Modified & Updated: 11 Feb 2022

mcdonald's facts

If you are reading this article, then you are probably one of the tens of millions of people that the fast-food chain restaurant serves daily across the globe. But despite the number of Chicken McNuggets, hamburgers and Happy Meals that you ordered from McDonald’s do you know everything there is to know about them? Here are McDonald’s facts to ponder on for your next set of french fries.

  1. Brothers Dick and Mac McDonald founded the McDonald’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant in 1940.
  2. The first McDonald’s stood in San Bernardino, California as a typical drive-in fast food.
  3. From being a milkshake mixer salesman, Ray Kroc became the new owner of McDonald’s.
  4. Each day, McDonald’s serves around 69 million people across the world.
  5. The ultimate best-seller on the McDonald’s menu is french fries.
  1. McDonald’s System, Inc. obtained full rights worth $ 2.7 million from the brothers in 1961.
  2. The first McCafe in the world opened in Melbourne, Australia in 1993.
  3. McDonald’s ranks second to Subway in being the world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain.
  4. There are over 35,000 McDonald’s outlets in 120 countries across the globe.
  5. More than 14,000 of them are in the United States.
  6. McDonald’s menu only had potato chips until french fries came in 1949.
  7. The 40-piece Chicken McNuggets have the highest calorie content on the menu at 1,880.
  8. In the U.S., McDo is the biggest buyer of pork, beef, and potatoes.
  9. Likewise, it is also the second-largest buyer of chicken.
  10. McDonald’s hamburger sells over 75 pieces per second.
  1. In France, the name for a Quarter Pounder is ‘Royal Cheese.’
  2. Chicken McNuggets have 40 ingredients while the McRib has 70.
  3. McDonald’s golden arches are more iconic to people than the Catholic cross.
  4. As the largest toy distributor in the world, McDonald’s Happy Meals sell about 1.5 billion pieces annually.
  5. Hong Kong is home to all 10 of the busiest McDonald’s in the world.
Table of Contents

McDonald's Facts Infographics

McDonald's Facts Infographics

In 1948, the McDonald bros reduced their menu to only nine items.

They closed the restaurants for alterations for 3 months. It reopened as a self-service drive-in restaurant with the 15-cent hamburger as its staple menu. Other products offered were cheeseburger, coffee, milk, potato chips, soft drinks, and pie.

Ray Kroc was 52 years old when he discovered McDonald's.

mcdonald's first store, mcdonald's facts
Image by Carol M. Highsmith from Wikimedia Commons

He visited the San Bernardino store in 1954 to sell multimixers to the brothers. It was a match made in heaven when they were looking for a franchising agent and Kroc happened to be fascinated by their operation.

Kroc founded his first store in 1995.

McDonald’s Des Plaines, Illinois branch started operating on the 15th of April, earning $366.12 sales on the first day. The store had the iconic red and white tiles and golden arches designed by Architect Stanley Meston.

The Golden Arches was initially designed to attract customers.

Founder Richard McDonald sketched the architectural feature with the roadside passing cars in mind. However, the arches took over five years to transition into an M for ‘McDonald’s’.

Before Fred Turner became a Chairman in 1956, he worked the counter of McDonald's Des Plaines.

Eventually, he succeeded as a McDonald’s Operations Head who helped define the service and quality of the chain until today.

McDonald's has an official Hamburger University.

mcdonald's hamburger university, mcdonald's facts
Image by Dirk Tussing from Wikimedia Commons

It opened in 1961 in the basement of McDonald’s Elk Grove Village, Illinois branch. Upon graduating, students will receive their Bachelor of Hamburgerology degrees.

Over 60 full-time professors teach at Hamburger University campuses worldwide.

Other countries with Hamburger U campuses are London, Munich, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, Sydney, and Tokyo.

McDonald's got caught in the middle of Satanic cult hysteria in the 1970s.

Ray Kroc allegedly donated 20% of hos charitable funds to Satan’s Church, LA. An Oklahoma franchise branch even saw a 20%-drop in sales back then.

The young McDonald's company did not accept female employees.

Even when Kroc finally did, he only advised hiring ‘flat-chested’ ones. He feared that doing otherwise would attract teenage boys with displeasing personalities.

In WW1, Ray Kroc and Walt Disney were colleagues.

They met while they were in training for ambulance driver positions. Kroc was only 15 then, and he recalled how ‘Diz’ only stayed to draw pictures in the camp when he would go to town.

The first addition to the national menu was the Filet-O-Fish sandwich.

mcdonald's filet-o-fish sandwich, mcdonald's facts
Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay

Cincinnati franchisee Lou Groen built a store in a community of predominant Roman Catholics. Hence, Groen created the sandwich in 1965.

The first Ronald McDonald House was built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1974.

Philadelphia Eagles member Fred Hill’s child was receiving treatment for leukemia back then. The football player needed a similar facility for the Children’s Hospital. Thus, the first Ronald McDonald House.

McDonald's launched its first global ad campaign in 2003.

“I’m lovin’ it” started in Munich, Germany on the 2nd of September.

The first McDonald's drive-through opened in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

A Sierra Vista branch was operating with a military base nearby. Unfortunately, it is illegal for soldiers to leave their posts with the fatigues on. This 1975 situation led to the revolutionary concept which proved helpful to many people to this date.

The world's largest McDonald's is located in Orlando, Florida.

The 24-hour operational restaurant is inside a three-story building with an area of around 19,000 square feet. Moreover, it has a 30-foot tall Ronald McDonald statue and a gigantic sign by the entrance that says “Welcome to Epic McD.”

The world's largest McDonald's allows customers to sit on stools with the view of the employees' food preparations.

pizza, mcdonalds facts
Image by dankeck from Wikimedia Commons

Their menu is also different from the other restaurants. Dishes like Belgian waffles, omelets, pizza, and customizable pasta are available there.

The Orlando branch also allows customers to create their own deluxe sundae dessert.

Food aside, their humongous building also has a climbing structure and arcade as entertainment areas for kids.

McDonald's Orlando, Florida was not the original title-holder of being the largest in the world.

The original one opened in 1976 but stopped operations in 2015. With the opening of the Orlando branch, it beat the old record by 4,000 square feet.

The smallest McDonald's restaurant is located in Tokyo, Japan.

It only has a total area of 492 square feet, almost 40 times smaller than the largest McDonald’s.

McDonald's Corporation owns the largest retail property on the planet.

Most of their profits do not come from their world-famous food. Instead, they earn the most from rent collection.

Outside the U.S., Japan is the largest market of McDonald's.

More than 3,000 restaurants are operating in the country.

Don Gorske made the record of having the most Big Macs consumed.

mcdonald's big mac, mcdonald's facts
Image by Shene81 on Wikimedia Commons

He recorded 28,788 sandwiches for his 2016 Guinness World Record. By eating two per day, he consumed his 30,000th burger on May 4, 2018. Although the Wisconsin man liked the sandwich so much, his limit was at 9 burgers a day. It’s amazing how his cholesterol and weight remain normal and he still runs marathons in 2006.

The largest Big Mac in the world is in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

Inside the Big Mac Museum, the inedible 14-foot tall statue stands. Hungry guests could still eat the real burger at the McDonald’s restaurant on the premises.

The record for having the biggest McDonald's collection goes to Mike Fountaine.

At 15 years old, he started working at a McD restaurant where he also initiated his collection after a year. His Pennsylvania home has nine rooms dedicated to 75,000 collectibles. The list of items includes uniforms, buttons, cups, and Happy Meal toys and boxes. Fountaine now owns two McDonald’s restaurants.

McDonald's introduced Egg McMuffin, the first fast-food breakfast sandwich available nationwide.

mcdonald's egg mcmuffin, mcdonald's facts
Image by Evan-Amos from Wikimedia Commons

Following its success in 1972, McDonald’s became a big provider of breakfasts out of homes in the U.S. by 1987.

McDonald's ranks 90th in the world's largest economies with a revenue of $24 billion.

Franchise stores amount to $32 billion in revenue, raising the corporation to the 68th place. It even outranked Ecuador.

Ray Kroc created the Hula Burger for Catholics to have a meatless alternative on Lent.

The sandwich contains a slice each of grilled pineapple and cheese between buns. However, it did not turn out well and did not last long.

The creation of the Filet-o-Fish had the same goal as the Hula Burger.

Hamburger sales considerably drop during Lent. Since the Filet-o-Fish intervention in 1962, 23% of its sales today occur during Lent.

At first, Filet-o-Fish used halibut as its main ingredient.

Now, the restaurant chain switched to Atlantic pollock.

It is real that Coke tastes different at McDonald's.

coke, mcdonalds, mcdonalds facts
Image by RoyKabanlit from Wikimedia Commons

The difference is in the ingredient transport. For McDonald’s, stainless steel tanks preserve the freshness of the Coke syrup delivery. Whereas for others, it only travels in plastic bags.

A McDonald's Big Mac sandwich has 550 calories.

It would take around an hour of moderate-paced cycling at 13mph to burn off the burger. At that rate, the Big Mac already contains half the daily saturated fat allowance of a person.

At one point, the McNuggets became too famous for McDonald's own good.

Chicken farmers were struggling to keep up with the demand. That was when the McRib debuted in the menu as a diversion in 1981.

Contrary to its name, the McRib has no ribs.

The patty is a restructured meat product consisting of pork shoulder meat. Salt and water join the mixture to extract the protein which would then bind the pork trimmings together. Finally, the end product reshapes into a fake ribs slab.

McDonald's has special menus, or what people like to call a secret menu.

Some of them are the McLeprechaun shake (seasonal Shamrock Shake + chocolate shake), the McKinely Mac (quarter-pounder patties on a Big Mac), and the Land, Air, and Sea burger (Filet-o-Fish + McChicken patty + beef patty).

McDonald's Chicken McNuggets have four distinct shapes.

mcdonald's chicken mcnuggets, mcdonald's facts
Image by J.smith from Wikimedia Commons

Each of them has names as well. They are the ball, bell, bone, and boot.

Reddit users came up with a Big Mac hack for half the original price.

First, order a McDouble. Hold the mustard or ketchup, then request for additional lettuce and special sauce. This sandwich would turn out exactly the same except for the third bun.

As per McDonald's nutrition facts, Hash Browns only has 150 calories.

It has the lowest count among the most famous items on the menu. On the contrary, the double quarter pounder with cheese has the highest calorie count at 770.

Despite its healthy menu concept, the McWrap is not as healthy as it seems.

mcwrap, coffee, mcdonald's facts
Image by Jeangagnon from Wikimedia Commons

It contains 1,280 milligrams of sodium, which amounts to over half of the maximum for an adult per day.

A menu addition called the McDonald's McDLT did not last long due to its styrofoam packaging.

Coming in two containers, the sandwich aims to keep the vegetables cold and the burger hot. Lettuce and tomato come in a separate container than the rest of the burger.

McDonald's is working towards 100% sustainable coffee consumption by 2020.

It started in 2012 with the certified-sustainable java volume in the restaurant now increased to 63%. By sticking to sustainable coffee, McDonald’s helps protect the rainforests and even supports local farmers and suppliers.

McDonald's nutrition facts reveal that a regular-size McFlurry counts 630 calories.

Along with 22 g fat, it totals to 3 days’ worth of sugar. Meanwhile, the snack size version gas 420 calories, 15 g fat, and 58 g sugar. It makes the kiddie cone look good at 215 calories, 9 g fat, and 38 g sugar.

There is a special hack to get super fresh fries at McDonald's.

french fries, mcdonalds facts
Image by TeaLaiumens from Wikimedia Commons

Simply ask for french fries without salt. The crew would then have to make a fresh batch. While it would surely take up more waiting time, it minimizes the risk of high blood pressure.

Mean Girls and The Notebook actress Rachel McAdams once worked at McDonald's.

She was not alone in the McD road to fame. Other ex-McD crews are singers P!nk and Shania Twain, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. As a college dropout, Californian actor James Franco also used to flip burgers for the chain.

President Donald Trump is a Quarter Pounder with Cheese fanatic.

He even asks in-house chefs to make him an exactly same sandwich. Hopefully, Trump knows that the burger contains 770 calories and 45 g fat.

A customer named Moshe Tamssot created the biggest possible burger with McD's "Create Your Taste."

The phased-out concept limited him to only two quarter-pound beef patties. Still, Tamssot was able to add 10 bacon slices, 30 cheese slices, and 10 servings each of guacamole, jalapeño peppers, lettuce, mushrooms, pickles, grilled onions, raw onions, and tomato. Topped off with a variety of sauces, the resulting sandwich tipped the scale at 1.7 kilograms and cost $24.89.

Ronald McDonald serves as the international food chain's official mascot.

ronald mcdonald mascot, mcdonald's facts
Image by Lindseyarmstrongphoto from Wikimedia Commons

An actor named Willard Scott acted as the original Ronald McDonald. However, he was fired because they said he was ‘too fat’.

McDonald's mascot has undergone numerous wardrobe changes throughout the years.

Ronald McDonald originally wore a suit of yellow and red stripes. His hat was a tray carrying a hamburger, fries, and milkshake.

Ronald's modern look boasts of a design from a renowned designer.

Ann Hould-Ward won a Tony for her theatrical costume design for Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast. Today, Ronald wears yellow cargo pants, a red-and-white striped rugby shirt, and a vest. For special occasions, he puts on a red blazer embroidered with the trademark golden arches on the front pocket.

Ronald McDonald has a mascot best friend named Grimace.

He appears as a big purple gumdrop-shaped creature. Contrary to what his name suggests, Grimace is a happy companion but slightly dim-witted.

Another mascot for the food chain is the Hamburglar.

As his name goes, he has a reputation for stealing hamburgers. The villain is Ronald’s arch-rival. Moreover, Hamburglar is a character in M.C. Kids, a classic NES game.

The Birdie mascot was a promotional character for McDonald's breakfast menu.

It is also for this reason that she earned the nickname ‘the Early Bird’. Birdie is always alongside Ronald McDonald and Grimace.

The McDonald's Golden Card grants special privileges to a few selected holders.

It could vary from free meals at local establishments to unlimited food from the food chain. Among the known cardholders are Rob Lowe, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates.

McDonald's charity of choice is the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

ronald mcdonald house of charities, mcdonald's facts
Image by Judgefloro from Wikimedia Commons

By 2013, the nonprofit organization has already raised approximately $450 million USD. The collected donations assist around 9 million children and their families from all over the world. To this date, there are over 300 RMHC local chapters in 58 countries.

McDonald's used to own 90% of Chipotle back in 2006.

They started investing in the Mexican fast-food chain since 1998 when it only had 16 restaurants. In 2006, it has already grown to 500 locations. McD then decided to sell its stake to be able to focus on their own growth.

The 'Big Mac Index' determined the status of a country’s currency.

The Big Mac is a food product available across the globe. Hence, its international prices indicate the differences among monetary values across nations. January 2019 index records showed that Russia sold the cheapest burgers at $1.65 followed by Ukraine at $1.94. America sold the burgers for $5.58 back then.

McDonald's has a Twitter account.

Over 3.52 million users follow him on the platform. Whereas both the restaurant and Ronald McDonald are on Instagram. McDonald’s 3.3 million fans beat Ronald’s only 47,600 followers.

Since the 1970s, the food chain redesigned its concept for the first time in 2006.

The introduction of their ‘Forever Young’ brand took its stores to a total makeover. Trying to create a warmer look, brick, and wood replaced plastic and steel. While the old McD restaurants bore bold reds and yellows, the new design bore warm terracotta, golden yellow, and sage green.

McDonald's has strict drive-thru rules.

mcdonald's drive-thru, mcdonald's facts
Image by N509FZ from Wikimedia Commons

They are not allowed to serve people who are not aboard a motorized vehicle due to possible unsafe risks. To be specific, they can’t serve drive-thru to pedestrians, bicycles, and electric scooters.

Even taking a horse to a McDonald's drive-thru is illegal.

Once, a man in England tried it. Instead of a warm meal, he received a fine.

McDonald's straw design shift in 1984 posed a problem for fishermen.

They switched from red and yellow to brown and yellow straws. However, fishermen on the Gulf of Mexico were dismayed. It turns out that the old version lure more Spanish mackerels, but the new one is not much of a catch. A single red-and-yellow straw could make three lures and catch five times as the other lures could.

International McDonald's restaurants include locally unique items on their menus.

Hong Kong serves a red bean pie dessert. India has a spiced potato burger. Israel has McFalafel and McKebab. Italy has deep-fried star-shaped cheese pieces. The Philippines serve McSpaghetti with Chicken McNuggets on the side. Singapore has a McRice burger.

McDonald's branches in Paris are the only restaurants with white arches.

While this goes against the iconic golden arches, the white arches blend well in the lighting of the Champs-Elysees.

The Queen of England owns a McDonald's restaurant near the Buckingham Palace.

She owns around $11 billion USD worth of real estate in the country including a Golden Arches branch.

McDonald's Sedona, Arizona is the only one with turquoise arches.

arizona, mcdonalds facts
Image by Sedona McDonald’s from Wikimedia

To be allowed to franchise in the location, they are required to comply with the distinct desert community. The blue color represents the sky while the orange-and-red building mimics the surrounding terrain.

One McDonald's restaurant has a ski-thru instead of a drive-thru.

The branch in the Lindvallen resort area, Sweden allowed skiers to place their orders since 1996.

There is only one floating McDonald's restaurant in the world.

The McBarge stays afloat in Vancouver, Canada. Its creation was meant for the 1986 World’s Fair. However, the establishment is abandoned now.

McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong cater to weddings.

One of their wedding packages is the Deluxe Packages worth $1,200. Inclusions are 50 invitations, a pair of McD balloon wedding rings, a bridal bouquet, McD gifts for 50 guests, apple pie display, two hours of decorated location rent, and an emcee.

McDonald's in the U.K. recycles employee uniforms.

mcdonald's employee uniform, mcdonald's facts
Image by Fung IOGZZ M from Wikimedia Commons

First, the program re-spun the material into new fiber. The material would then make new uniforms, while the clippings are shredded for stuffed mattresses.

As another effort in going green, McDonald’s Hungary came up with the BagTray.

They collaborated with DDB Budapest, an advertising agency, for this project. The BagTray is a paper bag with an augmented cardboard tray at the bottom. Stripping the bag off would unveil a sturdy tray.

The northernmost McDonald’s restaurant lies on the Arctic Circle.

It is located in Rovaniemi, Finland. On the other hand, the southernmost McDonald’s branch is in Invercargill, New Zealand.

The easternmost McDonald’s restaurant lies in Gisborne, New Zealand.

Across it on the International Date Line is the westernmost restaurant in Western Samoa.

In Japan, Ronald McDonald goes by the name Donarudo Makudonarudo.

japanese version donald mcdonald, mcdonald's facts
Image by 根川孝太郎 (Kotaro Negawa) from Wikimedia Commons

It translates to ‘Donald McDonald,’ which makes it easier for the Japanese people to pronounce.

While McDonald’s is already part of the culture in some countries, it is totally banned from others.

Nations who prohibited the big McD on their lands include Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bermuda. One resident even claimed that the restaurant “cheapens wherever it goes” and that it is not ‘Bermudian’.

Indian McDonald’s are the only restaurants where beef is not available.

Instead, they have the ‘Maharaja Mac’ as their all-lamb version of the global Big Mac.

In the United States, McDonald’s restaurants outnumber hospitals.

While the fast-food chain is over 14,000, the hospitals are just around 10,000.

McDonald’s almost sent a rocket to space.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an affiliate company of NASA, aimed to pair with McDonald’s to dock a spacecraft on the Hamburga asteroid in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the project went over the budget.

Ronald McDonald robbed a competitor.

mcdonald's competitor wendy's, mcdonald's facts
Image by Michael Form from Pixabay

In 2005, a Manchester man with the same name as McDonald’s mascot robbed a Wendy’s store.

Usain Bolt made Chicken McNuggets branded as the Meal of the Champions.

During the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the Jamaican runner downed around a thousand pieces of the nuggets in a McOutpost in the Olympic Village. Bolt did not only win three gold medals on the games, he even set three world records.

A woman from Grand Rapids, Michigan gunned a McDrive-thru window when she did not receive bacon on her burger.

Shaneka Torres received the sentence of 3-7 years of imprisonment for her shooting stint in 2015. As if that was not yet enough punishment, the restaurant chain also banned her for the rest of her life.

McDonald’s held an event challenging celebrity chefs to whip up a ‘McGourmet’ meal using McIngredients.

The NYC dinner guests indulged in various dishes. One is the Kung Pao Chicken with Chicken McNuggets and sweet-and-sour sauce. Another is the Tortilla Espanola with hash browns and eggs and the Gnocchi french fries. It would have been nice if more people were able to taste these creations across the world.