McDonald’s Is 60 Years Old. On Its “Opening Day” It Bragged About Having Served 15 Million Burgers.


Here is a hilarious thing that I find hilarious. The first McDonald’s franchise opened its doors 60 years ago today in Des Plaines, Illinois. This is the day McDonald’s Corporation celebrates as its birthday. When you dive into Google to find the opening day menu for the McDonald’s that opened in Des Plaines, Illinois, on April 15, 1955, this is what you find:

source: kottke.com

 

Notice anything funny? On its opening day menu, McDonald’s bragged about having already served “over 15 million burgers.” So what’s going on? Is this just a hilariously transparent case of false advertising or something else?

It turns out something else. Though McDonald’s as we know it traces its origins to April 15, 1955, in Des Plaines, Illinois, that was actually just the first franchise. McDonald’s had actually already existed for years in California. It was founded by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald in the 1940s. The site’s official history explains:

[Entrepreneur Ray] Kroc pitched his vision of creating McDonald’s restaurants all over the U.S. to the brothers. In 1955, he founded McDonald’s System, Inc., a predecessor of the McDonald’s Corporation, and six years later bought the exclusive rights to the McDonald’s name. By 1958, McDonald’s had sold its 100 millionth hamburger.

So there was nothing nefarious about this claim, but it is still pretty amusing.

Correction: This post originally said Des Plaines was in Iowa. It is in Illinois. I’m dumb.