What are the biggest misunderstandings about McDonalds

The burger brothers McDonald’s came before the burger giant McDonald’s: Richard “Dick” and Maurice “Mac” moved from rural New Hampshire to California in the late 1920s to seek their fortune as entrepreneurs. Your goal: make the first million before the age of 50. They did it - and on the way changed the global food culture forever. On April 15th, the world's largest restaurant chain celebrates its 60th anniversary.

It all started with the 15-cent hamburger. In 1948 the brothers were already running a successful drive-in fast food restaurant in San Bernardino. Business was going well, but things could get better, thought the McDonald’s. In the future, they did without waitresses who brought the food to the customers' cars and switched the kitchen to a ready-made range of products with self-service that was sold behind the counter. The concept of fast food that would revolutionize the hospitality industry was born.

The menu was significantly reduced, special requests no longer allowed: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, milkshakes and soft drinks as well as milk, coffee, potato chips and cakes - the menu was all there was to it. French fries, now one of the best sellers, weren't introduced until 1949.

Dick McDonald made sure that the store was given a new design. Red and white tiles and a pair of golden arches that he believed would make the building look more sublime. The “Golden Arches” would later form an M and become a world-famous trademark.

The brothers' concept turned out to be revolutionary. Business boomed in the 1950s, with eight quick service restaurants in the American Southwest and almost two dozen more using the McDonald’s brothers' system. The large orders for milkshake mixers then attracted the interest of sales representative Ray Kroc. Amazed by the high demand for the machines he was selling, Kroc made his way to California to see the fast food phenomenon in person. He recognized the potential of the business idea and convinced the McDonald’s brothers to make him franchisee to spread the word.

On April 15, 1955, Kroc opened the company's first branch in Des Plaines near Chicago, which would later become the McDonald’s Corporation and thus the world's largest burger group. In 1959 there were already 100 McDonald’s fast food restaurants in the USA. The then 53-year-old Kroc was enthusiastic about the standardized and hygienic process of the business, which he later took to extremes. So that the dishes were one like the other, he determined the weight of the minced meat per burger (45 grams) as well as the toasting time of the rolls (17 seconds). His basic slogan was that “quality, service, cleanliness and price” must be uniform everywhere.

Failed because of my own concept

However, Kroc no longer had much fun with the McDonald’s brothers, who initially did not want to expand with their concept. They simply sold business rights elsewhere, and the collaboration proved extremely difficult. In 1961, Kroc bought the two out of the business for $ 2.7 million. It turned out to be a good investment - a little later the chain was making billions in profits, and in 1965 it was listed on the stock exchange.

Dick and Mac McDonald only kept the original San Bernardino store. After the row with Kroc, they weren't even allowed to operate it under their own name, so they decided on the “Big M” brand. In the meantime, however, the fronts were so hardened that Kroc insisted on opening his own McDonald’s one block away. This competition meant the end of the brothers' shop - they had made their millions, but somehow failed because of the success of their concept.

Krocs marketing campaigns were aimed at children from the start. Because they brought the rest of the family with them. The global triumph began in 1967 when the first McDonald’s branch outside the USA opened in Canada. The real milestone in the company's history came in 1968: the franchisee Jim Delligatti invented the Big Mac - twice meat, three rolls, and the fast-food chain's bestseller to this day. From the 1970s, the hamburger roasters also conquered Europe. The first German branch opened in Munich on December 4, 1971. In 1990 the first restaurant in the new federal states was opened in Plauen, Saxony. Today, Germany, with 1,468 branches, is the fourth largest market for McDonald’s after the USA, France and Japan.

Over the years, McDonald's has come under criticism again and again. The fast food provider should be to blame for the obesity of the Americans. At the turn of the millennium, sales crumbled alarmingly. But the then McDonald`s boss Jim Cantalupo tried to win new customer groups with "McCafé" as a lifestyle brand. The burger giant seemed to have turned the corner again. The fast food empire is now under pressure again. In 2014, profits collapsed by almost 15 percent to $ 4.7 billion. Changed consumer behavior and the new competition from Edelburger stores are scaring off many customers. Nevertheless: In 120 countries, more than 70 million people eat every day in one of 36,000 branches with the big M. (with dpa)