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Today In History: April 15th, 1955

Photo Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The First McDonald’s Franchise Restaurant Opens In Illinois, USA.

On April 15, 1955, a significant chapter in American culinary history was written in Des Plaines, Illinois, when Ray Kroc opened the first franchised McDonald’s restaurant. This wasn’t just the opening of a new dining establishment; it was the birth of what would become a global fast-food empire. Kroc, who’d previously been a milkshake machine salesman, saw potential in the McDonald brothers’ restaurant concept in California and had struck a deal to franchise their model nationwide.

Two cars parked outside of a McDonald's restaurant
On this site April 15, 1955, Ray Kroc, founder of the McDonald’s franchise, opened his first restaurant. Photo Credit: Tim Boyle / Newsmakers / Getty Images

The opening day was a spectacle of success, with hundreds of customers lining up to experience fast food in a new, streamlined format. The restaurant’s concept focused on consistent quality, affordable prices and quick service, features that soon became hallmarks of the McDonald’s brand. Kroc’s keen business strategies and vision led to a rapid expansion, essentially transforming both the food industry and dining habits worldwide.

More from us: Here’s the Reason McDonald’s Introduced the Fillet-o-Fish

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Today, McDonald’s is one of the world’s leading global foodservice retailers, with over 36,000 locations in more than 100 countries. Reflecting on that day in 1955, it’s clear Kroc didn’t just open a restaurant; he sparked a fast-food revolution that redefined convenience dining.

The legacy of that first McDonald’s in Des Plaines continues to influence how corporations manage franchises and serve customers across the globe.

TVN News Poster

TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News