What Is McDonald’s? (What Is It Known For, How It’s Different, Type Of Store + More)

Known for its Happy Meals and Big Mac burgers, over 65 million people eat at McDonald’s every day. McDonald’s has been in operation since 1940 and continues to be one of the best-loved fast-food retailers.

If you haven’t heard of McDonald’s before, you may be wondering what the company is known for and how it’s different from other fast-food places. I’ve looked into it, and here’s everything I’ve learned about McDonald’s!

What Is McDonald’s In 2024?

McDonald’s is a fast-food restaurant that sells burgers, French fries, chicken nuggets, and drinks like milkshakes as of 2024. Originating in America, McDonald’s was founded in 1940 in California by Richard and Maurice McDonald. Also, McDonald’s business model works by offering speedy food products at low prices worldwide.

For more information about McDonald’s, including how it was started, who owns McDonald’s, if McDonald’s is a franchise, why McDonald’s is successful, and how many McDonald’s stores there are, then keep reading!

What Is McDonald’s Known For?

McDonald’s is known for its iconic logo of a golden “M” on a red background, which the first McDonald’s restaurants inspired.

Also, McDonald’s sells burgers, breakfast sandwiches, chicken products, French fries, desserts, and café products, including coffees and bakery buns.

Further, one menu item McDonald’s is best known for is its Happy Meal, a popular choice for children that often features a toy or a book while collaborating with other brands.

Finally, McDonald’s is known for its unique menu, like the Big Mac, which consists of the following:

  • Two beef burger patties
  • Sesame seed bun
  • Cheese
  • Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Big Mac sauce

How Is McDonald’s Different From Other Fast-Food Places?

Initially, McDonald’s business model allowed its business to thrive as it could beat its competitors by offering products employees made quickly.

With that, McDonald’s simplified its menu to nine items, allowing its franchisees to generate more sales through delivery speed.

While the McDonald’s menu has now expanded, it still offers low-priced items quickly.

Additionally, McDonald’s is different because it aims to make its restaurants and practices uniform across locations.

However, it does offer menu adaptations for foreign countries to reflect local traditions and tastes.

So, while you can always find the Big Mac on the McDonald’s menu no matter where you go, there may be some special items if you’re in a foreign country like China or France.

What Type Of Store Is McDonald’s?

McDonald’s is a fast-food chain that has stores operating worldwide.

Currently, there are over 39,000 McDonald’s stores globally, with over 13,000 of those within the United States.

Who Owns McDonald’s?

McDonald’s has been owned by Kroc since 1955.

With that, Kroc founded the McDonald’s Corporation, which possesses the exclusive brand name rights of the companies.

Still, McDonald’s is a franchise, meaning its stores are often operated by individual owners who have purchased the company branding rights.

When Was McDonald’s Founded?

When Was McDonald's Founded?

McDonald’s was founded on April 15, 1955, in San Bernardino, California, by Richard and Maurice McDonald’s.

Further, the first McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 but didn’t resemble the current branding we know today.

For example, the first McDonald’s was a drive-in that stocked slow-cooked barbecue foods and didn’t offer indoor seating.

McDonald’s became a franchise after Ray Kroc purchased it in 1955, and in 1956 Kroc introduced the golden arches and Ronald McDonald mascot.

After that, the business began to resemble the modern version of McDonald’s.

Is McDonald’s A Franchise?

McDonald’s became a franchise in 1955 after Ray Kroc purchased the company from the McDonald’s brothers.

With that, the franchising of McDonald’s gave the company its current success, as it allowed for rapid growth, consistency, and innovation.

Moreover, McDonald’s franchisees and management are trained at the Hamburger University, located in Chicago, before operating.

Can I Own A McDonald’s?

Yes, it’s possible to own a McDonald’s as it is a franchised company. To begin applying for a McDonald’s franchise, you must apply electronically.

Also, the franchise fee for McDonald’s is $45,000, which is more than many competitors, but McDonald’s often generates much higher profits.

Still, there are additional costs for opening a McDonald’s franchise ranging from $1,000,000 to $2,200,000, depending on the location.

Finally, McDonald’s franchise applicants must have the following to operate their own store:

  • A minimum of $500,000 in assets
  • Complete a 12 to 18-month training program

Why Is McDonald’s So Successful?

McDonald’s is so successful due to its business model, which adapts to emerging trends, appeals to families and younger demographics, and promotes rapid growth.

Moreover, the consistency offered by McDonald’s, regardless of location, helps it appeal to customers, as they know what to expect from the store.

With that, all McDonald’s franchisees are trained to ensure their location offers the same uniformity.

Also, McDonald’s is constantly innovating and adapting its products to suit its customers and appeal to the market, including creating custom products to appeal to local areas.

Is McDonald’s A Good Company?

McDonald’s can be considered a good company due to its philanthropic efforts.

For example, McDonald’s participates in charity work, including McHappy Day, where a percentage of profits are donated to charity.

Also, McDonald’s allowed the winning $1 million game piece to be transferred to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital during the annual Monopoly Game.

However, the winners don’t usually permit the transfers.

Furthermore, McDonald’s operates McRefugees in Hong Kong, Japan, and China, allowing the homeless to use its restaurants as temporary hostels.

Who Is The McDonald’s Mascot?

The McDonald’s mascot is Ronald McDonald, a clown often pictured wearing the iconic red and yellow McDonald’s colors.

Introduced in 1956, Ronald McDonald strives to appeal to a younger demographic and attract families to McDonald’s.

Also, the McDonald’s franchises use Ronald McDonald for its advertisements and have actors who visit children in hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses.

Moreover, McDonald’s formed the charity Ronald McDonald House Charities to improve the health and well-being of children and offer houses for sick children and their families to stay.

How Many McDonald’s Stores Are There?

Currently, in the United States, there are 13,452 McDonald’s in operation in 53 states and territories and 4643 cities.

Further, the US state with the most McDonald’s locations is California, which has 1,221 locations and is 9% of the total sites in America.

Then, Texas has the second most McDonald’s stores with 1,121 (comprising 8% of the total number), followed by Florida with 862 stores (6% of the total number).

To know more, you can also check our related posts on McDonald’s business model, McDonald’s competitor, and if McDonald’s is an ethical company.


McDonald’s is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in California in 1955 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald.

Further, McDonald’s is known for selling convenience foods, including burgers, chicken nuggets, French fries, and more.

As part of a franchise model, McDonald’s independent owners who have purchased the rights to use the McDonald’s branding often operate McDonald’s restaurants.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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