10 Shocking but True Facts About McDonald’s

Statistically speaking, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably been inside a McDonald’s. However, these 10 facts about the mega franchise might surprise you. From the CEO’s salary to items that are no longer on the menu, nothing is off the table in this list of shocking but true facts. Grab the ketchup, and take a seat – here are 10 shocking but true facts about McDonald’s.

Number Ten: Pay Disparity Between the CEO and Employees. McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook is a very rich man. With a salary of $1.1 million per year (as of January 2015), it would take a full-time McDonald’s employee more than 70 years of work to earn what Easterbrook makes in one year.

Number Nine: Super-Sized Portions. In 1955, McDonald’s had nine items on its menu. Now, there are over 170 options diners can choose from. However, what’s interesting isn’t how many options there are, but the size of the options. In 1955, the average small fry weight 2.4 ounces; today, the average small fry weighs 2.6 ounces. An increase of 0.2 ounces doesn’t seem like much, but take into account a large fry today is 5.9 ounces, and the difference is astounding.

Number Eight: The Customers. Every single day, McDonald’s all over the world serve a total of 68 million people. To put it in perspective, that’s more people than are in some third world countries. The McDonald’s could literally keep an entire third world country from going hungry in one day.

Number Seven: Super-Sized Budget Cuts. McDonald’s has not been having a good year. So far in 2015, at least 700 McDonald’s have shut down, and employees are suffering. Though McDonald’s is admittedly trying to rebrand itself as offering healthy options, things are not looking up for the brightly-colored company.

Number Six: The Not-So-Happy Meal. Most kids get excited for Happy Meals for one reason: the toys. Every year, approximately 1.2 billion happy meals are sold; however, laws have been passed in certain states and countries that prevent toys from being included in the meals. This is to stop children from craving fast food just so they could get the toy.

Number Five: McPomp and Circumstance. No, the picture you see above is not fake. Hamburger University is very, very real, and it’s been open since 1961. Students attend the university if they want to train to become a manager at McDonald’s, and they get their degree in “hamburgerology.”

Number Four: The Turquoise Arch. The only McDonald’s arches that aren’t golden are in Sedona, Arizona. To fit in with the natural landscape, the residents of Sedona thought turquoise would be a more fitting color for the iconic arches than golden. This is the only McDonald’s in the world without golden arches.

Number Three: The McDonald’s Classics. There are several classic McDonald’s items that no longer exist. In 1970, McDonald’s carried a pizza, called the McPizza; several southern states also had a catfish sandwich, and there was also the McSpaghetti. Pictured above is the McLobster, which yes, is actually a thing that exists. You can’t get one of those everywhere, though.

Number Two: Golden Arches Vs. Christian Cross. This may not surprise you, but in a study, it was found that more people could identify McDonald’s golden arches than could identify a standard Christian cross. Another study found that 96% of children could identify Ronald McDonald by name; according to the study, the only fictional character more recognizable was Santa.

Number One: McAdvertising. As of 2011, McDonald’s was spending $2 billion on advertising annually. With a net worth of nearly $70 billion, this is chump change. However, the surprising bit is that only 36 total companies in the United States spend more than $1 billion on advertising every year, so McDonald’s is actually spending quite the pretty penny. Maybe that’s why those golden arches are so recognizable.