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As proud to make history as we are to make burgers.

From drive-thru restaurants to Chicken McNuggets to college credits from

Hamburger U, we’ve had quite a journey. And we’re still going. But to take a
look into our past, we need to share the story of one man.
The Ray Kroc Story
How do you create a restaurant business and become an overnight success
at the age of 52? As Ray Kroc said, “I was an overnight success alright, but
30 years is a long, long night.”
In 1917, 15-year-old Ray Kroc lied about his age to join the Red Cross as an
ambulance driver, but the war ended before he completed his training. He
then worked as a piano player, a paper cup salesman and a Multimixer
In 1954, he visited a restaurant in San Bernardino, California that had
purchased several Multimixers. There he found a small but successful
restaurant run by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, and was stunned by the
effectiveness of their operation. They produced a limited menu,
concentrating on just a few items – burgers, fries and beverages – which
allowed them to focus on quality and quick service.
They were looking for a new agent and Kroc saw an opportunity. In 1955, he
founded McDonald’s System, Inc., a predecessor of the McDonald’s
Corporation, and six years later bought the exclusive rights to the
McDonald’s name. By 1958, McDonald’s had sold its 100 millionth
A Unique Philosophy
Ray Kroc wanted to build a restaurant system that would be famous for
providing food of consistently high quality and uniform methods of
preparation. He wanted to serve burgers, buns, fries and beverages that
tasted just the same in Alaska as they did in Alabama.
To achieve this, he chose a unique path: persuading both franchisees and
suppliers to buy into his vision, working not for
McDonald’s but for themselves, together with McDonald’s. He promoted the
slogan, “In business for yourself, but not by yourself.” His philosophy was
based on the simple principle of a 3-legged stool: one leg was McDonald’s
franchisees; the second, McDonald’s suppliers; and the third, McDonald’s
employees. The stool was only as strong as the three legs that formed its
“If I had a brick for every time I’ve repeated the phrase Quality, Service,
Cleanliness and Value, I think I’d probably be able to bridge the Atlantic
Ocean with them.” – Ray Kroc
System First
First and foremost, Kroc advocated adherence to the system approach. So
while many of McDonald’s most famous menu items – like the Big Mac, Filet-
O-Fish and Egg McMuffin – were created by franchisees, the McDonald’s
operating system required franchisees to follow the core McDonald’s
principles of quality, service, cleanliness and value.
The Roots of Quality
McDonald’s passion for quality meant that every single ingredient was
tested, tasted and perfected to fit the operating system. Kroc shared his
vision of McDonald’s future, selling his early suppliers on future volumes.
They believed in him and the restaurant boomed.
Again, Ray Kroc was looking for a partnership, and he managed to create
the most integrated, efficient and innovative supply system in the food
service industry. These supplier relationships have flourished over the
decades. In fact, many McDonald’s suppliers operating today first started
business with a handshake from Ray Kroc.
Hamburger University
In 1961, Kroc launched a training program, later called Hamburger
University, at a new restaurant in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. There,
franchisees were trained on the proper methods for running a successful
McDonald’s restaurant. Hamburger U utilized a research and development
laboratory in nearby Addison, Illinois to develop new cooking, freezing,
storing and serving methods. Today, more than 80,000 people have
graduated from the program.
The Legend Lives On
Right up until he died on January 14, 1984, Ray Kroc never stopped working
for McDonald’s. His legacy continues to this day as the system provides
McDonald’s customers with great tasting, affordable food; crew and
franchisees with opportunities for growth; and suppliers with a shared
commitment to provide the highest quality ingredients and products.
From his passion for innovation and efficiency, to his relentless pursuit of
quality, to his many charitable contributions, Ray Kroc’s legacy continues to
be an inspirational and integral part of McDonald’s – today and into the
Grinding it Out: The Making of McDonald’s by Ray A. Kroc, ©Ray A. Kroc

McDonalds: Behind the Golden Arches by John F. Love ©John F. Love

1995. 2009.
One Milestone At A Time
From the first drive-thru to the first Chicken McNuggets, we’ve had a lot of
memorable milestones. For a snapshot of our accomplishments, take a look
at our interactive History Timeline.

Our Business Model

The power of our franchisees, suppliers and employees working
together toward a common goal is what makes McDonald’s the world’s
leading quick-service restaurant brand.

 Franchisees bring the spirit of entrepreneurship and commitment to

 Suppliers are dedicated to highest levels of quality and safety.
 The company facilitates learning and sharing across McDonald’s more than
36,000 restaurants.

While a global Brand, the vast majority of McDonald’s restaurants –
more than 80% worldwide and nearly 90% in the U.S. – are owned
and operated by approximately 5,000 independent, small- and mid-
sized businessmen and women.

Franchisees often live in the communities they serve and are

committed to making a positive impact locally – from providing good
food, customer service and job opportunities, to supporting local
charities and other ways of giving back.
We pay special attention to how our customers are alike – and how
they are different too. For that reason, markets and countries have
latitude when it comes to menu, marketing, community involvement
and local business management.

McDonald's® Brand vision is "To be the best quick service restaurant experience". Being the best means
providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant

And our brand mission "Is to be our customer's first choice, when it comes to, top quality products,
outstanding service / cleanness and great value for money