Who doesn’t love McDonald’s? Every day you go by a McDonald’s at least once, and you so desperately want to go in and scarf down as much food as possible. Why is it that so many people hate to admit they love McDonald’s? The food at McDonald’s is as iconic as America itself. Because of their fame, and the fact that they’ve been going for so long, there’s a lot of stories and facts that have been attached to the McDonald’s name. Here are the Top 10 McDonald’s Facts You Won’t Believe Are True.
10. McDonald’s Hamburger University
Did you know that you have a better chance of getting into Harvard than you do Hamburger University? It’s true. McDonald’s actually has a university and there are Hamburger University campuses all over the world. A few hundred thousand people have graduated from Hamburger University since its conception. You know that a company takes their business seriously when they start their own university. While other major companies like Apple, Amazon, Disney and Google offer postsecondary credentials to some employees, McDonald’s has carved out its own successful model as well. Hamburger University is a massive facility currently located in Illinois. And no, you don’t go go to Hamburger University to learn how to flip burgers or fry french fries. It’s aimed mostly towards management training. It’s a corporate university designed to educate select employees, already employed by McDonald’s, on the various aspects of restaurant management. Hamburger University has helped graduate a large number of restaurant managers, mid-managers and owner-operators to this date. Fun fact: having been established in the early 1960’s, the initial lessons being taught at Hamburger University were overseen by McDonald’s founder Ray Croc.
9. The first Ronald McDonald was fired for being too fat
Can you believe that a fast-food spokesman was fired due to their weight? Yes, that’s what happened to the first Ronald McDonald. A local Washington McDonald’s franchisee hired a man by the name of Willard Scott to invent a clown that could make restaurant appearances at local McDonald’s. An add agency designed the costume and Scott himself came up with the name “Ronald McDonald”. Some 2 year after his creation, McDonald’s introduced Ronald McDonald to the world through a major ad campaign. But by the time this ad campaigned rolled around, Willard Scott was no longer playing Ronald McDonald. He was deemed to be too overweight and McDonald’s actually wanted someone thinner to sell their fast food products. Being very image conscious, McDonald’s didn’t want their mascot being a “heavy set” clown, so that was the end of Willard Scott as Ronald McDonald. Funny enough, Scott later went on to actually make a commercial with McDonald’s rival Burger King and he did still go on to have a very successful career. Most notably working for numerous years on NBC’s “The Today Show” as their weather reporter among other things. So while McDonald’s deemed he wasn’t skinny enough to be their mascot, the original Ronald McDonald did just fine for himself.
8. Would you like some onion McNuggets with your order?
How would the world be different today if there were no chicken McNuggets? It’s a chilling thought, isn’t it? Your life wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t those golden nuggets of perfectly fried chicken. They taste like paradise and oddly smell like popcorn. Every person alive today should thank their lucky stars that chicken nuggets are on the menu at McDonald’s. Some may find it surprising that something else could’ve replaced the McNugget from the menu altogether. Something so out of this world bizarre, that most won’t believe that it actually existed. You may want to dunk your head in some cold water after hearing this. You’ll need to do something to shock your system back to reality. Right before the chicken McNugget was released, they were toying with the idea of having a nugget made with onions. It was even released in certain markets but was quickly discontinued. A decision made one fateful day put the onion McNugget on the back burner after they decided to go with the chicken variety. A deep-fried onion is nothing new to the world of fast food. What is pure insanity is that it could’ve been possible for McDonald’s to skip the chicken nuggets and go with the onion instead. Luckily the good folks over at McDonald’s are level headed, and they know a winner when they see one.
7. Happy Meals make up 20% of McDonald’s sales
Kids love Happy Meals, this is just a fact. The toy in the Happy Meal is even sometimes more important than the food itself. This alone makes McDonald’s the world’s largest toy distributor, as surprising as that may sound. That said, the Happy Meals themselves are real earners and come in right around 20% of McDonald’s sales. With over 1.5 billion Happy Meals being sold worldwide every single year. In the United States alone, it’s estimated that McDonald’s sells over 3 million Happy Meals a day. This means that the Happy Meal alone brings in around 10 Million dollars a day for McDonald’s, in the United States alone. This is big business for McDonald’s as it’s not like kids are coming in on their own to order a Happy Meal, they are coming with family. These family visits mean multiple other items and meals are being ordered along with the Happy Meals. This is where the real revenue is seen from the Happy Meals. In recent years there have been efforts put forth by McDonald’s to reshape the Happy Meal into something healthier, to have a better impact on childhood health. It’s yet to be seen if this will impact sales in the coming years but we suspect it will keep going as strong as it has since McDonald’s rolled out the first Happy Meal all the way back in 1979.
6. The salads aren’t as healthy as you think
Does anyone really go to McDonald’s for health food? There’s always one in the bunch who wants to feel a little less guilty when eating fast food. The logic is if you eat enough salads and drink enough diet sodas, that the large McFlurry isn’t so bad for you after all. The logic is a bit skewed, but whatever it takes to get through a meal. First of all, those salad dressings? They are a far cry from healthy. And any salad with meat is going to be loaded with calories. The worst of the meaty offenders are anything deep-fried or with bacon, which covers a lot of McDonald’s salads. While yes, just getting one of their side salads will be healthier than anything else on the menu and come in at seemingly low calories, let’s be real, no one goes to McDonald’s to eat a side salad with no salad dressing on it’s own. Adding salad dressings to even the side salad jacks up the calories. So while looking at the nutritional facts for the salads with the good stuff like crispy chicken and bacon, you might think well, at least it’s less then most of the burger offerings. However when adding salad dressing, which everyone does, that actually means most of the salads have more calories than even the most popular burgers like the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder. That said, obviously this is just in terms of calories, which does not paint the whole picture when it comes to what’s actually healthier for you. When you start to look at things like carbs, cholesterol and vitamins, the salads take the cake easily, and are actually the healthier options, just know it’s not actually a lower calorie meal.
5. Lots of people have worked at McDonald’s
Chances are pretty good that many people watching this have worked at McDonald’s. If not, then you knew someone who did or still does. It’s estimated that 1 in 8 people have worked at McDonald’s. McDonald’s employs a massive amount of people to keep everyone’s favorite fast food piping hot. It takes quite a few workers to churn out food day and night. It doesn’t matter when you get the cravings for some McDonald’s, there is more than likely one open and not too far from you. The fast-food geniuses who work at McDonald’s are the ones who deserve all the credit. They make possible the meals everyone enjoys. Just think of what life would be like without those people. You’d be left to cook your own food. What are we, cavemen? Everyone seems to put down those who work at McDonald’s. It’s a shame because the work is quite difficult. A restaurant always needs to be kept clean in order to maintain its safety. There are so many things that need to be done at McDonald’s that it’s almost ridiculous. You’re on your feet for long shifts, the work is hard, and dealing with the public is even harder. The thing is, McDonald’s employees are unsung heroes in the workplace. They take a lot from the fast-food public and yet, even with such a bad reputation, McDonald’s has no problem finding staff. Many people from various walks of life have worked at McDonald’s at one stage in their life or another, and this seems to continue.
4. McDonald’s is in over 100 countries
McDonald’s has grown its worldwide presence in a major way over the years. So much so that they are, as of the making of this list, in 119 countries worldwide. Seeing as if there are just under 200 countries around the world, that’s pretty remarkable. It also means that no matter how homesick you become while on the road, you’re never far from a McDonald’s. While it’s no surprise that the country with the most locations is indeed the United States, with a little under 15,000 locations country-wide. What may come as a surprise is that the second most locations can be found in the country of Japan. Yes, Japan is home to almost 3,000 McDonald’s locations, making it the country with the second most locations. What makes this more surprising is that fact China comes in at number 3, with a little over 2,000 total restaurants in the country. Japan is tiny in comparison to China both in physical size and in population, proving that the Japanese sure do love their McDonald’s.
3. The Big Mac was born in the 1960’s
Can you imagine what a life could be like without the Big Mac? The world must have been an incredibly sad place. Just imagine how dull life would be without two all-beef patties stacked up on buns with a special sauce. Just thinking about it has to make you break down in tears. Those old enough to remember the world before 1968 are aware of the stark reality that it was without the Big Mac. It’s hard to believe there was a time before smartphones, Pokemon, and the Big Mac. Somehow people survived, but those must have been grim years. A genius by the name of Jim Delligatti first created the Big Mac all the way back in 1965. He started serving this bigger and better burger to customers at the McDonald’s location in Uniontown Pennsylvania in 1967. The response was very positive and a year later in 1968 the Big Mac was being served at McDonald’s restaurants all over the United States. And just one year after that in 1969 the Big Mac already accounted for nearly 20% of McDonald’s sales, talk about a meteoric rise. Today, more than 50 years later, McDonald’s sells well over 500 million Big Macs each year in the United States alone, worldwide numbers bringing up to millions upon millions more.
2. McDonald’s serves billions of hamburgers a year
While there will always be a “quality vs quantity” argument, one thing is for sure, McDonald’s dominates in the quantity department. Heck, the sign right outside your local McDonald’s might boast something like “billions served” right on it. This is something McDonald’s is clearly proud of and they’ve got the numbers to back them up. In the mid 2010’s USA Today reported that McDonald’s sells around 75 burgers ever second, yes, every second. That breaks down to just about 4500 burgers every minute, 270,000 every hour, 6.5 million every day, and around 2.5 billion burgers every year. These numbers are simply staggering, and though they were calculated in the mid 2010s, it’s said that sales have been steady, if not stagnant since that time. But honestly, how much more can you go up from 75 burgers every single second of the day? The accuracy of these numbers has been questioned, some claiming it’s lower, some claiming it’s higher, but this is still a decent benchmark for McDonald’s burger sales. Back in 1963, Ray Kroc made a television appearance on Art Linkletter’s variety show and presented him with what was said to be the billionth burger served by McDonald’s. Six years later McDonald’s had already sold 5 Billion burgers. Numbers since then have been all over the place and you can find multiple sources stating that McDonald’s has sold anywhere from 150 billion all the way up to 400 billion burgers total worldwide. All of these estimates may or may not include international sales, may include total sales instead of just burgers, but one thing is for sure, McDonald’s has sold a mind boggling amount of burgers over the years, and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon.
1. McDonald’s Fires CEO Over Relationship With Employee
The man who many attribute the recent turnaround of McDonald’s to, has been fired. Steve Easterbrook had a consensual relationship with a female worker, and that resulted in his termination of employment. Both sides agreed that the relationship was voluntary, but those who oversee such things felt that it was best to let Easterbrook go. We live in a #MeToo world where this sort of thing is no longer accepted. The power dynamic in this situation was really iffy and a boss dating their employee is an HR nightmare that sets a bad precedent to boot. What does this mean for all of those who love McDonald’s great tasting food? It probably means nothing at all. CEOs come and go all the time. Sure, he was a brilliant man, but no one is irreplaceable. Time has a way of smoothing the edges of all things. This, too, will pass, and no one should be concerned about the quality of McDonald’s food. It’s the customers who demand the highest quality food, and anyone worthy of the title of CEO will see to it that the public is served. You can rest assured that your local McDonald’s isn’t going to go anywhere, and they’ll continue to churn out delicious food day after day.