1955 First McDonalds Opened

Photo by Mike Mozart

(4/15/55) In Des Plains, Illinois, the first McDonald'sfranchise restaurant was opened. Ray Kroc owned the restaurant.

While we credit the start of the McDonalds chain to 1955 when Ray Kroc founded his first franchise, McDonald's actually began in 1948 when the McDonalds brothers (Richard and Maurice) closed their existing restaurant to concentrate on the items that sold most- Hamburgers. On December 12, 1948, they opened their first self-service McDonalds, selling Hamburgers, Cheese Burgers, French Fries, Softdrinks and milkshakes in San Bernardino, California. The new restaurant was an immediate success. In 1952 they moved to a new building entirely designed with their needs in mind and including the golden arches. The brother agreed to franchise the restaurant into a few locals.

In 1954 Ray Kroc who was selling Multimixer Milk Shake machines noticed that the McDonalds was using eight machines in one store. Kroc was intrigued and visited the restaurant. He convinced the brothers that the McDonalds had to be franchised all over the United States and he was the man to do it. They granted him the rights to do so, except for the few areas that they had already given out franchises. In return for the rights, the McDonald brothers were to receive one half a percent of the sales of the franchises.

The first of Kroc’s restaurants opened on April 15, 1955, at 400 North Lee Street in Des Plaines, outside Chicago. By 1958 there were 32 franchises, and by 1960 there were 100. The rest is history.