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McDONALDS. History of creation and success.

MCDONALD'S. A history of creation.

Even the most arrogant snobs will be able to find their way under the cover of darkness to the McDonald's window under the golden arches to indulge in a secret gastronomic orgy afterwards. Let's tell the story of McDonalds' creation.

The McDonald brothers

The history of creation of McDonald's began in San Bernardino, California, where the Great Depression hit the McDonald brothers, Richard and Maurice (aka Dick and Mac). After working in Hollywood as set dressers and making a little money, the young men opened a small cinema. Financial success the idea did not have, and in the mid-1940s, the brothers changed directions - built a diner by the road for motorists. And as decoration specialists, they put neon-lit golden arches on the roof for appeal, which later became one of the world's most recognizable commercial symbols. The diner was no better than any other, but it was a lively place, and soon the McDonald's brought its annual turnover to $200,000, not a small sum at the time. Looking at the cars pulling up in front of the place, the brothers realized that they could streamline the business, following the principle invented by Ford, an assembly line.

They closed the cafe for three months and embarked on the idea of fast food. They equipped the kitchen with stainless steel equipment and arranged it in such a way as to create a technological line with a clear sequence of operations, where each employee performs the most elementary actions. We reduced the menu to a minimum, keeping only 11 out of 25 items: hamburger, cheeseburger, three soft drinks, milk, coffee, crisps, patties, Chips and milkshakes. And self-service has been introduced. By dramatically increasing capacity, the price of burgers was reduced from 30 cents to 15 cents.
The establishment, which opened in December 1948, was a resounding success: after two years, profits had doubled. But the McDonalds could not make good use of the financial potential of their idea. Of course, they realised that it would be a good idea to sell franchises. But their entrepreneurial ambitions were well served by the income they already had. The real McDonald's in its current form was made by someone else entirely.

In 2005, a premium McDonald's restaurant opened in Chicago for its half-century anniversary. The golden arches were transformed from a logo into supporting structures.

Ray Kroc

By the age of 52, Ray Kroc had accumulated a wealth of life experience. During the First World War, he, a 15-year-old teenager, dropped out of school and went to work as an ambulance driver. Played in a jazz band in Chicago for five years. Tried real estate in Florida. Eventually opened a firm selling bar mixers for cocktails.

In 1954, Kroc received a very strange order. Two geezers from San Bernardino, owners of a small roadside cafe, asked to sell them 10 mixers at once, as if they were talking about a major Philadelphia restaurant. "Either I don't understand anything about life, or the guys have found a new way to get money out of mixers," Crock told himself, and took a ticket on the nearest train. Arriving in San Bernardino, he was astonished to see a huge line at the McDonald's place: it was moving with unprecedented speed, sweeping hamburger bags from the counter. This system would work everywhere, Crock realized. And, ditching his mixers, he signed up to be the brothers' exclusive franchise agent.
Events progressed as rapidly as the process of making Big Macs. In early March 1955, Kroc founded McDonald's Systems Inc. which was renamed McDonald's Corporation five years later. On April 15, 1955, he opened the first McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. After that, establishments with golden arches over the roof began to multiply like rabbits. Each licensee paid $950 in one lump sum and 1.9% of the restaurant's turnover, of which 0.5% went to the McDonald's brothers.

At the end of 1956 the turnover of 17 restaurants was $ 1.2 million. 4 years later, the network consisted of 228 restaurants with a total turnover of $ 38 million. In another 5 years in the asset McDonald's Corporation had more than 10 thousand restaurants - this leap took place after in 1961, Ray Kroc bought out the brothers for $ 2.7 million. Becoming the rightful owner of the franchise company, he did everything to add respectability to the McDonald's restaurants - even opened an international "university of hamburgerology," where senior managers were trained.


Kroc continuously improved not only the culinary technology but also the customer service ideology. It was he who formulated the famous CCH & D system - quality, culture, cleanliness and accessibility - turning the McDonald's brothers' principles into a corporate philosophy that could work in any country with any cultural background. Japanese billionaire Dan Fujita accompanied the opening of his first McDonald's in 1971 with this statement: "If we eat hamburgers and fries for a thousand years, we will get taller, our skin will turn white, and we will go from brunettes to blondes." A thousand years on, the Japanese have grown taller and whiter only slightly, but two decades later there were almost 2,500 American fast food restaurants in the land of sophisticated tea ceremonies.

Ray Kroc. How the empire was created.

Kroc's system was the basis for a comprehensive 750-page manual detailing any situations that restaurant employees might encounter. It covers the job hierarchy with a detailed job description, the cooking process, customer relations, and, of course, the corporate way of life.

Particular attention is drawn to the corporate gender relationship: according to Croc's precepts, there isn't and can't be one. Initially in McDonald's worked only men that younger clients did not flirt with waitresses, braking process. At the same time, another objective was being pursued. Krok quite justly thought that, having discouraged teenagers, would turn McDonald's into a family establishment where respectable people went with children and left in the cash register considerably more money than teenagers could afford. Playgrounds were built for the little ones and even a comical character, Ronald McDonald the Clown, was invented.

The genderless empire operated smoothly until American feminists attacked, accusing the corporation of sexism. Crock reluctantly allowed the hiring of women, but "sexlessness" did not suffer in the least. Girls were told to wear such shirts and trousers and wear such visors that sex appeal was out of the question. Bare hair, long or painted fingernails, earrings and rings (except wedding bands), brightly coloured cosmetics and strong perfumes were banned. After four warnings about "provocative" appearance, an employee could be dismissed.
The company constantly monitored consumer tastes, periodically offering new dishes, and Kroc was heavily involved in this. His culinary recipes, however, did not bring McDonald's much fame. The international culinary hit went to Jim Delligatti, the inventor of the Big Mac. In 1968, when they started selling the Bigmack in all restaurants in the US, the company's turnover grew by 12%. Now the authority of the double-decker hamburger in the financial world is so great that the "Bigmack Index" is used to determine the actual ratio of world currencies to the dollar.

One of the fast food records was set in 1990 in Moscow: on the opening day of the first McDonald's restaurant in Russia, 30,000 visitors were fed and drunk.

A victorious march

McDonald's global expansion began in 1968, when the first Canadian restaurant opened. After 12 years the company crossed the ocean and moved to Europe, Asia, Australia, Latin America and then to Africa. Now there are more than 31,000 McDonald's restaurants in the world, including its alma mater - the United States, which employs 1.5 million people. The number is constantly growing: 8 more fast-food restaurants open every day. The average annual turnover of each establishment is $1.5 million, and the total net profit of the company exceeds $3 billion.

The strongest positions at McDonald's abroad are in the countries of "big six" including Canada (1000 restaurants), Japan (2500), Germany (700), Australia (700), France (600) and Great Britain (600). These restaurants account for about 80% of the corporation's overseas revenues.

A single assortment is approved at corporate headquarters. However, menus sometimes have peculiarities that correspond to gastronomic traditions of one or another country. For example, there are no pork sandwiches in Muslim countries and beef sandwiches in India. In Italy, pizza is served. However, in line with a strategy to support local agricultural producers, McDonald's overseas branches purchase products in the countries where their regional networks are deployed. The exception is sauces, which are imported from the US.

McDonald's has broken many records. And in terms of growth rate. And the number of employees. And in terms of restaurant traffic. One of the records was set in 1990 in Moscow: on the day of the opening of the first American restaurant in the USSR, McDonald's fed and drunk 30,000 visitors. In two years later the record has fallen: on opening of the first McDonald's in Beijing 40 thousand people have come. However, our country is already approaching the "Big Six" countries - there are more than 200 restaurants in Russia, serving 600,000 people a day.
Thanks to the rigid organizational structure established by Kroc, the huge company is perfectly at the helm even now that its president and CEO is Michael Roberts (Ray Kroc passed away in 1984 at the age of 82). All the latest social trends are monitored at its Chicago-area headquarters, with periodic adjustments mapped out and strictly enforced in all of its restaurants worldwide. For example, when the alarm about the nation's overweight was sounded in America, McDonald's introduced low-calorie ranges. The corporation launched a global marketing campaign urging Americans to diet and exercise. The Williams sisters, famous tennis players, participated in promotional activities: they even recorded a video urging the compatriots to fill up on fruit and nuts.

It is clear that despite the "weight-loss campaign", humanity will never give up on the billions of Big Macs and hamburgers sold around the world. And McDonald's, with a market capitalisation of about $50 billion, will not lose weight under any circumstances. After all, humanity has been having fun and tasting good for half a century.

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