Ray Kroc, at 52 years old, invested his entire life savings to become the exclusive distributor of a milk shake maker called the Multimixer. Hearing about the McDonald’s hamburger stand in California owned by Dick & Mac McDonald running eight Multimixers at a time, he packed up his car and headed West. It was 1954. Ray Kroc had never seen so many people served so quickly. He pitched the idea of opening up several restaurants to the McDonald brothers, convinced that he could sell eight of his Multimixers to each and every one. “Who could we get to open them for us?” Dick McDonald said. Well,” Kroc answered, “what about me?”
Ray Kroc opened the Des Plaines, Illinois restaurant in 1955 and never looked back. In 1965 McDonald’s went public with the company’s first offering on the stock exchange. In 1967, the first McDonald’s restaurant outside the United States opened in Richmond, British Columbia. In 1968, the Big Mac® sandwich was introduced, followed by the Egg McMuffin® breakfast sandwich in 1973.
Today, there are tens of thousands of McDonald’s restaurants serving millions of people daily around the world. The incredible growth and success of McDonald’s can be summed up with the first thought that went through Ray Kroc’s mind when he first saw McDonald’s: “This will go anyplace.” © 2006 McDonald’s