The business began in 1940, with a McDonald’s Bar-B-Q restaurant opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald at San Bernardino, California. They had a staff of 20 attractive waitresses at a drive-in restaurant and 25 items menu that included barbecue ribs, beef, and pork sandwiches. They became the #1 teen hangout in the San Bernardino. Their introduction of the “Speedee Service System” in 1948 additional the system of the modern fast-food restaurant that the White Castle hamburger chain had already put into practice more than two decades earlier. The original mascot of McDonald’s was a man with a chef’s hat on the top of a hamburger shaped head whose name was “Speedee”. Speedee was finally replaced with Ronald McDonald by 1967 when the company first filed a U.S. trademark on a clown shaped man having puffed out costume legs. McDonald’s first filed for a U.S. trademark on the name “McDonald’s” on May 4, 1961, with the description “Drive-In Restaurant Services”, which continues to start through the end of December 2009. In the same year, on September 1961, the company filed a logo trademark on an overlapping, double curved “M” symbol.
The overlapping double curved “M” symbol logo was temporarily disfavored by September 1962, when a trademark was filed for a single curve, shaped over many of the early McDonald’s restaurants in the early years. Although the “Golden Curves” appeared in various forms, the present form as a letter “M” did not appear until November 1968, when the company applied for a U.S. trademark. The present corporation dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois, on April 1955, the ninth McDonald’s restaurant overall. Kroc later purchased the McDonald brothers’ equity in the company and leading its worldwide expansion, and the company became listed on the public stock markets in 1965.
Kroc was also noted for aggressive business practices, compelling the McDonald brothers to leave the fast food industry. The McDonald brothers and Kroc feuded over control of the business. The San Bernardino store was destroying in 1976 and the site was sold to the Juan Pollo restaurant chain. It now serves as headquarters for the Juan Pollo chain, as well as a McDonald’s. With the expansion of McDonald’s into many international markets, the company has become a symbol of globalization and the spread of the American way of life. Its influence has also made it a frequent topic of public debates about obesity, corporate ethics and consumer responsibility.
The McDonald’s headquarters complex, McDonald’s Plaza, is located in Oak Brook, Illinois. It stays on the site of the former headquarters and stabling area of Paul Butler, the founder of Oak Brook. McDonald’s moved into the Oak Brook facility from an office within the Chicago Loop in 1971.