The McDonald’s Story

One of the vastly available and most popular fast food brands, McDonald’s, has a story that continues to inspire Movies and Documentaries. Whether the Hero or a Villian in the projection is a completely different matter as the brand itself continues to grow amidst the notoriety. In the age of Healthy living and Clean eating, McDonald’s menu is perfect for a cheat day and an occasional guilty pleasure. The brand itself is beyond its menu. So what is it about the brand that continues to entice consumers and filmmakers alike?
The Origin Story:
The Origin Story of McDonald’s is full of drama, ambition, and betrayal. John Lee Hancock’s film, The Founder, starring Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc pretty much reiterates that founders aren’t necessarily the keepers in the world of business. It is the brand-building ability and a larger than seemingly possible vision as well as a cut-throat attitude that turned a single fast-food restaurant to a brand and a milkshake machine salesman to one of the most iconic American businessmen.
In 1948, brothers Maurice and Richard McDonald started the first restaurant in San Bernardino, California. A lot of their appliances were bought from a traveling salesman, Ray Kroc. Kroc wondered how their small shop sold so many milkshakes and upon his visit, discovered that they had managed to set up an efficient system that significantly sped up their delivery time and brought the costs extremely low and allowed them to produce huge quantities of food at low prices. Self-service eliminated the needs for servers. Kroc saw a promising future in the restaurant concept and offered to set up franchises. The first franchise was set up in April 1955 and in the same year, the McDonald’s Corporation was formed. The McDonald brothers were eventually bought out in 1961 and the entire tale was quite a sordid affair.
What Worked:
Ray Kroc believed in the power of advertising and franchising and invested heavily in the same. The people were not just made aware of its products but also were made to feel positive about them. The brand positioning was targetted to attract children and the inclusion of Toys in Happy Meal opened opportunities for strategic partnerships. The creation of the iconic Golden Arches and the loveable mascot Ronald McDonald appealed to kids and adults alike, making the brand recall more powerful. These strategies enabled McDonald’s to achieve unprecedented market dominance.
The combination of being the largest food chain by revenue as well as one of the most iconic brands has certainly been working in McDonald’s favor over time. Despite criticisms, it looks like the brand’s growth formula continues to be rock solid.