The largest restaurant chain in the world is also a very popular fast food chain, a favorite of adults and children alike…with outlets in 120 countries worldwide, McDonald’s is the largest restaurant chain. The company has over 36,000 outlets across the globe. McDonald’s is also the second largest private employer in the world says Forbes Magazine (2015). This fast food chain employs over 1.9 million people worldwide.
The first McDonald’s was set up in San Bernardino (California) by Richard and Maurice McDonald on May 15th, 1940. This outlet initially operated as a popular barbecue restaurant but the McDonald brothers became popular for implementing production line principles in the restaurant business. The brothers came up with the brilliant idea of inviting franchisees and converting the lone restaurant into a chain. In 1954, they were joined by Ray Kroc, a franchise agent and a visionary. He bought the chain from the McDonald brothers and made McDonald’s a popular name across the US. The popular Golden Arches logo (the stylized M) that is an iconic symbol of the McDonald’s brand was adopted by him in 1962. Five years later, McDonald’s opened its first international restaurants in Canada and Puerto Rico. The popular appeal of the food, the identifiable brand image, the ever- popular menu items and the informal settings –are just a few of the things that keep McDonald’s on top. Currently, McDonald’s serves over 68 million customers each day around the world.
Countries with the most number of McDonald’s outlets (as of 2016)–
- United States of America – 14,146 outlets
- Japan – 2,975 outlets
- China (PRC) – over 2,000 outlets
- Germany – 1470 outlets
- Canada – 1,450 outlets
McDonald’s designation as the largest restaurant chain in the world is based on the fact that it is present in more countries than any other restaurant chain. Subway, the popular chain of sandwich shops, however, also stakes claim to being the biggest food chain by virtue of the number of outlets worldwide. Subway has 44,834 sandwich shops but registers a presence in only 112 countries (as of 2016). Based in Milford, Connecticut, Subway is known for its submarine sandwiches and salads.
In recent times, McDonald’s claim of being the largest restaurant chain in the world (by number of countries present) is facing serious challenge from Starbucks – a popular coffee house chain based in Seattle. Experts predict that Starbucks (24,464 outlets as of 2016) may soon register its presence in as many countries as McDonald’s.