McDonald’s Turns 75: The Beefy Numbers Behind the Fast Food Empire
Business + Economy

McDonald’s Turns 75: The Beefy Numbers Behind the Fast Food Empire

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Dick and Mac McDonald opened their original Bar-B-Q restaurant opened in San Bernardino, Calif. on this date in 1940. A drive-thru offering a broad menu and car hop service, the restaurant was very different from the thousands of McDonald’s that have been serving up burgers under the now-ubiquitous Golden Arches for decades — the menu originally featured potato chips, and french fries apparently didn’t get added until 1949, for example.

The company’s website now points to the 1948 reopening of the original location as the founding of McDonald’s. Onetime milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc didn’t open his first McDonald’s until several years later, and the company has celebrated that date — April 15, 1955 — as its anniversary. But the franchised fast-food behemoth Kroc would go on to build undeniably got its start with the McDonald brothers’ drive-in 75 years ago. (That location is now home to a McDonald’s-themed museum).

The chain, beset by criticism of its high-calorie offerings and low wages, may be struggling to turn around slumping sales these days as consumers increasingly opt for fresher, healthier options. (Free tip: the creepy new hipster Hamburglar really isn’t helping.) But its burgers-and-fries empire remains a global force, far bigger than any competitor. Here’s a look at how McDonald’s has grown:

Related: The 11 Worst Fast Food Restaurants in America

15 Cents: Price of a hamburger in 1948

$4.79: Average price of a Big Mac in the U.S. as of January 2015

$366: First day sales total from 1955 at Kroc’s first McDonald’s location, in Des Plaines, Ill.

$27.44 Billion: Global revenue for McDonald’s in 2014

1962: Year McDonald’s opened its first restaurant with indoor seating (in Denver, Colo.)

1968: Year that the Big Mac was introduced

530 and 510: Calories in a Big Mac and large french fries, respectively

36,258: McDonald’s locations across 119 countries around the world as of the end of 2014

14,339: Locations in the U.S. as of the end of 2014

69 Million: Customers served daily, according to the company

1.9 Million: Employees working for McDonald’s and its franchises

$22.50: Price of McDonald’s shares at its public stock offering in 1965

$93.5 Billion: Stock market valuation of the company today

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