McD or McDonald's is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 64 million customers daily. Headquartered in the United States, the corporation was founded by businessman Ray Kroc in 1955 after he purchased the rights to a small hamburger chain operated by the eponymous Maurice and Richard McDonald.
A McDonald's restaurant is operated by either a franchisee, an affiliate, or the corporation itself. The corporation's revenues come from the rent, royalties and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. McDonald's revenues grew 27% over the three years ending in 2007 to $22.8 billion, and 9% growth in operating income to $3.9 billion.
McDonald's primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, shakes and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, wraps and fruit.
The business began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernardino, California. Their introduction of the "Speedee Service System" in 1948 established the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant. The original mascot of McDonald's was a man with a chef's hat on top of a hamburger shaped head whose name was "Speedee." Speedee was eventually 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 be renewed through the end of December 2009. In the same year, on September 13, 1961, the company filed a logo trademark on an overlapping, double arched "M" symbol. The overlapping double arched "M" symbol logo was temporarily disfavored by September 6, 1962, when a trademark was filed for a single arch, shaped over many of the early McDonald's restaurants in the early years. The famous double arched "M" symbol in use today did not appear until November 18, 1968, when the company filed a U.S. trademark.
The first McDonald's restaurants opened in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, France, El Salvador and Sweden, in order of openings.
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, 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, as documented in both Kroc's autobiography and in the McDonald brothers' autobiography. The site of the McDonald brothers' original restaurant is now a monument.
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 prominence has also made it a frequent topic of public debates about obesity, corporate ethics and consumer responsibility.
McDonald's predominantly sells hamburgers, various types of chicken sandwiches and products, French fries, soft drinks, breakfast items, and desserts. In most markets, McDonald's offers salads and vegetarian items, wraps and other localized fare. Portugal is the only country with McDonald's restaurants currently serving soup. This local deviation from the standard menu is a characteristic for which the chain is particularly known, and one which is employed either to abide by regional food taboos (such as the religious prohibition of beef consumption in India) or to make available foods with which the regional market is more familiar (such as the sale of McRice in Indonesia).