You probably passed by a few McDonald’s on your way to work or school. While these fast food restaurants have taken over the world, there are actually some interesting facts and products you never knew McDonald’s offered.
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6. The Drive-thru
While you may think that McDonald's initially opened with a drive-thru, it took twenty years for McDonald's to build the first drive-thru. In 1974, a regional manager in Dallas saw the success of drive-thrus at other fast food chains in Oklahoma City, and wanted to bring them to McDonalds. After a year of convincing his bosses, the first McDonald’s drive-thru opened in 1975 in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
The first drive-thru was a massive success due to the local Army base that restricted any soldiers from going into public while wearing their fatigues. Thanks to the drive-thru, the soldiers were able to pick up food quickly and without worrying about breaking their strict rules.
Today, the McDonald’s drive-thru is responsible for over 70% of the company’s sales.
5. Floating McDonalds
McDonald's has always been one to try and capitalize on events such as the Olympics. However, in 1986 McDonalds took a dramatic step in Canada to make a one of a kind restaurant.
To help celebrate the Vancouver centennial, McDonald's spent 12 million, or 26 million adjusted for inflation, to create the first ever floating McDonald's. The barge included unique sailor uniforms for the staff, a hidden kitchen, and panoramic views of Vancouver. However, after the event, McDonald's was not able to secure a new port for the restaurant and abandoned it.
While the barge has been sitting for decades decaying, a recent investor group plans on spending 4.5 million to refurbish the floating McDonalds and possibly turn it into another restaurant beside McDonald's.
4. Wedding Packages
Most people think of McDonald's as the cheap fast food restaurant you want to run in and out of on your way to work. In Hong Kong though, McDonald's is slowly changing its image and offering a service no one would expect from the fast food chain.
In a limited number of Hong Kong McDonald's restaurants, customers can book a wedding party at the store. For 9,999 Hong Kong Dollars, or 1,280 US Dollars, you can book the largest wedding package, “The Love Forever Part.” This package includes over 300 dollars in McDonald’s food, a DJ, and even decorations for the store.
While this is still only available in Hong Kong restaurants, it still is one of the strangest products McDonald's has ever offered.
3. Too Many Ingredients
McDonald's has always been debating what ingredients they use in their products. Documentaries and news articles have pointed out that McDonald's use too many unhealthy ingredients and chemicals in their foods, resulting in a fair amount of bad press.
Something as simple as their fries includes 19 ingredients, and their McRib contains over 70. In recent years, McDonald's has released numerous videos to help explain the use of these additional ingredients, primarily saying that they are needed to preserve the food through transport.
Even with the debate still raging about their ingredients, McDonald's still brings in over 20 billion dollars in sales and revenue every year.
2. McDonald's and Video Games
Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, McDonald's has partnered with Nintendo to promote the N64 and Gamecube.
The consoles were placed into individual housings to help withstand the extreme use of children. These consoles can still found in some McDonald's locations in various working order. However, Nintendo’s partnership didn’t stop at installing consoles at their restaurants.
Nintendo was even one of the primary driving forces of McDonald's installing WiFi into their restaurants. Nintendo wanted to offer a free WiFi location for their recent DS handheld game system, and where better than McDonald's to install them.
1. Hamburger University
Even though McDonald's has come under pressure about the way in which they pay and treat their employees, they are still one of the only fast food restaurants to have their own university.
McDonald's founder, Ray Kroc, founded the first training program in 1961 to help train the numerous new employees of the most efficient way to work at McDonald's. Since its humble beginnings, the training program has since turned into Hamburger University with over seven campuses around the world. The university is so selective in the students it picks, Bloomberg reported in 2011 that it was easier to get into Harvard than the McDonald's University located in China.
What is even more fascinating, students at the American campus can earn 26 college credits that are accepted at over 1,600 US Colleges and Universities.