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25+ Secrets From McDonald’s That Help the Company Remain the Most Popular Fast Food Chain in the World

The McDonald brothers opened their first restaurant in 1940, but it became truly successful thanks to a businessman named Ray Kroc. As a result, he got rid of all his debt and when he died, he had acquired a fortune worth $500 million. His story became the plot of the film The Founder. Today, his company, McDonald’s, was on the top 10 list of the most powerful brands of the world in 2019 and the scale of the company is incredible: the chain has over 37,000 restaurants that serve around 70 million customers every day.

We at Bright Side decided to take a closer look at how things are from the inside, what their burgers are made from, and what tricks may be useful for those who decide to visit the nearest McDonald’s.

Characteristics of the menu

  • The menu is a combination of traditional meals and local ones, created based on the preferences of the people in a certain country. For example, in China, they once served burgers with grilled German sausages and in Singapore, aside from regular buns, they use buns made out of fried rice cakes. Also, there are some unusual variants: like salty French fries with chocolate in Japan, or pasta in Italy.

  • There’s no such thing as a secret menu. But many meals can be customized: you can add and remove ingredients, create drinks, ice creams, or sandwiches based on your preferences. For example, you can order a burger without cheese or meat.

  • The names of meals and drinks are often different. For example, in some places, the law prohibits McDonald’s from calling their ice cream-based drinks, milkshakes because they contain skim milk.

  • Coffee is different too. Depending on the country, there are different coffee blends.

  • In Israel, there are kosher McDonald’s restaurants, but most of them still have regular menus.

  • Coca-Cola actually tastes different from what you can buy in a supermarket. The syrup is only delivered in cold steel containers and the machines that pour the drinks set a special temperature to keep the taste of the drink consistent. The machine first adds the soda, then the syrup, then the soda again, and then the syrup again, and the cycle repeats.

  • It is a known fact that in some countries, the French fries at McDonald’s have a special feature — a natural additive that tastes like meat.

  • For the breakfast menu, they use eggs of different consistencies, and they may be different depending on the country and on the meal they are going to cook.

  • Pork for burgers is made of chopped pork with rosemary, sage, and a mix of peppers.

  • Nuggets can have 4 different shapes: bone, bell, boot, and ball. This is done so that they are easier to put into the dip. They only use chicken breast meat without any artificial additives. They add salt, pepper, and celery.

  • The Filet-o-Fish was put on the menu in 1962 after Lou Groen, a McDonald’s franchise owner in Ohio, noticed that sales were down on Friday because their Roman Catholic customers couldn’t eat meat, but were allowed to eat fish.

  • Standard sandwiches don’t have fresh onion, but dry, dehydrated onion that is returned to its original look with water.

What the business looks like from the inside

  • McDonald’s is investing a lot of money into improving the menu and teaching their workers. There is a Hamburger University that has branches in different parts of the world. There, students develop their leadership skills, learn to manage people, and learn to work with customers. In 2011, 275,000 people finished it.

  • Since 1986, The Economist has been evaluating the price of life in different countries based on the Big Mac index: based on the price of this sandwich that is sold across the entire world.
  • In some areas, there are laws that won’t let McDonald’s open their restaurants there. For example, while Bermuda opened a McDonald’s in 1985, a government ban caused it to shut down around 10 years later. This is sometimes an attempt to support the local fast-food restaurant owners. For example, in Iran, there is a company called Mash Donalds.
  • NASA has been working with McDonald’s for a long time. In Houston, not far from the space center, there is a restaurant with an astronaut on the roof and in the 1990s, they even planned a mission to the 449 Hamburga asteroid.
  • By the way, the original film with photos from the Moon missions is kept in the abandoned McDonalds on the NASA Ames campus territory.

McDonald’s and kids

  • Some Happy Meal boxes have dotted lines that help turn the bottom of the box into a plate or a tray to make it easier for children to eat.
  • Depending on the country, the menus might have healthier drinks and meals for kids, for example, milk, mineral water, cereal, apple slices, baby carrots, omelets, and salads.
  • Disney doesn’t want to be associated with childhood obesity. This is why McDonald’s doesn’t sell Disney toys anymore.

Useful tricks for visitors

  • Even healthy foods might add a few extra inches to your body. For example, some salads have more calories than their standard sandwiches: a Ceasar salad might contain 345 cal whereas a regular cheeseburger only contains 298 cal. This is why it’s important to check the caloric value of every meal you eat.

  • Many people eat salads at McDonald’s the wrong way. They are supposed to open the pack, add the dressing, close the pack, and shake it for 20-30 seconds to mix the ingredients with the dressing.

  • The Filet-o-Fish only contains one half of a cheese piece, whereas regular sandwiches have a regular-sized cheese piece.

  • You can find a recipe for the “secret” sauce that is added to Big Macs.
  • One of the most unusual combinations is a milkshake or ice cream instead of a dip with French fries.

When was the last time you visited a McDonald’s? Tell us in the comment section below!