24 Interesting and Surprising Facts About McDonald’s

There’s no doubt McDonald’s has earned its renowned place in popular culture. With billions served in countries across the globe, it’s no wonder that this fast food chain sparks curiosity.

Get ready to discover 24 facts you might not know about this iconic burger chain.

1: It Wasn’t a Burger Joint 

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When it opened in 1940, McDonald’s was a BBQ restaurant. Eight years later, the owners switched to selling burgers and milkshakes. 

2: There Are More McDonald’s Than Hospitals 

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There are 6,120 hospitals in the United States. As of 2022, there were 13,444 McDonald’s restaurants. 

3: It’s Not That Fast

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McDonald’s may focus on fast, drive-thru service, but it’s not the quickest drive-thru. It takes an average of 413 seconds to get your order at McDonald’s. Taco Bell only takes 278 seconds. 

4: Military Inspired 

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The first McDonald’s drive-thru was in Sierra Vista, Arizona, which is also home to Fort Huachuca, a military base. Armed forces members weren’t allowed to exit their vehicles while wearing their military fatigues, so McDonald’s created the drive-thru concept to accommodate them. 

5: The Coke Is Different 

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It’s not in your head; McDonald’s Coca-Cola is different. McDonald’s receives its Coca-Cola syrup in stainless steel tanks rather than plastic bags to preserve the fresh flavor. 

6: Bigger Than Jesus 

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It’s possible that McDonald’s is more widely recognized than Christianity. One survey showed that the McDonald’s arches are more recognizable than the Christian cross. 

7: Not Always Golden 

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There’s one McDonald’s without golden arches. In Sedona, Arizona, the arches are turquoise because of a city ordinance that required the franchise owners to make their buildings more aligned with the natural environment. 

8: Unique Menus

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McDonald’s menus cater to local tastes. In Germany, you’ll find bratwurst, and in Israel, you can order a McFalafel. 

9: Big Macs Aren’t Exclusive

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After losing a trademark suit, McDonald’s in the European Union lost exclusive rights to the term “Big Mac.” Other restaurants can use the name, like McDonald’s rival, Burger King, which put up a snarky EU menu labeling their burgers “Big-Mac-ish.”

10: Also a Ski-Thru 

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You can find McDonald’s drive-thrus all over the world, but there’s only one ski-thru. Located in Salen, Sweden, skiers can get their burgers and fries at the McDonald’s ski-thru without unbuckling their boots. 

11: Once a Barge

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For the 1986 World’s Fair, McDonald’s opened a restaurant on a floating barge. Though burgers at sea aren’t currently available, the barge is still afloat in Vancouver, Canada. 

12: Pulp Fiction Got It Wrong

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Samuel Jackson’s character refers to a “Royale with cheese,” in the famous movie. However, the French version of the McDonald’s burger is really a “Royal with cheese.” 

13: Available for Weddings

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McDonald’s in Hong Kong offers wedding packages. For $1,200, happy couples can access a decorated location, a bridal bouquet, an apple pie dessert display, and more. 

14: Not Allowed Everywhere

Stop sign in grey weather.
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Some countries have banned McDonald’s from opening. These include Bermuda, Iran, Montenegro, and Yemen, among others. 

15: There Are US Regional Specialties 

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Even in the U.S., McDonald’s offers regional menu items, including a McLobster Roll in New England and spam and eggs in Hawaii.    

16: Big Mac Isn’t a Top Seller 

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McDonald’s sells a lot of Big Macs, but their french fries outsell their famous burger by a long shot. Almost three and a half billion pounds of fries leave McDonald’s fryers each year. 

17: Epic Failures 

A pile of pennies.
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McDonald’s has seen more than its fair share of success, but it’s also had some epic failures. In the mid-1990s, McDonald’s spent over $200 million developing the “Arch Deluxe” burger, which completely flopped. 

18: Long Ingredient List 

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Chicken nuggets have 40 ingredients. But that’s nothing compared to the McRib, which has over seventy. 

19: McRib Made Up for Nuggets

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Chicken McNuggets are so popular that chicken suppliers have a tough time keeping up with the demand. McDonald’s launched the McRib in part to lure consumers away from chicken. 

20: The First Ronald McDonald Got Too Fat

Measuring tape
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The first person to play Ronald McDonald, Willard Scott, was fired for putting on too many pounds. This is ironic, given that McDonald’s isn’t known for low-calorie food. 

21: The Caesar Salad Isn’t Exactly Healthy

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 McDonald’s offers salads for its health-conscious customers, but when it comes to calories, you’re better off with a burger. The Caesar salad has 730 calories, and a Big Mac only has 680. 

22: Ronald McDonald Has More Than One Name

Japanese town.
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In Japan, Ronald McDonald is known as Donald McDonald. Japanese doesn’t have an “R” sound, which makes saying Ronald difficult. 

23: The Biggest Toy Distributor 

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Happy Meals are so popular that McDonald’s is now the biggest toy distributor in the world. According to reports, more than 5,000 Happy Meals are sold every minute. 

24: Sara Michelle Gellar Is Banned

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In 1981, then-five-year-old Sara Michelle Gellar starred in a Burger King commercial that bashed McDonald’s. In a lawsuit that followed, Gellar was named and subsequently forbidden from dining inside a McDonald’s restaurant. 

25 Discontinued Foods That Americans Miss Seeing on the Shelf

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Every once in a while, big-name brands pull products with huge followings off the shelf, saddening Americans across the country. These are the foods Americans want back the most.

25 Discontinued Foods That Americans Miss Seeing on the Shelf

The World’s 21 Priciest Food Items

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Items such as caviar and truffles are commonly associated with opulence, but we bet you weren’t expecting some of the items on this list. From rare delicacies like moose milk cheese to unconventional treasures like black watermelon, the culinary world’s priciest offerings never fail to astonish.

The World’s 21 Priciest Food Items

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