When Richard and Maurice McDonald moved from New Hampshire to California during the Great Depression to find work, they weren’t having much success. They spent years working odd jobs in the movie industry and even attempted to run their own movie theatre, but failed.
In 1937 they decided to open a hot dog stand in Arcadia. It was fairly successful, but they needed a bigger facility and a better location. Then in 1940, they opened a drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino. It was a surprise hit that put them on the road to financial success.
Over the next several years they learned many business lessons. They realised that Car-hop girls acting as servers were inefficient and too flirty. Hamburgers were the best-selling items on the menu. What’s more, hot dogs and barbecue were too slow for the kind of quick service they had in mind.
In 1948 the brothers used their vision based on the ideas they had to build a restaurant. They did this, once again, in San Bernardino. They reduced their previous menu from 25 items down to just 9. Almost all the options consisted of burgers and fries.
The birth of the fast-food giant
Speedee System was the name they gave to their assembly line concept in the kitchen. Its scope was to allow a faster output service. The brothers focused on attracting working-class families looking for inexpensive meals in a clean, kid-friendly environment. This was contrary to their previous market of a rougher crowd normally seen at drive-in joints.
While it may have been the McDonald brothers who got the ball rolling, it was Ray Kroc who came along in 1954 with a vision to transform it into a fast-food giant. Unfortunately, Richard and Maurice did not share that vision. Ray eventually bought them out in 1961 and the rest, as they say, is history.
This infographic on McDonald’s as a fast-food giant was brought to us by way of Franchise Chatter. They are a membership website that provides objective data and analysis about hundreds of franchise opportunities. Be sure to check them out if you wish to assess which ones offer the best profit potential for you.