The first Fast Food Franchise McDonald’s

The golden age (1953-1960) of the American society is characterized by its material abundance of merchandise. The word “freedom” changes its meaning to the freedom to choose from a variety of products. The new way of thinking emerged with the expansion of suburban living and having luxury things as necessities of everyday life. As some historians believe at that point the ideology had died and the new era of consumption and capitalism started. Owning a car transformed American travel habits; it symbolized the freedom of mobility and led to construction of the entertainment enterprises and eating establishments on the altered landscape.

As an example the first McDonald’s restaurant opened in 1955 in Illinois. The founders were two brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald who created their famous logo (an overlapping letter “M”). McDonald’s introduced the speedy food service system which led to its worldwide expansion and its famous franchise by another corporate founder Ray Kroc. McDonald’s was the first restaurant to offer drive though food service. But over the years the fast food chain has become a target of health issues that contribute to obesity and heart diseases among the population.

Nevertheless McDonald’s has certainly become the symbol of globalization and the American way of life of comfort and affordability. I consider the creation of McDonald’s an important change in the american nutrition sphere that has tremendously affected millions of citizens who suffer from overweight and see fast food as the only diet

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9 Responses to The first Fast Food Franchise McDonald’s

  1. Bhaskara says:

    In response to Wrosas : “According to the movie “Super Size me”, McDonalds put some sort of addictive ‘drug’ in their food so customers could keep coming back constantly”

    I think we call those “drugs” French Fries.

  2. wrosas says:

    McDonalds is a multi-billion franchise. You can find it anywhere in this world in every language which is very admirable.
    In reference to Esmeraldas question and the rest of the commentaries, of course we can not blame them for obesity but I dare say they play a big role. According to the movie “Super Size me”, McDonalds put some sort of addictive “drug” in their food so customers could keep coming back constantly. And they were not putting up how many calories each meal had, not informing their customers of what they were eating. As I mentioned before we can not blame them for obesity because one makes their own decisions on what to eat but they do play a role in it.

  3. Yana says:

    I agree with all the commentators, but I would like to add that McDonalds is not the only one restaurant that contributes to obesity, just as Kim said. With the “free enterprise” concept in the 1950s, other fast food restaurants started to emerge and compete with McDonalds: Wendys (1969), Kentucky Fried Chicken (1965 franchise, original date 1930), Taco bell (1962), Arbys (1964), Burger King (1953) etc. These chain restaurants were franchised and expanded throughout the whole America creating easy access to cheap cooked food. Americans have become their own victims of their “freedom to choose” being exposed to unnecessary overeating.

  4. Wu says:

    McDonald’s have certainly become the symbol of globalism. There are not many countries in the world where you wouldn’t find one. I believe soon after taking control of Afghanistan and Iraq, McDonald’s started immediately to set up shop.

  5. Kin says:

    Just to clerify, I am not blaming McDonalds for the cause of obesity, however, they are just factors. For instance, advancement in technology causes kids to stay home to watch TV or play video games. However, they are not causes, but mere factors in contribution to obesity.

    I agree with Thomas, that is comes to self control. To decide what to eat and exercise.

  6. Thomas says:

    When defining the word culture, I think food plays an important role in that definition. Foreign cultures have changed with the introduction of fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s. It can be argued that McDonald’s has both positive and negative impacts on a foreign culture. The positives of McDonald’s is that it enhances the local culture by providing a variety that was never experienced. McDonald’s also does not force the American traditions and values, rather it conforms to the local culture by embracing locally owned franchise owners and altering its menu to conform with local taste. However, McDonald’s has also introduced non-traditional foods into cultures such as India in which the Hindu people consider the cow to be a sacred part of their religion. The introduction of these foods counter the traditions that are trying to be upheld. In other cultures, eating and dining is seen as a social experience in which people unite and interact together. Fast food projects eating and dining as a necessity and rejects the social experience and favors an independence and individualism.

    In terms of obesity and diet, I don’t see how people can blame fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s as the problem. Yes, I agree that McDonald’s food is not the healthiest food. But it is up to the consumer to keep eating these foods. The consumer makes the ultimate decision whether to eat fast food or not. If McDonald’s and other fast food chains forced people to eat their food, then yes, blame these restaurants for the obesity of America. But McDonald’s is not forcing people to eat their food. I think it all comes down to self control. People need to learn to control themselves instead of blaming the food they choose to eat as the scapegoat for their dietary problems.

  7. Kin says:

    In addition to the formation of Mcdonald’s, other factors also caused a national obesity. For instance, the advancement in technology, abundance of food and change in quality of food plays a big role in obesity. With the advancement in technology meant we did not need to walk to do daily chores, but simply drive everywhere we went. Also, we can simply pick up the phone and order delivery. The abundance of food is due to the new farming techniques used agricultural technology, however, it has also decreased the quality of food compared to wild animals because farm animals were fed with hormone filled food and not given sufficient exercise. This causes the farm animals to contain hormones and a high fat content compare to wild livestock.

  8. Guvani Persaud says:

    I would like mention that in 1954 the menu at Mc. Donald restaurant was simply hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries, shakes, soft drinks and apple pies, that’s it. No wide menu selection as we have today. Also, you mention that this business started in 1955, I would like to add a brief history of how this business expanded from 1955 to modern days. By 1958 there were 34 restaurants, and then by 1959 there were 67 new locations bringing the total to 101 within 4 years. Today, there are 31,000 Mc Donalds restaurant worldwide employing more than 1.5 million people. On the other hand, Mc Donald have it’s disadvantages too, in terms of diet.

  9. Esmeralda says:

    McDonalds as staple of American fast food. They came up with the concept of Fast food and I would love to taste it when they first came out in 1955. This really change the food culture of the United States and soon of the world.

    Do you think this is when America started it’s Journay to a Fatter America?

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