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Former McDonald’s CEO Joins Vegan Startup

Former McDonald’s CEO Joins Vegan Startup

Don Thompson, the ousted former CEO of McDonald’s joined the board of advisors at Beyond Meat, a vegan “burger” business

From Big Macs to mock meat, Don Thompson has made quite a switch.

At the start of 2015, McDonald’s decided to give itself a fresh start after over a year of plummeting profits by getting a new CEO. Since then, the Golden Arches have been upgrading menus with “artisan,” customizable burgers and firing up fast food fans with all-day breakfast.But what about ousted CEO, Don Thompson? Apparently his career has taken quite a turn, as the former fast food head honcho has joined the board of advisors at Beyond Meat, a vegan burger startup.

Although Thompson had only served as McDonald’s CEO for three years, he had worked at the company for 25, and will now take his expertise to Beyond Meat, the very company whose founders and customers most likely do not set foot in a McDonald’s. When Thompson left, he had signed a non-compete clause, but as it turns out, McDonald’s does not consider vegan burgers competition, according to the Associated Press.

Beyond Meat is just one of several popular “fake meat” companies out there, specializing in getting plant proteins to taste like meat, appealing to both carnivores and staunch vegans.

"We look forward to working with Don to bring our plant-based meats to consumers here in the United States and abroad," Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement.


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]


Founding by Richard and Maurice McDonald Edit

The McDonald family moved from Manchester, New Hampshire to Hollywood, California in the late 1930s, where brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald ("Dick" and "Mac") began working as set movers and handymen at Motion-Picture studios. [1] In 1937, their father Patrick McDonald opened "The Airdrome", a food stand, on Huntington Drive (Route 66) near the Monrovia Airport in the Los Angeles County city of Monrovia, California [2]

In October 1948, after the McDonald brothers realized that most of their profits came from selling hamburgers, they closed down their successful carhop drive-in to establish a streamlined system with a simple menu which consisted of only hamburgers, cheeseburgers, potato chips, coffee, soft drinks, and apple pie. [3]

In April 1952, the brothers decided they needed an entirely new building in order to achieve two goals: further efficiency improvements, and a more eye-catching appearance. They collected recommendations for an architect and interviewed at least four, finally choosing Stanley Clark Meston, an architect practicing in nearby Fontana. [1] The brothers and Meston worked together closely in the design of their new building. They achieved the extra efficiencies they needed by, among other things, drawing the actual measurements of every piece of equipment in chalk on a tennis court behind the McDonald house (with Meston's assistant Charles Fish). [4] The new restaurant's design achieved a high level of notice thanks to gleaming surfaces of red and white ceramic tile, stainless steel, brightly colored sheet metal, and glass pulsing red, white, yellow, and green neon and two 25-foot yellow sheet-metal arches trimmed in neon, called "golden arches" even at the design stage. A third, smaller arch sign at the roadside hosted a pudgy character in a chef's hat, known as Speedee, striding across the top, trimmed in animated neon. Further marketing techniques were implemented to change McDonald's from a sit down restaurant to a fast food chain. They used such things as turning off the heating to prevent people wanting to stay so long, fixed and angled seating so the customer would sit over their food promoting them to eat faster, spreading the seats further apart so being less of a sociable place to dine in, and giving their customers branded cone shaped cups forcing them to hold their drink whilst eating which would speed up the eating process. [1]

In late 1953, with only a rendering of Meston's design in hand, the brothers began seeking franchisees. [1] Their first franchisee was Neil Fox, a distributor for General Petroleum Corporation. Fox's stand, the first with Meston's golden arches design, opened in May 1953 at Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Their second franchisee was the team of Fox's brother-in-law Roger Williams and Burdette "Bud" Landon, both of whom also worked for General Petroleum. Williams and Landon opened their stand on August 18, 1953 at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard in Downey, California. The Downey stand has the distinction of being the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant. [5]

Ray Kroc joins the company and expands its franchise operation Edit

In 1954, Ray Kroc, a seller of Prince Castle brand Multimixer milkshake machines, learned that the McDonald brothers were using eight of his machines in their San Bernardino restaurant. His curiosity was piqued, and he went to take a look at the restaurant. He was joined by good friend Charles Lewis who had suggested to Kroc several improvements to the McDonald's burger recipe. At this point, the McDonald brothers had six franchise locations in operation. [6]

Believing the McDonald's formula was a ticket to success, Kroc suggested they franchise their restaurants throughout the country. The brothers were skeptical, however, that the self-service approach could succeed in colder, rainier climates furthermore, their thriving business in San Bernardino, and franchises already operating or planned, made them reluctant to risk a national venture. [1] Kroc offered to take the major responsibility for setting up the new franchises elsewhere. He returned to his home outside of Chicago with rights to set up McDonald's restaurants throughout the country, except in a handful of territories in California and Arizona already licensed by the McDonald brothers. The brothers were to receive one-half of one percent of gross sales. [1]

Sonneborn model and shift to real estate holdings Edit

In 1956, Ray Kroc met Harry J. Sonneborn, a former VP of finance for Tastee-Freez, who offered an idea to accelerate the growth and investment grade of Kroc's planned McDonald's operation: Own the real estate that future franchises would be built on. Kroc hired Sonneborn and his plan was executed through forming a separate company called Franchise Realty Corp. which was solely designed to hold McDonald's real estate. The new company signed leases and took out mortgages for both lands and buildings, in turn then passing these costs on to the franchisee with a 20-40% markup and a reduced initial deposit of $950. [7] [8] The "Sonneborn model" of real estate ownership within the franchise persists to this day, possibly being the most important financial decision in the company's history. McDonald's present-day real estate holdings represent $37.7Bn on its balance sheet, about 99% of the company's assets and 35% of its annual gross revenue. [9]