Mind Blowing Craziest Facts You Never Knew About McDonald’s

With bіllіоnѕ оf реорlе ѕеrvеd, MсDоnаld’ѕ hаѕ рlауеd a fаѕсіnаtіng rоlе іn ѕhаріng іntеrnаtіоnаl culture since іtѕ fіrѕt restaurant ореnеd. Hеrе, a соmріlаtіоn of ѕurрrіѕіng McDonald’s trіvіа еvеn іtѕ mоѕt loyal сuѕtоmеrѕ mау not knоw.

It started as a BBQ restaurant

Seventy-five years ago, in 1940, brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened up the first McDonald’s restaurant—a BBQ joint—in San Bernardino, California (it’s now a museum). Eight years later, they switched to burgers, shakes, potato chips, and pie. The McDonalds purchased several Multi-mixers for use in their establishment, and when Multi-mixer salesman Ray Kroc visited, he was impressed by their success and efficiency. Kroc purchased franchise rights from the brothers. In 1955, he opened his first franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois.

The military inspired its first drive-through

McDonald’s first drive-through opened in 1975 in Sierra Vista, Arizona. What inspired the then-revolutionary concept? The restaurant was located near a military base, and soldiers were not allowed to leave their cars while wearing fatigues.

The Ronald McDonald House makes a big impact

All those dimes and pennies do add up: In 2013, Ronald McDonald House Charities—the nonprofit organization that is McDonald’s charity of choice—raised around $450 million. It used those funds to help nearly 9 million children and their families worldwide. Today, RMHC has nearly 300 local chapters in 58 countries and regions.

There are more McDonald’s restaurants than hospitals

There are almost more than one-and-half times more McDonald’s locations than hospitals in the United States: 14,350 versus 10,660.

It used to own most of Chipotle

McDonald’s invested in Chipotle in 1998, back when the fast-Mexican chain consisted of 16 restaurants. By 2006, McDonald’s owned 90 percent of Chipotle—which had grown to 500 locations—but it sold its stake in order to focus on McDonald’s.

It doesn’t have the fastest drive-through

The average McDonald’s drive-through transaction took roughly three minutes, or 189.49 seconds, according to one study; the fast-food leader was Wendy’s with a 133.63-second turnaround time.

McDonald’s Coca-Cola really is different

Some discerning diners believe that the Coke served at McDonald’s tastes better than it does at other places. They may be onto something: Only at McDonald’s is the Coke syrup delivered in stainless steel tanks to preserve its freshness; elsewhere, it’s transported in plastic bags.

The Golden Arches used to look different

Founder Richard McDonald first sketched the Golden Arches as an architectural feature to attract customers in cars looking from the roadside, but it took five more years for the arches to be linked into an M (shown at right, at a present-day restaurant in Downey, California, the oldest one still in operation).

It’s one of the most famous symbols

The Golden Arches are said to be the most recognized symbol in the world, even ahead of the cross.

It’s home to the … Turquoise Arches?

The McDonald’s in Sedona, Arizona, has the world’s only turquoise arches—the owners of that franchise were told that they needed to make the location more in keeping with the distinct desert environment. The blue was chosen to echo the sky, and the building is more orange and red to resemble the surrounding terrain.

McDonald’s menus look different all over the world

While many international McDonald’s look the same as their American counterparts, their menus contain unique items that reflect local tastes. Some examples: nurnburger, or three bratwursts on a bun (Germany); creamy stars, or deep-fried star-shaped pieces of cheese (Italy); McFalafel and McKebab (Israel); McSpaghetti, or pasta served with Chicken McNuggets on the side (Philippines); McRice burger, or a burger in which rice patties are used instead of a bun (Singapore); quiche de quejo, or cheese quiche (Brazil); red bean pie (Hong Kong); McAloo Tikki burger, or a spiced-potato burger (India).

You can get Mickey D’s on skis

Since 1996, skiers have been able to schuss into the world’s only ski-through McDonald’s in the Lindvallen resort area in Sweden.

Some stores have outlandish decor

Many people probably wish they could dine on McDonald’s on a flight instead of airline food; for now, they’ll have to settle for dining at a New Zealand McDonald’s, which includes an actual retired aircraft as part of the restaurant.

The Golden Arches aren’t always golden

At its Paris Champs-Elysees restaurant, McDonald’s typically yellow Golden Arches are neon white to blend in with the lighting of that location.

One location is floating around

In all the world, there is one floating McDonald’s. Known as the McBarge, it’s in Vancouver, Canada. It was built for and served food at the 1986 World’s Fair, but it is now abandoned. Perhaps it should open as a sail-through?

Queen Elizabeth II owns a McDonald’s

The Queen of England owns approximately $11 billion of real estate in the United Kingdom; among her holdings is a McDonald’s near Buckingham Palace. So far, she has yet to dine there—but she may be more of a drive-through type.

The famous Pulp Fiction line wasn’t quite right

Samuel Jackson’s character came pretty close in Pulp Fiction: a Quarter Pounder in France is called a Royal Cheese, not a Royale with Cheese.

The fast-food joint will cater your wedding

Golden wedding arches: McDonald’s in Hong Kong offers a variety of wedding packages. The deluxe package, which costs around $1,200, includes a two-hour rental of a decorated McDonald’s location, 50 invitations, McDonald’s gifts for 50 guests, a pair of McDonald’s balloon wedding rings, a bridal bouquet, apple pie display, and an emcee.

It’s been going green across the pond

In the United Kingdom, McDonald’s has launched a program to recycle its employees’ uniforms. Some of the material will be re-spun into fiber to make new uniforms; the rest will be shredded and used to stuff mattresses.

It gets creative with its trays

In another innovation, McDonald’s Hungary and the advertising agency DDB Budapest recently unveiled the BagTray: a paper bag that has a reinforced cardboard tray at its bottom. By ripping off a strip of the bag, you can detach a sturdy tray.

You can find regional McDonald’s dishes across the country

You don’t need a passport to try exotic McDonald’s offerings. In some parts of America, McDonald’s restaurants sell their own specialty items. In the summer, you can get a McLobster roll at restaurants in New England. But Hawaii takes the prize: Choices include Saimin, a Hawaiian noodle soup with fish cake, nori, char siu pork, and sliced scrambled eggs; a taro-root pie; and a breakfast platter with Spam or Portuguese sausage as the meat options.

Big Macs aren’t its top seller

McDonald’s best-selling menu item is … French fries!

The Filet-o-Fish was invented for Lent

A McDonald’s franchise owner in Monfort Heights, Ohio, noticed that residents in his highly Catholic town did not eat hamburgers or cheeseburgers during Lent so he created a meat-free alternative, the Filet-o-Fish, which swam onto menus in 1962. Today, 23 percent of all Filet-o-Fish sales are thought to occur during Lent.

The fish in the filet was originally halibut

Now it’s wild-caught Atlantic pollock.

The chain’s worst-selling item may have been the Hula burger

Invented by Ray Kroc as a meatless alternative for Catholics on Lent, it consisted of a grilled piece of pineapple with a slice of cheese in a bun. It lasted a brief while in 1962.

The McGriddle was designed to fulfill every craving

McDonald’s McGriddle was invented by product developer Tom Ryan because he wanted a handheld breakfast item that was both sweet and savory. He is the Dr. Frankenstein of fast food. In an earlier job at Pizza Hut, he created stuffed-crust pizza and the Meat Lovers, Veggie Lovers, and Cheese Lovers pizzas. He is now the founder and chief concept officer at Smashburger.

There’s a Big(gest) Mac record

The world’s largest Big Mac can be found in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, at the Big Mac Museum (which bills itself “the most tasteful museum in the world”).  While the mega-Mac is inedible—it’s a 14-foot-tall statue—hungry visitors can eat the real thing at the on-premises McDonald’s restaurant.

Menu items have dozens of ingredients

The number of ingredients in Chicken McNuggets? Forty, which is low compared to the ingredient list for the McRib, which has 70.

McNuggets were too popular for the chain

The McRib, which debuted in the chain’s restaurants in 1981, was invented in part because chicken farmers couldn’t keep up with the demand for McNuggets.

There are no ribs in McRib

It’s a patty made from pork shoulder meat.

The McRib was thought to be a flop

The McRib was removed from the McDonald’s menu in 1985 due to its lack of popularity. But thanks to a loyal cult following, it came back in 1989 and was offered until 2005 in the chain’s restaurants in much of the world. From 2006 on, it’s been available for a few months every year. However, all along it has been a menu staple in one country: Germany.

You can hack the menu for a cheaper Big Mac

According to Reddit users, you can get a Big Mac for half the price if you order a McDouble without mustard or ketchup and add shredded lettuce and special sauce. The only difference will be the lack of a third bun.

One sandwich could cost $25

Customer Moshe Tamssot posted a YouTube video that showed him creating the biggest burger possible with the old “Create Your Taste” initiative that let customers customize their burgers. Although he was limited to two quarter-pound beef patties, he was able to add 10 times all the other ingredients. His sandwich was topped by 10 slices of bacon, 30 slices of cheese, and 10 servings of guacamole, tomato, pickles, lettuce, mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, raw onions, and grilled onions (not to mention a variety of sauces). The sandwich weighed 3.8 pounds and cost $24.89. We believe he is still digesting it.

Celebrity chefs have made McDonald’s gourmet

In a one-off event in 2013, McDonald’s challenged celebrity chefs to deploy McDonald’s ingredients to create a “McGourmet” meal. Guests at the NYC dinner enjoyed kung pao chicken (made with Chicken McNuggets and sweet-and-sour sauce), a tortilla espanola (hash browns and eggs), slow-cooked beef with blueberry pomegranate sauce (the chain’s blueberry-pomegranate smoothie) and gnocchi (French fries!), and washed it all down with mojitos (mango pineapple smoothie).

No one knows who created its clown mascot

While there are disputes about who invented the Ronald McDonald character, Willard Scott—who later became famous for being The Today Show weatherman—was the first to portray him in TV ads.

Scott was fired from being Ronald McDonald in an ironic twist

He was deemed to be “too fat.”

It took nine years for fries to hit the menu

Fries debuted in 1949; before that, only potato chips were available.

Ronald McDonald goes by other names

In Japan, the character is known as Donald McDonald because of the lack of a clear “R” sound in Japanese.

Ronald has gone through wardrobe changes

The original Ronald McDonald wore a yellow-and-red striped suit, which he often accessorized with wearing a tray bearing a hamburger, fries, and milkshake as a hat.

The Egg McMuffin was inspired by a brunch favorite

Franchisee Herb Peterson created the Egg McMuffin, which became available in 1971, by modeling it off his breakfast of choice, eggs Benedict.

One customer had a huge overreaction

In 2015, Shaneka Torres of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was sentenced to three to seven years in prison sentence after she was convicted of shooting a bullet in a McDonald’s drive-through window after she failed to receive bacon on her burger. She has also been banned from the restaurant for life.

Customers sue for the strangest things

In 2014, a McDonald’s customer sued the company for $1.5 million after claiming to suffer “undue mental anguish” after he received only one napkin with his order.

Sarah Michelle Gellar was banned from the restaurant

After starring in a McDonald’s-bashing ad for Burger King, the then-four-year-old actress Sarah Michelle Gellar was named in a lawsuit by the fast-food giant—and was banned from McDonald’s.

It’s been in fierce legal battles

While the best-known McDonald’s lawsuit in America is the one involving scalding coffee, the company is known in the U.K. for a different legal matter. In 1994, two members of the London Greenpeace group were sued by McDonald’s for distributing pamphlets that claimed the company was responsible for hunger in the Third World, deforestation, food poisoning, cruel treatment of animals, and paying low wages. The trial—dubbed the McLibel case—still stands as the longest in English history at 300 days, generating 20,000 pages of trial transcripts. The defendants were found guilty of making some libelous statements and ordered to pay a fine. But in 2005, they brought their case to the European Court, which declared that the case was in breach of the right to a fair trial and right to freedom of expression (mainly due to the unavailability of legal aid for the Greenpeace members).

One item has a day’s worth of calories

At a grand total of 1,880 calories, the 40-piece Chicken McNuggets are the highest calorie item on the regular menu. That’s more calories than many adults should consume in a single day.

‘H.R. Pufnstuf’ sued for copyright issues

Children’s television producers Sid and Marty Kroftt sued McDonald’s in 1973, saying that McDonaldland ripped off the “concept and feel” of their TV show H.R. Pufnstuf. McDonald’s was ordered to pay the brothers $1 million.

One man has eaten more than 30,000 Big Macs

In the Guinness Book of World Records, one record is unlikely to be beaten anytime soon: “Most Big Macs Consumed.” When Don Gorske of Wisconsin set the record (again) in 2016, he’d already consumed 28,788 sandwiches. He eats two a day, and by May 4, 2018, he’d eaten his 30,000th burger. He had his first at age 18 in 1972 (it cost 49 cents). He liked the sandwich so much that after eating it, he had eight more of them—for a one-day total of nine, a limit he has never exceeded. Both his weight and cholesterol are said to be normal, and he was still running marathons in 2006.

Mike Fountaine holds the record for owning the most McDonald’s related memorabilia

His 75,000-item collection—which includes buttons, uniforms, cups, and Happy Meal boxes and toys—spills over nine rooms of his Pennsylvania home. In 1968, a then-15-year-old Fountaine began working at the Golden Arches and began his collection one year later. Today he owns two McDonald’s restaurants.

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