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Say “McDonald's” and the first things that come to mind are the Golden Arches, the fast-food convenience, and the burgers, fries and floats. There are plenty of reasons for the enduring popularity of the fast-food giant, the truly affordable McDonald's prices notwithstanding. Such is the prevalence of the McDonald's brand that it has even become synonymous with fast-food in pop culture!
In 1940, Richard and Maurice McDonald opened their first restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Their business flourished, thanks partly to its adoption of the franchise business model and partly to its fast-food convenience. The now world-famous Golden Arches logo was introduced in 1953.
But the chain’s trajectory changed when Ray Kroc joined McDonald's as a franchise agent in 1955. He then acquired the chain from its original founders and the rest is history. Kroc’s struggles including his disputes with the McDonald brothers are well-documented in print and film, too.
Through the years, McDonald's has undergone several changes in its ownership and management, menu items and marketing, and business model. For example, the backlash against the unhealthy quality of its food pushed the company to offer healthier fare, such as salads, fish dishes, and fruits, even fresh smoothies.
McDonald's is undoubtedly among the most world-renowned brands and it’s partly thanks to its ubiquitous presence. The Golden Arches can be found in more than 120 countries and territories worldwide – and by worldwide we mean in every continent except for Antarctica. There are nearly 37,900 McDonald's restaurants worldwide (as of 2018), and it’s set to grow considering the company’s aggressive expansion plans.
This means that every major city in the world will have a McDonald's restaurant, if not more than one restaurant. Many of these locations are standalone restaurants while many are also in malls, airports and the like.
So, do you have a craving for everything McDonald's? Don’t worry as your craving can be satisfied – just look around your new neighborhood, perhaps ask your new neighbors, and you will see the Golden Arches sooner than later.
American Food Made Global
McDonald's may be called plenty of things and praised for plenty of things, too, but if there’s one thing that can be rightfully said of the chain is that it made American food a global favorite! Ask a typical man, woman and child in the United States and abroad about McDonald's and they will most likely know the brand, if not enjoyed the pleasures of its food several times.
The Golden Arches is, of course, known most for its line of hamburgers that come in two patty types – beef and chicken. But there’s also a fish-based burger in certain locations and on occasions, such as during the Lent season in the Philippines where people aren’t supposed to eat meat products.
The beef patties are the standard size – comparatively thinner than the patties in better burger restaurants – but these are, nonetheless, still substantial for the burger as a whole. Plus, there’s also the matter of the beef patties being made from 100% premium beef so these are relatively flavorful. There are also burgers with multiple patties and these are more enjoyable – double the patty, double the flavor, if you will.
The cheese slices used in many, if not most, of the burgers are American cheese, a fairly tangy cheese that complements the flavorful quality of the beef patty, the condiments, and the veggies. The veggie toppings, usually tomatoes and cabbage, are usually fresh. The buns have a slightly toasted crust with a soft and fluffy interior, the right mix for a burger.
In other words, McDonald's burgers may not be one of the so-called better burgers and gourmet burgers but these are satisfactory, especially if you’re looking for quick, easy and convenient meals.
Look beyond the burgers and find many other equally satisfying items on the menu. The fried chicken with its gravy reminds us of childhood dinners while the chicken sandwiches are great to-go foods. The French fries are best enjoyed hot – when they go cold, they become limp but that’s to be expected.
The salads, among other vegetarian items, have the usual ingredients in them – sliced fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and dressings. These are also fairly delicious and filling although we suggest pairing them with a burger, a side of fries, and a wrap for a more substantial meal.
Other items are sandwiches – the McRib is to-die for – chicken nuggets, soft serve ice cream, floats, and pies. Soft drinks and fruit juices are also available.
These food items can be ordered in various ways, too, namely, dine-in, take-out and drive-through as well as delivery. Many locations offer all these services but many also specialize in drive-through only, such as in high-traffic areas.
The food items are typically wrapped in paper, such as the burgers and wraps, for ease in eating. Other items may be served in boxes like the chicken meals or in bowls for the soups and mashed potatoes.
And of course, when it comes to quick service, McDonald's can be trusted on! The décor isn’t your usual bland, sterile décor either – these are several steps up, not to mention more elegant.