Digital Dimdima
-By Rashmi Menon
Labor Day
The Community College
Hiking the Grand Canyon – II
Hiking the Grand Canyon – I
The Niagara Falls
Desert Dogs
The Sears Tower
The Navajo Code Talkers
Driving Through McDonalds
The Mighty Desert Warrior
The Big Roundup
Serving the Americans
Martin Luther King Day
Harvard University and Other Ivy League Schools
Winter Wonders
Las Vegas
Let’s Give Thanks!
Fall Colours
Halloween
The Collared Peccary
Hurricane Isabel
Wonders of Yellowstone
A Trip Under the Sea
The Legend of the Kokopelli
The Great Lakes of North America

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Driving Through McDonalds

In the days of yore, when families were rich and huge, and time was aplenty, American women would gather in large warm kitchens to share gossip and whip up delicious dishes for their hungry families. Daily menus consisted of old American classics like steaks, pot roasts, grilled meat, sautéed vegetables, cookies, apple pies and other baked goodies. Of course, most families had a servant or two, or even more, to help the women with the tougher chores. With the advent of mechanization, the slow paced rural way of life gave way to the more modern concept of “urban living.” So no more pot pies and applesauce for the young children returning home from school. Instead, busy moms, who pick up their kids from schools and day care centers after work hours, bus their hungry kids through the golden arches of the local McDonalds franchise. Eating out at fast food “restaurants” like McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s is the new way-of-life for young children in America. Why don’t we then, learn a little bit about the origin and history of McDonalds, the largest and most popular fast food chain in the US?
Our story begins in the year 1948 in San Bernardino, California. Brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald were partners in a successful business venture – they owned a busy, bustling restaurant called the Airdrome. It was a favorite among the local teenagers and brought in huge profits. The McDonald brothers, however, were beginning to tire of the demands the running of a large restaurant placed upon them and their lives. In a very smart business move, they decided to close shop, conduct some renovations to the building, spruce up their menu and open shop again with an emphasis on speedy service, a limited menu and low prices. On December 12, 1948, they threw open the doors of their new restaurant, thereby ushering in a new era in American food culture. In keeping with their motto, the brothers charged only 15 cents for hamburgers and 10 cents for French fries. Their business plan met with huge success.
The credit for making this burger and shake joint into a multi million dollar industry that spans the length and breadth of the globe, goes to a man called Raymond Albert Kroc. In a bold business move, Ray had invested his entire life savings to become the sole distributor of a milkshake blender called the Multimixer. In 1954, through some of his business sources, Ray learned that the McDonalds brothers in California were doing such brisk business that they needed eight blenders to keep up with the demand for their milkshakes, he packed his bags and headed to California to see the brothers work their magic. He was amazed to see the crowds pulling into this new concept restaurant in San Bernardino. The 52-year-old Ray saw this as a massive business opportunity and asked the brothers if they would consider letting him open restaurants based on their concepts across the US. The brothers agreed and in 1955 Ray opened his first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. Eventually, in 1961, Ray paid $2.7 million and bought out the McDonald brothers. Armed with a team of loyal employees, Ray used hard work, sound business logic, endless enthusiasm and passion to make this venture into a global corporate giant.
Today, 49 years later, Ray’s first McDonalds restaurant in Des Plaines is a museum, housing interesting McDonalds’ memorabilia. With franchises around the world, and menus that cater to the taste of every ethnic culture, it is no wonder that Ronald McDonald, the chain’s mascot clown, is loved by children the world over.

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