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. Frequently Asked Questions


Picture Of Grimace

Grimace by Kevin Hebert

*** Version 10 ***

This list of questions and answers is intended to help the new
reader learn a few basic things about McDonald's and its food. It will
be posted weekly on and
The FAQ is now available on the World Wide Web; check out
A text version of the FAQ is available here.

Last revised: February 24, 1999 

If there is a blatant problem with this FAQ, please email me at and I'll fix it!

Until recently, I allowed distribution of this FAQ any way you like. Due to
several abuses of this policy, the following is required for distribution:

If this FAQ is used for a research paper or other publication, it must be
cited in the bibliography of that publication.

If this FAQ is used, to any extent, to create another FAQ, that FAQ must
include the phrase "some information in this FAQ is based on the
FAQ maintained by Kevin Hebert".

-- Kevin M. Hebert
Here are the most frequently asked questions on Click the question in the index below, or browse the FAQ at leisure.

1.) What is McDonald's?

2.) Who founded McDonald's?

3.) What characters are associated with McDonald's?

4.) Who was the original Ronald?

5.) What products does McDonald's serve?

6.) Wow! How many calories in all that food?

7.) What is the special sauce?

8.) Why only 1/2 a slice of cheese for the Filet-O-Fish sandwich?

9.) Does the beef for the hamburgers come from the rainforest?

10.) Does McDonald's offer free refills?

11.) What is "Q-ing", and how can I make sure my sandwich doesn't get "Q-d"?>

12.) Where is the largest McDonald's in the WORLD?

13.) Can you explain the McLibel trial?

14.) What is the corporate address of McDonald's?

15.) This is a newsgroup devoted to McDonald's. May I discuss other fast food restaurants here?

16.) How do I buy stock in McDonald's?

17.) Any more McDonald's homepages?

1.) Q: What is McDonald's?
    A: McDonald's is an international restaurant business, with franchises
and owner-operated stores throughout the world, if not the universe.
There are over 15,000 locations in 109 countries, and a new McDonald's 
restaurant opens every 13 hours. 85% of the restaurants are independently
owned and operated, with company-run stores making up the other 15%.
Stock increased by 16% in 1994, and 25% of all McDonald's stock is owned
by employees, licensees, and suppliers.

2.) Q: Who founded McDonald's?
    A: McDonalds was founded in San Bernardino, California by two brothers,
Maurice and Richard McDonald, in 1948.  Ray Kroc was a Multimixer (for
shakes) salesman in 1954 when he came across McDonalds (he supplied
their multimixers).  He was in awe of their efficient, cheap, popular,
and profitable operation.  Although he wasn't the only one to franchise
the McDonalds name he was the only one 	who was was a stickler for what made
the original work, and was by far the most successful.  The Kroc run 
stores started up in the Chicago area in 1955.  Ray Kroc was a bit of  
a weirdo.  His excitement for buisness and food shows in this statement in 
his autobiography: "It was not her sex appeal but the obvious relish with 
which she  devoured the hamburger that made my pulse begin to hammer 
with exitement." Ray Kroc signed his franchise agreement with the McDonald
brothers in 1954. Since then, thousands of McDonald's restaurants opened
through Kroc. The last non-Kroc franchise, in Downey, CA, was purchased by
McDonald's Corporation in 1990. It was opened in 1953 by Roger Williams.

Ray Kroc

from the McSpotlight Home Page

3.) Q: What characters are associated with McDonald's?
    A: Many.

 4.) Q. Who was the orginal Ronald?
     A. Famed weatherman Willard Scott.  In the very first Ronald McDonald 
commercial, with Willard Scott as Ronald(c.1960), he actually says something to
the effect of "I know you're not supposed to talk to strangers, kids, but it's
okay to talk to me, because I'm Ronald the hamburger-loving clown!" Originally he wore shoes made of buns, a cup on his nose, and a hat with a hamburger meal on it. Soon, this was dropped for the more familiar clown outfit. 

 5.) Q: What products does McDonald's serve?
     A: Well, among other things, most American McDonald's have:




Egg McMuffin -- Canadian bacon, egg, and cheese on an English Muffin.

Big Breakfast -- Sausage or Bacon, eggs, hash brown, etc.

Hot Cakes -- pancakes.

Sausage Biscuit -- sausage patty on a biscuit

Sausage and Egg Biscuit -- above, w/egg.

Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuit -- Biscuit, with a circle of bacon and a 
                                slice of cheese, and egg.

Danish -- usually cheese or apple pastry, other flavors available.

Hash Brown -- deep fried hash browned (potatoes) patty.

Breakfast Burrito -- a concoction made of eggs which is only vaguely Mexican.
                     Contains green chiles, onions, diced tomatoes, peppers,
                     American cheese, eggs, and diced sausage.

Bran Muffins

Orange Juice, Coffee, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Orange Drink, Milk,
Iced Tea, Hot Tea, other beverages.


Big Mac -- McD's trademark sandwich, 2 all beef patties, special sauce, 
           lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
           The Big Mac was invented in 1974 by a Pittsburgh store owner 
           to counter other chains large sandwiches (e.g. Burger King's 
           Whopper). The buns in a Big Mac are, from top to bottom, the
           crown, club, and heel.

Filet-O-Fish -- North Atlantic Cod Patty with cheese and tartar sauce.
                The Filet-o-Fish was invented in 1965 by a store owner 
                (Louis Groen) in Cincinnati to counter the fish sandwich at 
                Bob's Big Boy on Fridays (Cincinnati had a large Catholic 

Arch Deluxe --  Quarter pound of beef, with lettuce pieces, tomatoes, cheese,
                onions, ketchup, and special "Chef" or "Arch" sauce which
                seems to be a mix of dijon mustard and mayonaisse. Also
                available with peppered bacon, this new sandwich is served
                on a "bakery fresh" potato flour roll. It had a $200 million
                dollar ad campaign backing it up, and is marketed as an
                "adult" alternative to McDonald's other items. This was 
		discontinued due to poor sales.

McDonald's Big Extra (MBX) -- Quarter Pound Beef patty, with lettuce,
			      tomato, and mayonaisse on a sesame seed bun.

Deluxe Filet -- 50% larger fish patty, iceberg lettuce, and tangy tartar
		sauce on an Arch bun. Discontinued. 

Crispy Chicken Deluxe --  Fried 100% breast meat patty, with mayonaisse,
		          iceberg lettuce, and tomato on an Arch bun.

Grilled Chicken Deluxe --  Grilled chicken breast patty with iceberg lettuce,
			   tomato, and optional lite mayonaisse or other 
			   sauce on an Arch bun.

Hamburger -- small 100% beef patty w/ onions, pickle, ketchup, mustard.

Cheeseburger -- above, w/ a slice of American cheese.

Quarter Pounder -- 1/4 lb beef before cooking, w/ onions, and usually cheese.

McChicken Sandwich -- Chicken fillet with mayo, lettuce, also
                      Cajun Style McChicken and McGrilled Chicken Classic.

McDLT -- 1/4 lb beef, had tomato, lettuce in one side of a styrofoam
         container, beef in other side, no longer avaliable in this fashion.

McLean -- 91% fat free burger, made with carrageenan (a seaweed deriviative)
          topped with ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes,
          and lettuce. Discontinued.

McRib -- processed pork shaped like ribs, with BBQ sauce. Only available
	 occasionally, it is topped with onions and pickles..

Chicken McNuggets -- processed chicken nuggets, with honey, BBQ, sweet and
                     sour, and hot mustard dipping sauces. Note that McDonald's
		     now charges 10 cents each for additional sauce, and that
		     this charge is not included on the menu. Occasional
		     sauces include Schezuan and Apple-Cinnamon.

Chicken Fajitas -- spicy strips of chicken with peppers, etc in a flour

Daily Double -- 2 small all-beef patties, lettuce, tomato, cheese, mayo.
                (Not available in all areas)

McPizza -- a decent pizza with cheese, pepperoni, and the works.
           (Not available in all areas)

Happy Meals -- kid-sized portions of either cheeseburger, hamburger, 
               McNuggets, McPizza, with McDonaldland Cookies, small fries 
               and drink, and a toy.


Hot Apple Pie -- This baked concoction pales in comparison to its 
                 predeccessor, a deep-fried, piping hot delicious concoction.

Soft Serve Cones -- small, inexpensive frozen yogurt; choc., van, or twist.

Triple Ripple -- prepackaged cone. Discontinued.

Sundaes -- great tasting hot-fudge, caramel. butterscotch, or strawberry 
           sundaes, with nuts if requested.

Chocolatey Chip cookies -- chocolate chip cookies.

McDonaldland cookies -- shortbread cookies in the shapes of McDonaldland 

Milkshakes -- vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, with seasonal ones like
              Artic Orange, Grape, and the INCREDIBLE Shamrock Shake.

McFlurry -- Much like Dairy Queen's "Blizzard", candy is whipped into ice 


I have decided not to include worldwide information about McDonald's, 
because there would be 1.) translation problems, and 2.) the size of
this file would triple. Also, while there are quite a few questions and
discussions about international McDonald's, none of them are general 
enough to be included in a FAQ.

6.) Q. Wow! How many calories in all that food?
    A. Exact nutritional numbers (including vitamins, fat, protien, carbos, 
etc.) can  be found at any restaurant in the pamphlet section.  As a 
basic rule though, all the entrees (and the fries) except for the McGrill 
and McDLT have approximately 50% of calories from fat!

Big Mac:                490 (calories)  49% (%of calories from fat)
QuarterP.Cheese:        490             51%
McChicken:              490             55%
McNuggets 9pc.:         400             53%
McGrilled Chicken:      400             28%
Filet-o-Fish:           370             43%
McLean w/Cheese:        370             35%
Cheeseburger:           300             40%
Hamburger:              250             32%

Large Fries:            425             50%

Shakes (small):
-chocolate              350             17%
-strawberry             340             13%
-vanilla                310             15%

7.) Q. What is the special sauce?
    A. The special sauce appears to be a mixture of mayonaisse, ketchup, and
relish. It is akin to thousand island dressing.

8.) Q. Why only half a slice of cheese for the Filet-O-Fish sandwich?
    A. In a nutshell, because Ray Kroc liked it that way :-)  I think he made
mention of this in his book Grinding it Out. One of the licensees in a
predominately Catholic neighborhood started offering a fish sandwich
because he was getting his butt kicked, in terms of sales, by all of his
competitors every Friday.  Ray tried one, and while he thought it was
OK, it didn't impress him as anything special. While he was standing
there talking to the store owner, one of the crew members went on
break, grabbed a fish sandwich, broke half a slice off of a piece of
cheese and stuck it on the fish patty. That got ol' Ray thinking, and
he tried the same thing himself. He thought that was just the thing that
the Filet-O'-Fish sandwich needed to achieve a proper flavor balance.
. . .and they have had half a slice of cheese ever since.

9.) Q. Does the beef for the hamburgers come from the rainforests?
    A. In the U.S., only 100% American beef is used.  In other countries,
      McDonald's tries to use beef of that country.  So you'll probably only
      get a "rainforest" hamburger in Brazil! Actually, McDonald's DOES NOT
      USE RAINFOREST MEAT whatsoever. Anyone telling you different is lying.
      However, some beef comes from previously cleared rainforest land.

10.) Q. Does McDonald's offer free refills?
     A. Yes. Some places may not advertise it, but if you bring your cup to
        the counter, they are supposed to give you a free refill (Except
        in several European countries). Also, McDonald's may be making a
        switch to self-serve fountain drinks in the near future.

11.) Q. What is "Q-ing", and how can I make sure my sandwich doesn't
        get "Q-d"?
     A. "Q-ing" is the McDonald's term for microwaving (the Q stands for
         "Quality"). Recently, McDonald's has been taking sandwiches that
        were special ordered (i.e., extra cheese, etc.) and sticking them
        in the Q-er to make them hot. The sandwiches get hot, but let's
        face it -- we don't go to McDonald's for microwaved food! To get
        a special order, order it AND THEN SAY "Do not microwave this
        sandwich in the Q-er. I want it made the old way, fresh off the
        grill". Then, if they microwave it (if you can't tell the difference,
        then don't worry about it), take it back and say "I asked that this
        sandwich not be "Q-d". Please remake it the way I asked". This may
        seem extreme, but you have to be assertive to get what you want in
        this world!

12.) Q. Where is the largest McDonald's in the WORLD?
     A. The McDonald's in Beijing, China, is 28,000 square feet, 2 stories,
        seats 700 and employs 1,000. This is the largest McDonald's in the
        world. The Moscow McDonald's also seats 700.

13.) Q. Can you explain the McLibel trial?
     A. Not too long ago, some environmentalists took McDonald's to task by
distributing a propaganda pamphlet about McDonald's allegedly evil practices.
McDonald's sued, a big mistake. Since then, McDonald's has basically spent
a lot of money looking bad at the hands of the law. Because McDonald's is
such a huge company, it is more vulnerable to such accusations. My take
on the whole thing? I think the propaganda was exaggerated, but that
McDonald's should have let it slide.
     If you're REALLY interested in the McLibel trial, and also love McDonald's
propaganda (most of which, incidentally, is either untrue or greatly
exaggerated), then you need the McLibel mailserver.

To subscribe to the "mclibel" listserve, send email
   Body: subscribe mclibel
To unsubscribe, change the body to "unsubscribe mclibel"

14.) Q. What is the corporate address of McDonald's?
     A. One McDonald's Plaza
        Oak Brook, IL

     Telephone #(630) 623-3000 

15.) Q. This is a newsgroup devoted to McDonalds.  May I discuss other fast
        food restaurants here?
     A. Yes. There is a generic fast food newsgroup, called,
        but its propagation is limited (I don't get it, anyways), and you are
        always welcome to express your opinions on McDonald's or any other
        fast food chain here on (although the flames and trolls
        got tired years ago).

16.) Q. How do I buy stock in McDonald's?

     A.     McDonald's has filed with the SEC for approval to sell stock.
McDirect" is designed to allow McDonald's to sell stock directly to
the public, sidestepping a broker.
    But, rumor has it (in the SF Chronicle column of Herb Greenberg) the fees
are very high:  $1,000.00 minimum, sales fee of $10.00, annual fee of $3.00 and
an enrollment fee of $5.00.  Because this has not yet been approved, McDonald's
has no comment on any of it.

17.) Q. Any more McDonald's homepages?

     A. You bet. Try:
McDonald's Corporation The official corporate homepage of McDonald's.

And these unofficial homepages: the readership A great analysis by Jan Bednarczuk regarding the people who read Unified FAQ A great page that shows how this FAQ was plagiarized for someone else's version.

McDonald's Collector's Club

McDonald's Fan Club

McDonald's Brazil

McDonald's and the Cost of Living

Front Counter customer complaints.

Grimace's Page. Some great pictures!

McSpotlight Home Page This page has quite a bit of useful information, but keep in mind: it is heavily biased against McDonald's.

Deke's Happy Meal Page Best Happy Meal toys page on the web.

McDonald's Toy Shop Various McDonald's merchandise.

Prairie Antiquarian Various fast-food toys and merchandise

Fast Food Survey Vote for your favorite fast food companies.

Glass News For Sale Some McDonald's glasses are for sale here.

Or, search for related topics using Lycos

[if you have one, let me know and I'll put it here -- Kevin]

Special thanks to those who helped complete this FAQ, including: 

"Grinding it Out: The Making of McDonalds" by Ray Kroc (with Robert
Anderson), 1977, Henry Regnery Co, Chicago.
"Straight Dope" syndicated column by Cecil Adams, 1994.
"McDonald's Nutrition Facts", pamphlet avail. at every McD's
"Hinduism Today", March 1991.
"McDonald's Collectibles" by Gary Henriques and Audre DuVall, 1997.

 Elogahid Software (Andrew Wilhelm)  (James K. Ortis) (Jay W. Halfpenny) (Rich Seidelman) (Ivy D'Costa) (Engelbert Hubbers)
 Tony LaPaso
 Jai Maharaj (MGMax1919) (Curt Jacobsen) (GareBear) (Toby Cobb)
 pickens@happy (Myron) (Jack Batterson) (Molly Fagan) (Darren Downs) 
 jferra@tiahost (JJ Ferra) (Kevin Carlborg) (Brett Gallant) (Bill McClatchie) (David Bruno) (Jeffrey Quinn) (Dave Schwartz) (Chas E. Lehnert) (Joe Blake) (J. Michele Evans) (ptruswel) (Christer Hedberg)

and a VERY special thanks to Michael Brian Field,,
"The Burger Boy", because a lot of this FAQ is taken directly from his 
preliminary FAQ.

Questions, comments, or additions to this FAQ should be sent to Kevin M.
Hebert:  Kevin Hebert is not affiliated with McDonald's
in any way, shape, or form, but I know that he eats there a whole lot.

Back to Kevin Hebert's WWW Home Page