10 SHOCKING Facts About McDonald's
For this installment, we are going to dive into the largest chain of hamburger fast food in the world – McDonald’s. We have all heard the nitty gritty gossip and latest news about how this rich franchise gets away with some of the nastiest scandals in the fast food business and it seemed that, regardless if it was the food or the employees, there was always something going on. What follows is ten of the most shocking facts about this dubious chain.
Some of you may wonder how 88% of children were able to identify the Golden Arches over the Cross. Well, perhaps because McDonald’s has used dozens of methods to advertise in the U.S. alone. People can hear about McDonald’s on the television, radio, newspaper advertisements, and of course, the internet. How much does that cost our friendly fast food restaurant? Average advertising costs for McDonalds runs approximately $2 billion a year as of 2011, which may seem like nothing to a company with a net worth of $61.95 billion. That number is even more shocking when you consider only 36 U.S. companies spend over $1 billion on advertising. That, by the way, is 36 outside of over 5 million different companies.
Golden Arches vs. Christian Cross
In a study that was done for Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, the Sponsorship Research International had found that 88% of people who participated in the study were able to identify the Golden Arches, while only 54% were able to identify the Christian cross. Another survey was done to show that 96% of children were able to name Ronald McDonald. That’s more than any other fictional character excluding Santa Claus. Maybe creepy clowns do make for great mascots.
The McDonald’s Classics
We all know the cheapest and more convenient place in town for a burger is McDonalds, but the fast food joint used to have more than just burgers on the menu. In 1970, the McPizza was introduced to some stores in the U.S. and Canada, horrifying Italians worldwide. In 1991, southern states such as Alabama and Mississippi saw the Catfish Sandwich, early 90’s Australia saw the Bacon Bacon McBacon, which featured 5 slices of bacon with BBQ sauce, and the McRye, a hamburger on rye bread that was sold in Finland in the late 1990’s.
The Turquoise Arch
In May of 1993, a McDonald’s in Sedona, Arizona opened, and to this day, it stands out from every other McDonald’s restaurant in the world. The city of Sedona was very strict on how they wanted businesses to blend in with the natural landscape of the red rock in the city, regardless of how iconic the symbol may be. The town thought that the yellow of the golden arches would clash too hard and so the requirement was agreed upon that the golden arches would be painted turquoise instead. It is the only McDonald’s with turquoise arches in the world. This McDonald’s went viral on the Internet in the late 2000’s, despite opening over twenty years ago.
Mc-Pomp and Circumstance
If you like to laugh, you’re in for a treat. McDonald’s actually has its own university that was established in 1961 in Oak Brook, Illinois; it’s called Hamburger University. If that isn’t enough for you, the degree that you receive from this Hamburger University is a degree in Hamburgerology. Over 80,000 people have received a degree at Hamburger University, while some 5,000 people a year will attend the school for various classes. The pseudo-school is simply a McDonald’s training facility for restaurant management, so don’t expect your Hamburgerology degree to land you that high paying executive job – that is, of course, unless that position is within McDonald’s itself.
The Not So Happy Meal
Most of you probably remember those younger years when we were all very excited to see what toy we would get from our Happy Meal. Well, these days the Happy Meal isn’t so happy. With approximately 1.2 billion Happy Meals being sold a year, this does make McDonald’s quite the large toy distributor, but with countries trying to prevent their populations from getting morbidly obese, they’re passing laws which no longer allows toys to be given with fast food. In an effort to play its part in reducing childhood obesity, McDonald’s also stopped listing soft drinks as a Happy Meal beverage option. The latest figures note 48% of Happy Meal consumers purchasing soda, which is an 8% drop from the year prior.
Super-Sized Budget Cuts
Some of you might have heard that McDonald’s hasn’t been doing so hot the last couple of years compared to other fast food restaurants. With an estimated 700 stores closed in 2015, hundreds more jobs being cut across the world and in the main headquarters, McDonald’s is looking to ‘reset’ its brand. 2015 has not only had the most closings so far in a year, but the amount of jobs and stores lost is actually higher than the amount of stores and jobs opening, a feet the company hasn’t struck in 45 years! Hopefully, McDonald’s realizes that it’s going to take more than just a cheap happy meal toy to keep those 69 million customers happy and returning.
68 million people are served across every McDonald’s restaurant in a day. That means that in a single day, McDonald’s would be able to feed the entirety of a third world country. With 68 million people walking through their doors, there is bound to be some feedback, and not all of it will be good. Most customers prefer to go to McDonald’s for the low prices on their menu but are not overall satisfied with their experiences in stores. When a survey released in August of 2015, most customers admitted they would be more likely to visit the store if breakfast was served all day. McDonald’s listened to their customers’ request and extended breakfast hours starting October 6th, 2015. Talk about “ask and ye shall receive.“
When McDonald’s first opened in 1955, they only had 9 items on their menu. In 2015, the fast food restaurant now has over 170 menu items worldwide, but that isn’t the only thing that got bigger. The one-size fry McDonald’s originally sold weighed an average of 2.4 ounces or 68 grams. Today, a small fry actually weighs 2.6 ounces or 74 grams, while a large fry weighs in at an outstanding 5.9 ounces or 167 grams, more than doubling the original portion size. That certainly helps to explain why some of our pants have been getting tighter throughout the years. In fact, since the 1960’s, the weight of the average American male has increased by 30 pounds.
CEO Pay vs. the Average Employee
With over 35,000 restaurants worldwide, it’s no surprise when someone says that the CEO of McDonald’s makes bank. In January 2015, McDonald’s announced that their new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, would be making 1.1 million dollars a year during his term. Compared to the $16,000 to $19,000 a year the average full-time employee makes at McDonald’s, it would take you nearly 70 years of asking if “you’d like to upsize that?” before you’d make as much as a CEO. Even if you overlook 1 store as a General Manager and make a modest salary between $40,000 and $50,000, you’d still have to work up to 25 years just to match an annual salary of a McDonald’s CEO.