Thursday, September 15, 2005

McHistory along Route 66 in San Bernardino

In 1940 the McDonald brothers opened "McDonald's Barbeque restaurant" at 14th & E Streets in San Bernardino, along old Rte. 66.

In 1948 the McDonald brothers had an epiphany:
They realized the future of restaurants lay in the ability to attract the booming young family market. Dick McDonald studied his menu and discovered that 80% of his sales were generated by hamburgers! They realized that the future also relied on speed of service and mass production. (From the timeline
The first franchise was opened by Ray Kroc in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. He named his restaurant "McDonald's #1", even though it was the 9th McDonald's Restaurant. In 1961 Kroc bought out the McDonald's brothers for 2.7 million dollars, and the rest, as they say, is history. (McDonald's Corporation puts a slightly different spin on the story).

In 1998, a historical marker was finally placed at the site of the original McDonald's in San Bernardino. The building was converted into an unofficial McDonald's museum by Albert Okura, founder of the Juan Pollo restaurant chain. (Okura also recently purchased the deserted town of Amboy along Route 66 between Barstow and Needles).

(Nancy Ghanem recalls the old San Bernardino McD's in the Franchise Road Stories Blog)

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