Since the first McDonald’s store opened on April 15, 1955, in San Bernardino, CA, the fast food restaurant has become one of the biggest chains in the world. It’s no surprise that such a large company with such a long history is popular worldwide. McDonald’s has been there before, during, and after the recession, to become an unstoppable global force. Today, the restaurant can be found in every corner of the world serving countless unique items. If you’re someone who is a regular McDonald’s consumer, then this list is for you. Here, we have collected some crazy facts about the business.
1. McDonald’s sells more than 75 hamburgers every second.
It’s no surprise that McDonald’s sells more than 75 hamburgers every second. AggData, a website that tracks information about fast food restaurants, estimates that within the 14,146 McDonald’s restaurants in the United States, a billion pounds of beef is required to feed more than 70 million daily customers at all locations. According to the company’s Operations and Training Manual, they sell “more than 75 hamburgers per second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day of the year”.
To put it into perspective, 70 million people is slightly more than the population of the UK and twice as much as the population of Canada. When you do the math, 70 million people works out to 1% of the entire world population eating at McDonald’s each day. (source)
2. There are 36,899 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide, more than Burger King (14,000), Wendy’s (6,500), Taco Bell (6,849) and Arby’s (3,718) combined.
According to the McDonald’s Corporation website (as of January 2018), McDonald’s has locations in 101 countries with more than 36,000 restaurants around the world, serving 70 million people every day. Another interesting thing is that McDonald’s buys the ingredients where they operate, in order to adapt the McDonald’s menu to local tastes. One such example is in Japan, where they serve a pork patty teriyaki burger and “Seaweed Shaker” or chocolate-drizzled fries.
Although McDonald’s is a mighty fast-food chain, it is not the largest. Subway is the largest, with 43,985 stores in 112 countries as of early 2018. However, McDonald’s holds the second position with more than 36,000 restaurants worldwide, more than Burger King (14,000), Wendy’s (6,500), Taco Bell (6,849) and Arby’s (3,718) combined. (source)
3. According to the company estimates, 1 in 8 workers in the US has been hired by McDonald’s. Many successful people have started their careers at McDonald’s.
In the United States, Walmart is the biggest employer, with a workforce of nearly 2.2 million people. Each of America’s 10 largest employers has a workforce of more than 300,000 people, however, companies such as Walmart and McDonald’s offer mostly low-wage jobs. And, it’s not uncommon for a person’s first job to be at McDonald’s. The company has employed several people we now know as singers, actors or successful business people. Rachel McAdams was one of the people who started their career with McDonald’s. In an interview with Huff Post, she recalled, “I’m not sure why they kept me: I am something of a daydreamer and a dawdler, so they would only let me be the ‘friendly voice’ that greeted you when you entered the restaurant”.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, used to work at McDonald’s, and he recently told Fast Company that, “One of the great gifts I got from that job is that I can crack eggs with one hand. My favorite shift was Saturday morning. The first thing I would do is get a big bowl and crack 300 eggs into it”. Sharon Stone, Jay Leno, Carl Lewis, Pink and Fred Durst are just a few others who started their career with the fast food giant. (source)
4. The McDonald’s in Sedona, Arizona, has turquoise arches; the only McDonald’s in the world to not have the famed golden arches.
The bright yellow letter ‘M’ for McDonald’s has to be one of the most recognizable logos in the entire world, however, there’s one McDonald’s that forgoes that famous yellow color in its logo in favor of a light bluish-green. In Sedona, Arizona, the only arches you’ll see are turquoise. The reason is simple.
The city of Sedona, located in the center of Arizona, is famous for its stunning natural beauty and red rocks. Because of the natural landscape with red rocks, there are rules in place for buildings in Sedona; that no structure intrudes too much on the surrounding natural scenery. The first McDonald’s in Sedona was built in 1993 and when the company was about to attach their famous yellow logo, the city decided that it would clash with the surrounding red rocks.
Because of this, McDonald’s was forced to choose a more pleasing, soft blue. Although the city decided that the gold didn’t match the city’s (natural) decor, the turquoise arch became an essential tourist destination. It is the only place in the world where a McDonald’s store has another colored arch. (source)
5. McDonald’s University is real thing.
Believe it or not, Hamburger University is a real thing and can be harder to get into than Harvard. In 1961, Fred Turner, McDonald’s former senior chairman and Ray Kroc’s first grillman, founded Hamburger University in the basement of a McDonald’s restaurant in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The first class consisted of 15 students, who all graduated on February 24, 1961. According to McDonald’s Corporate statistics, today, more than 7,500 students attend Hamburger University each year.
Reports show that more than 80,000 restaurant managers, mid-managers and owner/operators have graduated from this facility since 1961. According to its founder, “If we are going to go anywhere, we’ve got to have talent. And, I’m going to put my money in talent.” (source)
6. With a net worth of $104.42 billion, McDonald’s is richer than any third world country.
The fast food giant produces a revenue of $27 billion per year. McDonald’s restaurants alone earn $8.7 billion per year, making it the 90th largest economy in the whole world! McDonald’s is bigger than Latvia, whose GDP is $24.05 billion. With a revenue of $27 billion, McDonald’s would rank as the world’s 90th biggest country. (source)
7. McDonald’s fries have nearly 20 ingredients.
Basically, french fries are potatoes deep-fried in oil and topped with some salt. While we think it’s a simple process, it’s not for McDonald’s fries. The ingredients for a McDonald’s fry consists of: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*, Citric Acid [Preservative], Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color) and Salt. Prepared in Vegetable Oil: Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness. Dimethylpolysiloxane is also added as an antifoaming agent. Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients. McDonald’s explain these ingredients on their website as part of their ‘Our Food, Your Questions’ initiative. (source)
8. In 1968, McDonald’s airlifted hamburgers to homesick U.S. Olympic Athletes in Grenoble, France.
According to McDonald’s website, they became an official sponsor of the Olympic Games in 1976. At the 1968 Olympic Games, McDonald’s airlifted hamburgers to U.S. athletes competing in Grenoble, France, who reported that they were homesick. The fast food giant remained as an Olympic TOP sponsor for 41 years but sadly ended the deal three years early.
McDonald’s had a contract running through the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics and has been contributing more than $1 billion in every four-year cycle for the Games. Timmo Lumme, managing director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, said in a statement: “In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, we understand that McDonald’s is looking to focus on different business priorities.” (source)
9. McDonald’s Kale salad has more calories than a Double Big Mac.
According to McDonald’s nutrition facts sheet, a Double Big Mac contains about 680 calories, 38 grams of fat, and 1,310 milligrams of salt. The Kale salad, served in Canada, contains more than 730 calories, 53 grams of fat and 1,400 milligrams of salt. As a point of comparison, someone would have to eat three traditional McDonald’s hamburgers to consume about the same number of calories. (source)
10. McDonald’s burger and fries show no sign of rot after 9 years.
Last year, Buzzfeed posted a video that showed burgers from seven different fast food restaurants that had been stored in glass jars for 30 days. At the end, some of them were covered in mold, but some (McDonald’s burgers in particular) did not look much different from Day 1. Experiments show that this happens due to moisture levels. The burgers had each lost a quarter of their weight within the first week, indicating that they had dried out. Without moisture, mold cannot grow.
IFL Science explains that, “Since McDonald’s uses thin patties with a lot of surface area, they quickly dry out before they can start to rot”. Another example is the last burger in Iceland. On October 30, anthropologist Hjörtur Smárason stopped by the fast food chain just before it closed its doors for one last meal. Instead of eating the cheeseburger, Smárason stashed the cheeseburger and fries away to see what would happen. After three years, he noticed that the food was still intact. So, Smárason set up a live cam, making it possible for everyone to watch it not decay. It’s titled: “The Last McDonald’s Cheeseburger sold in Iceland.” (source)