Love it or hate it, McDonald’s restaurant is here to stay. Many people forget that the restaurant concept is as American as apple pie. Dick and Mac McDonald started their restaurant in San Bernardino California after making a few changes over the years as restaurant owners. Ray Kroc was selling multi-mixer milkshakes back then to the brothers and decided he wanted a piece of the action. Ray later bought out the brothers and went corporate. Of course, there is more to the story, and I want to get into greater detail in this blog.

McDonald’s has always been about innovation and market testing from the beginning. The reason they are the most successful restaurant in history is related to the effort invested into research and development. They provide what people like but they also have a keen interest in finding out what people want.

Over the years, McDonald’s has improved their food quality and made enormous strides in offering healthier meals. They’ve made some truly awful choices in menu items as well, but that’s part of the process of innovation and continuous improvement. They’ve eliminated trans-fats and added salads; they’ve included healthier portions and even reduced waste. One thing they haven’t done it stop people from loving hamburgers.

On a business level, McDonald’s has changed business practices in the restaurant industry worldwide. You can find a McDonald’s in 119 countries and territories, and on any given day 68 million customers will walk through their doors. As I post this blog, there are over 34,000 McDonald’s restaurants around the world with 1.7 million employees taking your order or handing you a shake.

The company is also responsible for improving the conditions in restaurants worldwide. Their system of handling food and processing meals revolutionized the industry. In many countries, McDonald’s was the first to provide consistently sanitary conditions in bathrooms and counters. In order to compete with McDonald’s other restaurants needed to improve their game.

Of course, the most important thing on most people’s minds when they think of McDonald’s is the food. So what are the top 10 McDonald’s food items? Here’s the current list based on a variety of surveys.

  • The McGriddles Sandwich
  • Double Cheeseburger
  • Premium Salads
  • Chicken McNuggets
  • Apple Dippers and Baked Apple Pie
  • Egg McMuffin
  • Happy Meal
  • Snack Wrap
  • Big Mac
  • French Fries

You can’t underestimate the impact of McDonald’s on business and consumers. The Company’s annual revenues place it in the class of the top 100 world economies (24 billion). The world’s largest toy distributor is... You guessed it; McD! Here’s a scary one for you; more people around the world recognize the Golden Arches far more than the Christian symbol; the cross. Sponsorship Research International conducted a survey and found the recognition factor to 88% to 54% in favor of the home of the Big Mac. Ok, last one… If you live in any of the 48 states of the continental US, you are no more than 100 miles from a pack of Chicken McNuggets (unless you live in the most desolate spot in the barren plain of South Dakota). They are working hard to colonize Alaska.