McDonald's, the most recognized business worldwide, has grown from tiny local hamburger stand to global marketing mega-franchise in the span of 70 years. Starting with a business strategy of a limited number of menu options, McDonald's has incorporated various business methods to serve distinct cultural versions of the legendary hamburger to over 60 million customers daily in over 119 different countries worldwide.
It may be hard to believe, but McDonald’s started as one restaurant owned by Dick and Mac McDonald in the 1950s in San Bernadino, California. The thriving efficient fast food service caught the attention of milkshake salesman Ray Kroc, who joined in as a business partner in order to open more franchises. Kroc opened the franchise in Illinois before he bought out the brothers in the hope of expanding the business.
An important method Kroc implemented in order to increase sales and growth was the industrial production of hamburgers, French fries and milk shakes. Kroc used a production line approach to make sure the food would be produced quickly and uniformly by both new and seasoned employees. Kroc also began to standardize the food's taste throughout all the franchises by using the same frozen beef patties and genetically-modified potatoes.
Selling Ronald McDonald
With the money made on production efficiency and franchising, Kroc also expanded advertising with a show-business-like cast of characters. In 1967, Ronald McDonald, the clown, became the new image for the restaurant, and ten years later Kroc unveiled the first happy meal for kids that included a small hamburger, french fries, drink and special toy.
One of the most recent methods contributing to McDonald’s growth is the expansion in foreign markets. McDonald's aimed to sell the familiarity of their products so customers could enjoy the same McDonald's taste anywhere in the world. However, the franchise also had to adapt its menu to cater to the different tastes in varying countries. McDonald’s even changed its name in Japan to “Makudonaldo” to accommodate Japanese pronunciation.