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    Apple Muffin Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Arch Deluxe Main Dish
    Big Mac Sauce Condiments, Sauces, Seasoning
    Big Mac Sauce Condiments, Sauces, Seasoning
    Big Xtra Main Dish
    Biscuits Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Breakfast Burrito Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Chocolate Shake Beverages
    Ham and Egg Bagel Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Hot Mustard Sauce Condiments, Sauces, Seasoning
    Lobster Sandwich Main Dish
    Spanish Omelet Bagel Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Steak and Egg Bagel Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Strawberry Shake Beverages
    Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce. Condiments, Sauces, Seasoning
    Vanilla Shake Beverages
    Yogurt Parfait Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is the world's largest chain of fast-food restaurants, primarily selling hamburgers, chicken, french fries, milkshakes and soft drinks. More recently, it also offers salads, fruit and carrot sticks.

    The business began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by siblings Dick and Mac McDonald in San Bernardino, California. Their introduction of the "Speedee Service System" in 1948 established the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant. The present corporation dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois on April 15, 1955, the ninth McDonald's restaurant overall. Kroc later purchased the McDonald brothers' equity in the company and led its worldwide expansion.

    With the successful expansion of McDonald's into many international markets, the company became a symbol of globalization and the spread of the American way of life. Its prominence also made it a frequent subject of public debates about obesity, corporate ethics and consumer responsibility.

    Corporate overview

    McDonald's restaurants are found in 120 countries and territories around the world and serve nearly 54 million customers each day. The company also operates other restaurant brands, such as Piles Café and Boston Market, and has a minority stake in Pret a Monger. The company owned a majority stake in Chipotle Mexican Grill until completing its divestment in October 2006. Until December 2003, it also owned Donatos Pizza. It also has a subsidiary, Redbox, which started in 2003 as 18-foot (5.5 m) wide automated convenience stores, but as of 2005, has focused on DVD rental machines.

    Types of restaurants

    Most standalone McDonald's restaurants offer both counter service and drive-through service, with indoor and sometimes outdoor seating. Drive-Thru, Auto-Mac, Pay and Drive, or McDrive as it is known in many countries, often has separate stations for placing, paying for, and picking up orders, though the latter two steps are frequently combined; it was first introduced in Arizona in 1975, following the lead of other fast-food chains. In some countries "McDrive" locations near highways offer no counter service or seating. In contrast, locations in high-density city neighborhoods often omit drive-through service. There are also a few locations, located mostly in downtown districts, that offer Walk-Thru service in place of Drive-Thru.

    Specially themed restaurants also exist, such as the "Solid Gold McDonald's," a 1950s rock-and-roll themed restaurant.

    Children's areas

    Some McDonald's in suburban areas and certain cities feature large indoor or outdoor playgrounds, called "McDonald's PlayPlace" (if indoors) or "Playland" (outdoors). The first PlayPlace with the familiar crawl-tube design with ball pits and slides was introduced in 1987 in the USA, with many more being constructed soon after. Some PlayPlace playgrounds have been renovated into "R Gym" areas.

    "R Gyms" are in-restaurant play area that features interactive game zones designed for children aged 4 to 12. Equipped with stationary bicycles attached to video games, dance pads, basketball hoops, monkey bars, an obstacle course, and other games which emphasize physical activity.

    The "R Gym" features the Toddler Zone, an active play environment with age appropriate games that develop physical coordination and social skills; the Active Zone, designed for children aged four-to-eight that promotes physical fitness through fun play; the Sports Zone which features a series of sport oriented activities to promote aerobic exercise for children aged 9-to-12; the Parent Zone which features seating and provides a monitoring area for their children; and the Dining Area which allows families to eat.


    In 2006, McDonald's introduced its "Forever Young" brand by redesigning all of their restaurants, the first major redesign since the 1970s.

    The new design will include the traditional McDonald's yellow and red colors, but the red will be muted to terra cotta, the yellow will turn golden for a more "sunny" look, and olive and sage green will be added. To warm up their look, the restaurants will have less plastic and more brick and wood, with modern hanging lights to produce a softer glow. Contemporary art or framed photographs will hang on the walls.

    The exterior will have golden awnings and a "swish brow" instead of the traditional double-slanted mansard roof.

    The new restaurants will feature areas:

    The "linger" zone will offer armchairs, sofas, and Wi-Fi connections, a concept introduced by Starbucks.
    The "grab and go" zone will feature tall counters with bar stools for customers who eat alone; Plasma TVs will offer them news and weather reports.
    The "flexible" zone will be targeted toward families and will have booths featuring fabric cushions with colorful patterns and flexible seating.
    Different music will be targeted to each zone.

    Business model

    The McDonald's Corporation's business model is slightly different from that of most other fast-food chains. In addition to ordinary franchise fees, supplies, and percentage of sales, McDonald's also collects rent, partially linked to sales. As a condition of the franchise agreement, the Corporation owns the properties on which most McDonald's franchises are located. The UK business model is different, in that fewer than 30% of restaurants are franchised, with the majority under the ownership of the company. McDonald's trains its franchisees and others at Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois.

    According to Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (2001), nearly one in eight workers in the U.S. have at some time been employed by McDonald's. The book also states that McDonald's is the largest private operator of playgrounds in the U.S., as well as the single largest purchaser of beef, pork, potatoes, and apples. The meatfoods McDonald's uses vary with the culture of the host country.


    McCafé is a café style accompaniment to McDonald's restaurants.

    Due to popularity of Starbucks and coffeeshops in general, McDonald's introduced McCafes to capitalize on this latest trend. McCafé is a concept of McDonald's Australia in 1993. Today most McDonald's in Australia have McCafés located within the existing McDonald's restaurant. In Tasmania there are McCafés in every store.

    As of the end of 2003 there were over 600 McCafés worldwide.

    McCafe is also becoming increasingly present in southeastern Michigan resturants, according to an internal source. The company looks to have all resturants McCafe capible by the end of the 2007 fiscal year.

    According to a March 2007 article in consumer reports, McDonald's beat out Starbucks, Burger King, and Dunkin' Donuts in a coffee taste test. This was surprising news to some, as McDonald's has been historically known for burgers, fries, and shakes, not coffee.

    Global impact

    McDonald's has become emblematic of globalization, sometimes referred as the "McDonaldization" of society. The Economist magazine uses the "Big Mac index": the comparison of a Big Mac's cost in various world currencies can be used to informally judge these currencies' purchasing power parity. Because McDonald's is closely identified with United States culture and lifestyle, its international business expansion has been termed part of Americanization and American cultural imperialism. McDonald's remains a target of anti-globalization protesters worldwide.

    Thomas Friedman observed that no country with a McDonald's had gone to war with another. His "Golden Arches Theory" has since been intact however faces challenges. First when the U.S. invaded Panama (which has had McDonald's restaurants since the late-1970s) in 1989, and later when NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 (however Friedman argues that the Kosovo Crisis was a Civil War - which does not count in the theory).

    Some observers have suggested that the company should be given credit for increasing the standard of service in markets it enters. A group of anthropologists in a study entitled Golden Arches East (Stanford University Press, 1998, edited by James L. Watson) looked at the impact McDonald's had on East Asia, and Hong Kong in particular. When it opened in Hong Kong in 1975, McDonald's was the first restaurant to consistently offer clean restrooms, driving customers to demand the same of other restaurants and institutions. In East Asia in particular, MacDonald's have become a symbol for the desire to embrace Western cultural norms. McDonald's have recently taken to partnering up with Sinopec, China's second largest oil company, in the People's Republic of China, as it begins to take advantage of China's growing use of personal vehicles by opening numerous drive-thru restaurants.

    In addition to its effect on business standards, McDonald's has also been instrumental in changing local customs. By popularizing the idea of a quick restaurant meal, Watson's study suggests, McDonald's led to the easing or elimination of various taboos, such as eating while walking in Japan. McDonald's also flattens the social strata during dining — there is no problem of losing face for certain customers (who might be embarrassed when someone else ordered a more expensive item in a restaurant); the food at McDonald's is all similarly priced.

    McDonald's advertising campaigns and slogans

    McDonald's has for decades maintained an extensive advertising campaign. In addition to the usual media (television, radio, and newspaper), the company makes significant use of billboards and signage and sponsors sporting events from ranging from Little League to the Olympic Games and makes coolers of orange drink with their logo available for local events of all kinds. Nonetheless, television has always played a central role in the company's advertising strategy.

    To date, McDonald's has used a total of twenty-three different slogans in United States advertising, as well as a few other slogans for select countries and regions. At times, it has run into trouble with its campaigns.

    In 1996, the British adult comic magazine Viz accused McDonald's of plagiarizing the name and format of its longstanding Top Tips feature, in which readers offer sarcastic tips. McDonald's had created an advertising campaign of the same name, which suggested the Top Tips (and then the alternative - save money by going to McDonald's). Some of the similarities were almost word-for-word:

    "Save a fortune on laundry bills. Give your dirty shirts to Oxfam. They will wash and iron them, and then you can buy them back for 50p." – Viz Top Tip, published May 1989.
    "Save a fortune on laundry bills. Give your dirty shirts to a second-hand shop. They will wash and iron them, and then you can buy them back for 50p." – McDonald's advert, 1996.
    The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, which was donated to the charity Comic Relief. However, many Viz readers believed that the comic had given permission for their use, leading to Top Tips submissions such as: "Geordie magazine editors. Continue paying your mortgage and buying expensive train sets ... by simply licensing the Top Tips concept to a multinational burger corporation."

    In 2003, a ruling by the UK Advertising Standards Authority determined that the corporation had acted in breach of the codes of practice in describing how its French fries were prepared. A McDonald's print ad stated that "after selecting certain potatoes" "we peel them, slice them, fry them and that's it." It showed a picture of a potato in a McDonald's fries box. In fact the product was sliced, pre-fried, sometimes had dextrose added, was then frozen, shipped, and re-fried and then had salt added.

    Parodies in popular media

    The 1973 Woody Allen comedy film Sleeper shows a McDonald's supposedly 100 years in the future, with the "Served" sign displaying 795 followed by fifty-one 0's.
    In the live action Flintstones movie, there is a restaurant called Rock Donalds.
    In Episode 54 of the anime series Sonic X, Chris Thorndyke works in a restaurant Called "Wacdonalds" with an upside down Golden Arches logo as a "W". This also appears in the anime Series Inuyasha, the restaurant where Kagome eats, and in several episodes of the anime series SuperGALS.


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