skip to content

McDonald's Philosophy and History

From the small restaurant in 1955 to today, McDonald's has been striving to be Our Customer’s Favorite Place and Way to Eat

창업주 레이 크록(Ray Kroc) 이미지

The story of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's and the origin of McDonald's business philosophy

In 1954, Ray Kroc discovered the best hamburger made by the McDonald brothers.

McDonald history dates back to 1954 when Ray Kroc visited a hamburger restaurant in California. One day, Kroc, a milkshake machine salesman went to the McDonald brothers' hamburger restaurant and ordered a burger. He found himself impressed by its incredibly delicious taste. The menu was somehow simple and cheap, but the taste and quality were mind-blowing.

200 more restaurants opened in five years after its first opening in Illinois in 1955.

Kroc proposed his grandeur vision of opening McDonald's stores across the United States to the McDonald's brothers. In 1955, Kroc ambitiously unveiled McDonald's first official franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois. From that moment on, it took only five years to open 200 more stores after tremendous success.

Ray Kroc, the root of McDonald's business philosophy

Kroc devoted himself to McDonald's right up before he died at the age of 81 in January 1984. Whenever a new franchise was opened, he thoroughly reviewed its first-day sales report and kept a hawk's eye over how the new management s ran the business. Ray Kroc's true legacy is the creation of an innovative business model and system which stimulate growth for all in an equal and horizontal business relationship. Kroc created an entirely new business structure that enables all franchises, suppliers, and employees to excel themselves by demonstrating his exceptional capability as a gifted leader. Entrepreneurs today speak highly of him for making contributions to the settlement of advanced corporate culture.

Three-legged Stool' Philosophy

Kroc always pursued his management philosophy of quality food and impeccable service for every time and everywhere. To realize his philosophy, he set out the vision of "work for yourself with McDonald's, not for McDonald's. Kroc is famous for his slogan "In business for yourself, but not by yourself". Kroc's vision is based on the Three-Legged Stool philosophy, with the three legs representing franchise partners, suppliers and employees. This is the secret of McDonald's serving as a role model in franchise and leading the world's largest franchise business for nearly 60 years.

McDonald's Four Promises: Quality, Service, Cleanliness, and Value (QSC&V)

"If I had a brick for every time I’ve repeated the phrase QSC and V (Quality, Service, Cleanliness, and Value), I think I’d probably be able to bridge the Atlantic Ocean with them." Ray Kroc

He would say that McDonald's is more devoted than anyone
in the worldwhen it comes to the hamburger business.
From the beginning, he promised to
provide customers with kind services and
reasonably-priced quality food in clean restaurants.
Ray Kroc referred to McDonald's such corporate
spirit as QSC&V (Quality, Service, Cleanliness, and Value)
which remains as McDonald's core values even today.

*QSC&V : Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value
QSC&V is McDonald's corporate spirit of providing customers with clean food with the best quality and kind services.

  • Quality

    Quality means best ingredients, rigorous recipes, safety-ensured preparation and outstanding tastes. We serve high-quality food satisfying McDonald's strict quality standard. We have established a quality control system by prioritizing quality.

  • Service

    Quick and friendly services paved the way for McDonald's success. McDonald's always puts itself in the customer's shoe. McDonald's has developed a kitchen system called 'Made For You' in order to serve customers with fresh and warm meals by preparing food immediately after receiving an order. Thanks to the 'Made For You' system, we are able to provide quicker and more customer-friendly services. McDonald's services are not just about providing food but giving happiness and joy to customers.

  • Cleanliness

    Cleanliness is an important principle which McDonald's has been sticking to since the genesis of McDonald's in 1955. We provide refreshing atmospheres and facilities from kitchens to lobbies, restrooms to parking lots. Restaurant crews have to wash their hands every 30 minute. Not only that, but McDonald's also strictly checks sanitary conditions and employs a scrupulous system of using different hygienic goods such as gloves while handling and cooking different ingredients.

  • Value

    McDonald's values mean everything customers experience such as quality food, hospitality and quick and clear service.McDonald's is committed to giving customers enjoyable experiences and be satisfied with by providing them the best services whenever they visit McDonald's. McDonald's goal is to share values beyond food.

Kim Ji-woong, Manager at DT store in Namak, Mokpyo

My self-esteem that evolves

When I started working here, I thought McDonald's was just a place where I would do my part-time job. That’s it. Now, McDonald’s is more than that since I’ve been here for 16 years.

Diverse experiences here at McDonalds have led me to think that McDonald’s is a company that always leads new attempts, and changes. McDrive, McDelivery, and the latest Future Restaurant.

As I have continued trying various new things and making changes, I could feel proud of being "first" while working here at McDonald’s. McDonald’s changes are my sense of joy and pride. I will never stop leading such new changes.

Kim Ji-woong, Manager at DT store in Namak, Mokpyo

Kwon Young-mi, Crew at Kyunghee university store

My own secret of
being passionate every day

It was not that easy living a life with night and day flipped around as I work the night shift. But as a 'mom' and a 'wife,' I decided to work harder not to forget to be a 'neighbor' and a 'friend' to customers.

Now I’ve become more like an older sister of the restaurant after all these years of trying to embrace the changing system positively and quickly.
The crew members, my colleagues say that my passion inspires and motivates them to change and grow together.

So, I am going to work with a bigger passion for myself, and the customers tonight.

Kwon Young-mi, Crew at Kyunghee university store

Lee Ji-hyeok, Rider at Mia Station Store

A person who delivers happiness

I thought that the way I view my work would make customers think differently. Rather than just thinking 'I am doing this because of the money, I need to do this for money,' I decided to think 'I am doing this because I want to deliver happiness to people.'

That was the moment when I approached my job with a changed point of view. After that, I started to appreciate working, and this positivity also spread to customers somehow.

So here I am, working with gratefulness and joy. I will do my best to deliver much more happiness.

Lee Ji-hyeok, Rider at Mia Station Store

Lee Na-ra, Crew at Seokchon Store

Changing myself beyond McDonald’s

As I became a 'service leader' and had to contact more customers this year, communication with customers became vital.
It was very awkward and challenging at first. However, the more I worked, the more I wanted to hear compliments from customers that the employees at this store are kind. Since then, I have done my best to smile all the time while I was working.

And amazingly, I started to enjoy working. What was more, customers knew that I changed positively and welcomed me with a smile, which made me very happy.

The desire to do better and hear compliments brought a change not just to McDonald’s but more importantly to myself.

Lee Na-ra, Crew at Seokchon Store