McDonald’s Batumi, Georgia

The McDonald’s Story

Dick and Mac McDonald moved to California to seek opportunities they felt unavailable in New England.

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The McDonald Brothers

Failing in the movie business, they subsequently proved successful in operating drive-in restaurants. In 1948 they took a risk by streamlining their operations and introducing their Speedee Service System featuring 15 cent hamburgers. The restaurant’s success led the brothers to begin franchising their concept—nine becoming operating restaurants. At the San Bernadino location, Dick and Mac McDonald perfected their Speedee Service System featuring a limited menu including fifteen cent hamburgers, shakes and fries. The brothers sold 14 franchises of which 10 became operating restaurants not including their original location in San Bernardino.

McDonald brothers San Bernardino McDonald’s restaurant 1948-1955.


McDonald brothers franchised brochure c. 1952.



Ray Kroc

A native Chicagoan, Ray Kroc left high school after his sophomore year to join the World War One Red Cross Ambulance Corps. The war ended before his unit was sent overseas with Ray returning home to earn a living as a musician and later selling paper cups. In 1939, he became the exclusive distributor of the Multimixer (a milkshake mixing machine). He visited the McDonald brothers in 1954 which led to him becoming their franchise agent. In 1955, Kroc opened the first McDonald’s east of the Mississippi river.

Ray Kroc’s first McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois just prior to opening on April 15, 1955.


Newspaper advertisement announcing the opening of Ray Kroc’s first McDonald’s.

Going Global

Ray Kroc’s vision was that there would be 1,000 McDonald’s restaurants solely in the United States. Yet, McDonald’s continued to grow and expand into international markets beginning in 1967 opening in Canada and Puerto Rico. Today, the company has over 36,000 restaurants in over 100 nations. The most recent opening in Kazakhstan in 2016.

McDonald’s expanded into international markets with the opening in Canada of its restaurant in Richmond, British Columbia in June, 1967.


McDonald’s expanded into international markets with the opening in Canada of its restaurant in Richmond, British Columbia in June, 1967.

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Visit McDonald’s Restaurants

Dick and Mac McDonald moved to California to seek opportunities they felt unavailable in New England. Failing in the movie business, they subsequently proved successful in operating drive-in restaurants. In 1948 they took a risk by streamlining their operations and introducing their Speedee Service System featuring 15 cent hamburgers. The restaurant’s success led the brothers to begin franchising their concept—nine becoming operating restaurants.

The Red and White

The McDonald brothers insisted that their architect design an attention catching building that would highlight their Speedee Service System. Architect Stanley Meson design of the “Red and White” did not disappoint. Feeling that the roof line was a bit too flat Dick McDonald added arches to the building. This building design was first used in 1953 until it was replaced by the Mansard Roof design in the late 1960s.
 

A sign maker incorporated yellow neon into them creating the “Golden Arches”. The oldest McDonald’s Red and White (opened in 1953) still operating today is in Downey, California.

Early blueprints for signature McDonald’s Red and White restaurant with Speedee road sign.


McDonald’s of DeKalb, Illinois shortly before its opening in May, 1960.

Mansard Roof

McDonald’s introduced the new Mansard Roof Design in 1969 in Matteson, Illinois. Initially, many franchisees remodeled their existing Red and White buildings to reflect the new design. McDonaldland Parks (Play Places) and the Drive-Thru were added to the restaurant during the 1970s. The Mansard’s exterior underwent several changes during the intervening years.

An adapted Mansard Roof of remodeled Red & White building 1970 features a traditional Speedee road sign.
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McDonald’s in Fresno, California illustrating the transition from the Red and White—to its remodel—with the eventual opening of the Mansard design in the 1973.

Today

McDonald’s restaurants feature designs that incorporate existing architecture and other unique features. The architecture of the McDonald’s continues to evolve to meet our customer’s expectations.

First net zero-designed restaurant at Disney
McDonald’s in Times Square

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