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10 Things You Didn’t Know About McDonald’s

The world's biggest McDonald's in Orlando, Florida

McDonald's is a world-famous company that is often highlighted as a master in marketing.

But like all huge companies, it had to start somewhere.

Ronald McDonald and the Big Mac are now iconic products everyone recognizes, but there are some surprising facts about the fast-food giant you probably don't know.

McDonald's has also seen some crazy lawsuits over the years, which you can read about here.

It originally didn't serve burgers

The first menu items at early McDonald's restaurants were barbecue items like beef and pork sandwiches, potato chips and pies.

This was in 1940.

It didn't start serving burgers and fries until around 1948.

It has served way more than 99 billion people

McDonald's is well known for its signs saying "Over 99 billion served."

In fact, the chain stopped counting in the 1990s.

It is estimated the actual figure is probably around 300 billion now.

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It runs a charity

The Ronald McDonald House charity was established in 1974.

It provides housing for families with sick children near hospitals.

The initiative has helped millions and shows another side to the global giant.

It operates in more than 100 countries

McDonald's is truly a global giant, although there are some countries where it still doesn't operate due to commercial and political reasons.

It tailors its menus for those markets, for example offering the McAloo Tikki in India.

It has its own training facilities

McDonald's has a Hamburger University where it trains franchise owners and staff.

More than 80,000 people have "graduated" from the institution in Chicago.

The Filet-O-Fish is more than 60 years old

The Filet-O-Fish was created by a franchise owner in Cincinnati in 1962.

This was to cater for Catholic customers who did not eat meat on Fridays.

The company liked it so much it was put on the original menu, where it has remained ever since.

It revolutionized breakfast

In 1972, the legendary Egg McMuffin was introduced.

It was the first quick-service breakfast sandwich in the industry.

The Happy Meal was the first fast-food idea aimed at children

The Happy Meal came into being in 1979.

It was another revolutionary concept as it was designed to appeal to children.

The meals contained food, a drink and a toy in one package.

A magazine created the Big Mac Index

The Economist is a world-renowned business magazine.

In 1986, it created the Big Mac Index.

This was an informal way of comparing the purchasing power of two currencies.

The cost of a Big Mac around the world was a way of assessing the economic strength of a country

There's a really massive one in Florida

The world's biggest McDonald's is in Orlando, Florida.

It's a two-storey restaurant that has a 30-foot indoor playground, a games arcade, and a unique menu featuring pizza, waffles and pasta.

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