79 years, roughly 40,000 restaurants across the world and close to 70 million daily customers worldwide, McDonald’s journey since its launch on May 15, 1940 has been nothing short of remarkable. What started off as a small barbecue restaurant opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald, has become a global phenomenon and the first name in the minds of most people when thinking about getting a good burger.
How it all began
While the restaurant McDonald’s was started in the year 1940 by the McDonald brothers, the credit for making McDonald’s one of the biggest players in the food industry today has to go to Raymond Kroc, the man who came onboard after being impressed with the unique operations systems, called the ‘Speedee Service System”, the brothers had put in place. If you have watched the 2016 movie The Founder, you already know how Kroc went about setting up McDonald’s franchises across the country and then eventually bought the company from Maurice and Richard McDonald. If you haven’t watched it yet, well you are missing out on a really good movie about a great story.
What made it work
As mentioned above, the ‘Speedee Service System’ was a game changer for the restaurant industry in many aspects. This was the first time where production line efficiency was implemented for preparing and serving hamburgers in a restaurant. The idea was to serve tasty food at affordable rates, prepared within minutes, a concept which proved to be a huge hit among people who were tired of waiting and standing in long lines to get what they wanted to eat. Ray Kroc saw the potential in franchising this business model and set about establishing franchise restaurants across the USA. The iconic golden arches today can be spotted in most major cities in the world, along with the mascot Ronald McDonald, but the USP of McDonald’s still remains its business model of quick and efficient service, affordable rates and great quality.
Present day scenario
Currently, McDonald’s is present in over 100 countries, with around 40,000 franchises. McDonald’s was one of the first food chain brands to adopt the policy of tweaking the menu and food items slightly in order to offer relevant options in each country. This policy has been a success since day one, with specialized food items being added to the menus in different countries. Incorporated on the public index in the year 1964, the stocks are currently trading at around the $ 200 mark, with present value being $ 198.01. This shows how the company has gone from strength to strength in the stock market as well.
India was the 95th country in which McDonald’s started operating, with the first restaurant being launched in October 1996. In the 23 years that followed, the company has reached a total of 300 restaurants across the country. These restaurants are managed by local partners. The latest development for McDonald’s in India is that the company has bought full ownership of Connaught Plaza Restaurants, the company that used to run the McDonald’s restaurant operations in North and East India. The restaurants in these regions have been shut down for two weeks in order for the management to recalibrate operations and look into potential new partners. While this does represent a drop for the world’s biggest food chain brand, one can be optimistic about the company returning even better and maybe with some new menu items to surprise everyone.