7 Interesting Facts You Didn't Know About McDonald's

Posted Apr 24, by Alison Stanton

McDonalds is the largest toy distributor in the world!

McDonalds distributes 1.5 billion toys annually around the world. That is more than Toys R’ Us! Obviously, the reason is that each happy meal comes with a toy. In the U.S. nine out of ten kids between the ages of 3 and 9 eat at McDonalds once a month.

It makes sense, since 20% of McDonald’s sales involve Happy Meals. In 1979 the Happy Meal was first invented and only cost $1.00. The biggest hit toy that came from the Happy Meal was the Ty Beanie Baby.

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McDonald\'s has unique menu items in every country. In Portugal, you can order soup!

More examples: in India (where much of the population does not eat beef) the restaurant offers such fare as the Chicken Maharaja Mac and the potato-patty McAloo Tikki Burger. This does not mean that McDonald's has replaced its traditional offerings in these locations - they merely supplement their menu with a bit of localized flair in many places. You can order the popular Caldo Verde soup in Portugal, a Quiche de Queljo in Brazil, and have some Red Bean Pie for dessert in Hong Kong (yes, red beans are a common dessert item there). Italian McDonald\'s restaurants use local cheese producers for its Parmigiano Reggiano burger, and in France they serve a burger on a stone oven-baked Ciabatta roll.

It's good to see that Mickey D's is mixing things up a bit, we're just unhappy that each of these items is not preceded with "Mc" - what's the deal with that?? I want a McQuiche and a McSoup!
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Check out this list of the 40 weirdest McDonald\'s menu items from around the world. Personal favorites include the Banana Pie, Chicken Porridge, the McLobster roll, and the McRice Burger. In Germany, McDonald\'s sells beer.
Paris has what is thought to be the only McDonald's with white arches in place of their traditional golden ones.

The iconic "Golden Arches" can be seen in almost every McDonald's restaurant around the world, with very little, if any, variations among them. Notable exceptions include Canada, where small maple leaves can be found between the arches and the McDonald's in Times Square which is covered in bright neon lights. A McDonald's on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, France has bright white neon arches to go with the rest of the shops on the street. (Pictures of the white arch logo) Another McDonald's in Sedona, Arizona has green arches, and a completely different color scheme in general to better blend with its surroundings. (Pictures of the green arch logo)

Contrary to popular belief, the golden arches do not actually represent french fries. In fact, the original McDonald's menu did not actually offer french fries at all. The arch logo is based on actual yellow arches that were part of the design of early McDonald's restaurants to add some variety to the otherwise-drab red and white design. After phasing out "Speedee" (the original McDonald's mascot with a hamburger for a face), the McDonald's company chose to incorporate its distinctive architecture into a new logo. Since two arches together look like an "M", they work perfectly as a logo. Future McDonald's restaurants would forgo the actual arches themselves and just use the arch logo instead.

More information about the McDonald\'s arches thanks to How Stuff Works.
The McDonald's Shamrock Shake was created for a fundraiser with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Eagles tight end Fred Hill was inspired to raise money for family members of the terminally ill while taking care of his daughter who had leukemia. He noticed that people who couldn't afford hotels slept in hospital waiting rooms to tend to sick relatives. Hill received help raising funds from the rest of the Eagles, and the team's general manager got involved. He worked with a friend in McDonald's advertising department to get McDonald's to help out.

The end result was the first Ronald McDonald House. And since this all happened to take place on St. Patrick's Day, the celebrated it with the new Shamrock Shake. From then on, a portion of all the proceeds from each Shamrock Shake would go to the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

Read more about the Shamrock Shake\'s origins.

By the way, did you know that Grimace has a green Irish uncle?


If you asked the founder of McDonald's what business he was in, the answer would surprise you!

Quick… what business is McDonald's in? If you said in selling fast food, you'd be wrong. At least if you asked the man who founded it. In 1974, Ray Kroc, the man who started the golden arch empire asked an MBA class at the University of Texas, Austin this same question. Of course, everyone said hamburgers. Kroc's answer surprised everyone: he said he was in the real estate business.

Here's the way he explained it: his primary business focus was to sell franchises of the restaurant. He knew, however that real estate and location were the most important factors of success for each franchise. A poorly placed restaurant would go broke. McDonald's is now the single largest owner of real estate in the world.

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In 2005, McDonalds paid rappers to reference Big Macs in their songs.

 

In an interesting marketing strategy, McDonalds promised to pay rappers every time a song that mentioned Big Macs got air time! Hip hop artists were given the chance to make about $5 every time one of their songs with Big Macs in the lyrics was played in the United States! 

This marketing strategy was meant to attract young people and children to McDonalds products. Because of their target audience of children McDonalds fell under a lot of criticism for the strategy. 

Fears about childhood obesity was the biggest concern for those who opposed the McDonalds’ idea. While McDonalds is trying to offer healthier options organizations like the US group Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood were concerned about the possible effects of getting musical icons to promote unhealthy foods. 

Many rappers and hip hop artists incorporate brand names into their music without the intention of being paid or advertising for the company. Brands like Courvoisier, Gucci, Dom Perignon, Bentley and Porsche benefited from the incorporation of their products into the lyrics of popular music. 

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Remember that lady that was mocked for suing McDonald's for how hot her coffee was? She had a legitimate case! Read more about it

Everyone, from the media to the general public, dismissed Stella Liebach’s case against McDonalds as frivolous, and proceeded to mock and undermine it. “America;” they said, “the country where you can take the case of your hot coffee to court.” When they should have been saying something along the lines of, “America; the country where coffee can be so hot that it causes 3rd degree burns.” 

That’s exactly what happened when the 71 year old lady spilled her McDonald’s coffee on her lap. She required extensive surgery and her medical bill totaled a staggering $10 000, of which McDonald’s only offered to pay $800. 

The manual for the McDonald’s franchise explicitly states that the water temperature must not exceed 180 degrees, as severe injury can occur if it does. Stella was not alone; there were 700 similar burn cases prior her incident. When questioned by jurors on these, McDonald’s was “totally indifferent and ignored consumers’ safety.” 

The jury awarded Ms.Leibach $2.7 million; only 2 days worth of MacDonald’s coffee sales. The judge reduced this to $480 000; as if that could cover the pain and suffering of this woman who on top of everything else was unjustly criticized, and teach a lesson to a huge company that showed zero regard for its customers. 

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