Skip to content
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal

McDonald's is 75 years old today - here's what their first menu looked like

It’s all a little more streamlined shall we say.
May 15th 2015, 12:47 PM 40,197 45

Leisure - Fast Food - McDonald's - Dale City Source: AP/Press Association Images

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO the Golden Arches.

McDonald’s turns 75 today and it’s safe to say the company has come a long way from its origins in wartime America.

Originally a barbecue restaurant in San Benardino, California, here’s what was on the menu in Richard and Maurice McDonald’s eatery in 1940.

mcd 1 Source: kottke/Twitter

The brothers soon worked out that the majority of their business came from selling hamburgers, and this is what their restaurant looked like in 1948, after it was officially retooled as a fast-food burger joint.

mcd2 Source: alexander/Twitter

MCDONALDS Source: AP/Press Association Images

Six years later the McDonald brothers had their franchise bought out from under them by 52-year-old businessman Ray Kroc, and the rest is history.

The world-famous golden arches and capital ‘M’ McDonald’s sign were first brought before the public in 1968.

Some more nostalgia – here’s what the franchise’s first ever UK restaurant and menu looked like in 1974:

mcd3 Source: metrouk/Twitter

McDonalds finally came to Ireland in 1977, opening on Dublin’s Grafton Street, and that restaurant is still there to this day.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

mcd4 Source:

These days, the business is struggling to put it mildly – not helped by a series of hygiene and health scandals that have decimated its business in Asia, and new, hipper franchises like Five Guys that have eaten into its American dominance.

The company, under new CEO Steve Easterbrook is on a major reboot drive in order to win back its business.

Unfortunately this has led to the Hamburglar being hipster-ised…

Honestly, what would 1980s Hamburglar think?


We still love you though Hamburglar. A very happy birthday to what, it’s probably safe to say, remains a worldwide institution.

Read: 11 retro McDonalds toys that will make 90s kids weak with nostalgia

Read: The McDonald’s of the future is in Australia

Send a tip to the author

Cianan Brennan


    Back to top