Thirteen Things You Didn’t Know About McDonald’s

By Justin Rohrlich  MAR 08, 2010 1:35 PM

Fun facts about the fast-food chain and its pitchman, Ronald.

 


McDonald's (MCD) reported a 4.8% increase in February sales, sending shares up more than 2.5% on Monday.

Weaker domestic sales were offset by strong overseas results -- most notably in Japan, China, and Australia.

Although Oppenheimer analyst Matthew DiFrisco believes McDonald's is still taking share from competitors like Burger King (BKC), its same-store sales numbers still didn’t meet his expectations. DiFrisco has a rating of “peer perform” on the stock, according to Reuters.

The big yellow arches are recognized throughout the world. And while most people have tried a Big Mac at some point in their lives, there are other facts about McDonald’s that are lesser known. Here are 13 things you didn’t know about the leading fast-food chain:

1. About one-third of Mexico's sesame seed crop is purchased by McDonald’s for its buns and there are roughly 380 seeds on each one.

2. When McDonald's was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1986, it set a record for opening-day trading volume of a non-Japanese company, with 615,750 shares changing hands.

3. By one estimate, a mere 6% of the Big Mac’s price comes from the cost of its ingredients -- the rest of the price coming from labor costs, rent, utilities, packaging, and the like.

4. Legendary Today show weatherman Willard Scott was the first Ronald McDonald.



5. Ronald McDonald's shoes are size 29 EEE.

6. The Happy Meal was first rolled out in 1979 and featured McDoodler stencils, McWrist Wallets, ID bracelets, spinning tops, and McDonaldland character erasers. St. Louis Regional Advertising Manager Dick Brams is credited with the Happy Meal concept, and is known as the “Father of the Happy Meal”.

7. There is a ski-through McDonald's in Sälen, Sweden.

8. In Japan, Ronald McDonald is known as Donald McDonald because there is no “r” sound in Japanese. 



9. The smallest McDonald’s is also in Japan, in the Ginza district of Tokyo, measuring just 492 square feet.

10. The largest is in Beijing, measuring 28,000 square feet and seating 700 customers.

11. Well-known ex-McDonald’s employees include George W. Bush's first chief of staff, Andrew Card, Amazon.com (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos, Robert Cornog, retired CEO of Snap-On Tools (SNA), astronaut Leroy Chiao, and Jay Leno.

12. With all the talk of dead-end “McJobs”, McDonald’s actually provides its employees comprehensive benefits, including medical, dental, 401(k) matching, and offers workers a program called Mc$ave, a money market fund managed by T. Rowe Price (TROW).

13. Suleiman Qassab of Kurdistan was denied permission to open an actual McDonald’s, so he took matters into his own hands:



You can’t satisfy your Big Mac craving in Sulaymaniyah, but you can get your hands on MaDonal’s own “Big Mack”. Bl-hana wa ash-shifa'! (Bon appetit!)
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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