If you like eating at McDonald’s, you’ll be interested in learning the history of the fast-food chain, including whether it was the first fast-food chain.
Well, the first McDonald’s restaurant is believed to have been an outlet in San Bernardino, California.
McDonald’s First Store
The first McDonald’s restaurant opened in San Bernardino in 1940, but closed less than a year later. In 1945, Maurice and Richard opened their first restaurant in San Francisco. By 1954, they had opened over 400 restaurants nationwide. It wasn’t until after founder Maurice J. McDonald died in 1983 that McDonald’s started expanding into new territories.
If you’re an American, you may not know that McDonalds was once a small local burger joint. In fact, it had to open up in an abandoned church to accommodate the crowds.
If you’d like to learn more about where the first McDonalds is located, when the first McDonalds opened, what the first McDonalds served and more, keep reading this article for more facts!
Where Was the Very First McDonald’s?
In 1969, Ronald McDonald was introduced as a character, and he would go on to become the largest star McDonald’s had ever before had.
McDonald’s officially recognises this restaurant as the first in the USA, even though it was the ninth. Ray Kroc envisioned an all-American, clean, friendly restaurant, without the emphasis on health.
In 1964, Ray Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers, and moved the restaurant to a new location. This building was expanded, with an addition to the back, which would later be filled with the drive-through window.
When Did the First McDonald’s Open?
The first McDonald’s opened its doors for business on 15 April 1955, with Ray Kroc at the helm. The fast-food company is famous for its golden arches, which have become its trademark.
Who Opened the First McDonald’s in 1940?
May 15, 1940, was the exact same day that Adolf Hitler rolled into France and invaded Northern Europe.
Also, McDonald’s started out with six brothers and two stores (in California and Illinois). Kroc was already involved with the McDonald’s Corporation in Illinois, and so the first McDonald’s franchise was in Illinois — not California, as some sites seem to indicate.
What Was on the Menu at the Very First McDonald’s Store?
McDonald’s only decided to offer the limited menu so that it could make money off hamburgers.
However, the early menu wasn’t considered as being “essential”. The menu was very limited and didn’t offer much in terms of variety. In the early days, it also included a hamburger with cheese, a hamburger with cheese and bacon, and a hamburger with lettuce and tomato.
McDonald’s had a menu consisting of burgers, fries, and a drink.
The food was good and the service was good but the menu was very limited. We would have liked to have seen more options at dinner.
Is the Original McDonald’s Still in San Bernardino?
The San Bernardino, California, McDonald’s restaurant is no longer an active McDonald’s restaurant and it has been a long time since it has been a working McDonald’s restaurant.
The museum also holds nostalgic objects such as a vintage typewriter that McDonald developed in 1958 and a vintage soda fountain machine that McDonald made in 1962.
And in addition, there are some different menus, straws, cups, and a copy of the menu from that location including old mascots and Ronald McDonald figurines.
How Old is the Oldest McDonald’s?
The first McDonald’s fast food restaurant that is still operating today is the one at Downey, California. It’s a great place to see in person.
The location is still within Los Angeles, as is the general area where Kroc was staying at that time. In the early 1940s a McDonald’s would be called a hamburger stand, and the drive thru windows were probably the size of a small parking space.
What Can You Order at the Oldest McDonald’s?
After a renovation years ago, this McDonald’s location looks different today, with a contemporary feel but with some of the original furniture still in place.
Kroc bought the McDonald brothers franchise in 1952, and the brothers agreed to stay on and operate the stores.
And while the other stores were changing their menu items to reflect the new McDonald’s policy, this store didn’t. Because the policy does not apply in France.
McDonald’s changed to baked apple pies, but you can still order the deep-fried pie which is the dessert McDonald’s used to serve.
This is another reason why diners find this restaurant ideal for a budget-friendly dining experience. With the cheap prices, diners only have to invest the money if the food is good enough to keep eating every day.
To learn more about McDonald’s you can also see our posts on France’s biggest McDonald’s, whether or not there are McDonald’s in Japan, and if there is an opening McDonald’s in Japan.
The menu of the Downey Restaurant has remained unchanged since it opened in 1958, although the restaurant has added an “in-house” burger that is available with bacon. To keep the original menu, they simply don’t offer it, and customers have to ask for the bacon burger.
The restaurant was opened by Don Thompson, a former employee of McDonald’s Corporation.
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