald's burger standAP

In 1954, the stand caught the
attention of Ray Kroc, an Illinois businessman who sold milkshake
mixers.

Kroc had received a “huge”
order of eight mixers from the brothers and he was intrigued,
according to
McDonald’s
. Kroc went to California to check out the business
and “was stunned by the effectiveness of their operation.”

Kroc convinced the brothers to
give him franchise rights to their business, which he acquired in
1955. He 

opened the
first McDonald’s franchise, pictured below, in 1955 in Des
Plaines, Ill. 


First McDonald's franchise
Ray Kroc’s original
McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Ill., is seen, Nov. 18, 1982.

AP

The restaurant’s sales on its first day totaled $366, according
to the company. 

An undated photo of Kroc below shows him standing in
front of what appears to be a rendering of the Des Plaines
restaurant. 


McDonald's Ray Kroc
McDonald’s

By 1958, McDonald’s had sold
100 million hamburgers and two years later, Kroc bought exclusive
rights to the McDonald’s name.

The company began rapidly
building new restaurants and in 1965, there were 700 McDonald’s
restaurants throughout the US.


McDonald's
Edward H. Rensi, president
of McDonald’s USA, left, watches Dick McDonald enjoy the 50
billionth hamburger cooked and served by Rensi in New York City,
Tuesday, Nov. 20, 1984. McDonald and his brother Mac started the
fast-food restaurant franchise in 1948.

AP

Now the biggest fast-food chain
in the world, McDonald’s serves 70 million customers every day
with sales topping $24 billion last year.

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