These before-and-after photos show how much McDonald's has changed over the years

  • The first McDonald’s franchise was opened by Ray Kroc in 1955 and had only nine items on its menu.
  • Kroc had acquired the franchise rights from two brothers, Dick and Maurice “Mac” McDonald, who had opened a small hamburger stand in San Bernardino, California, in 1940. Kroc later acquired exclusive rights to the McDonald’s name.
  • We collected photos from the earliest McDonald’s stores to see how much they have changed over the past 70 years.

McDonald’s is one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world. To stay on top, the fast-food chain needs to be constantly changing to stay up-to-date with current trends. From adding healthier menu items to offering an app to order and pay for food online, the chain is constantly evolving to maintain its international dominance in fast food.

In just over 70 years, McDonald’s has grown from a local restaurant in California to an internationally known chain servicing over 69 million customers every day.

Keep scrolling to see some photos of how the brand has changed over the years:

Back in the chain’s early days, this is what most McDonald’s stores looked like. This photo was taken in 1985, but it shows one of the few “old style” McDonald’s restaurants that were still operating at the time.

Since then, the iconic yellow arches have become more of an accent piece on contemporary buildings.

Some stores have chosen to revamp the original store design.

The logo has also undergone some changes. This logo was used from 1961 to 1968. Several similar iterations were used from 1968 to 2006.

The current logo was first used in 2006.

The original restaurant used to sell hamburgers for 15 cents, and it only had 9 items on the menu.

The most recent menu update is the $US1, $US2, $US3 menu, which sells different items for $US3 or less.

Source: Business Insider

This is what the original McDonald’s packaging looked like.


After six years, the company switched from the mascot to a simple logo, using this design until 1968.


In the 1980s, the company switched to foam packaging, followed by brown bags in the 1990s.


This clean packaging was the most recent major update before the company switched back to brown bags in 2016. To get to this point, the packaging has gone through numerous changes to keep up with trends while keeping their now-iconic look.

Source: Business Insider

In 1961, McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc launched Hamburger University to train McDonald’s managers. The intensive program lasts one week, and students can earn college credit for attending the business and leadership-oriented courses.

Hamburger University still operates today on an international scale, and more than 40% of McDonald’s senior leaders are graduates of the program. Over the past 55 years, over 275,000 people have attended Hamburger University.

The company introduced its now-famous mascot, Ronald McDonald, in 1963.

Today, Ronald McDonald is recognisable all over the world.

Ronald McDonald used to be one of many characters on the show “McDonaldland,” but most were phased out after Sid and Marty Krofft sued McDonald’s, claiming that the entire show was a copyright infringement of their show “H.R. Pufnstuf.” “McDonaldland” characters and toys are now seen as collectors’ items and sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

Source: eBay

McDonald’s has always used simple graphics in its advertisements. This one is from 1974 …

… and this one is from 2016.

The “I’m lovin’ it” campaign first appeared in the early 2000s. This ad is from 2003.

The slogan is still used today.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.