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Famous Fast Food Chains and their Humble Origins


From their small-town American routes, these major US franchises and fast food chains have developed into international conglomerates, serving millions every day. Detailed below are some of the more recognisable and globally celebrated fast food restaurants, including their brief histories and original headquarters.

McDonald’s (1398 North E Street, San Bernardino, California)

In 1940, Maurice and Richard McDonald moved their father’s food stand “The Airdrome” from Monrovia to San Bernardino and renamed it “McDonald’s Bar-B-Q.” It functioned as a carhop drive-in until 1948, when the brothers restructured the business to focus on burgers and fries and changed the name to McDonald’s.

 

Pizza Hut (503 South Bluff St, Wichita, Kansas)




The first Pizza Hut was opened in 1958 by brothers Dan and Frank Carney in their hometown of Wichita, Kansas. The two knew they wanted to have ‘Pizza’ in their new establishment’s name, but didn’t decide on ‘Hut’ until they discovered the building’s sign only had room for nine letters and that the structure itself looked like a hut.


Dunkin’ Donuts (543 Southern Artery, Quincy, Massachusetts)



In the beginning, Dunkin Donuts was a simple donut shop on Southern Artery, in Quincy, Massachusetts. The location opened in 1948 under the name Open Kettle. A year later it became Kettle Donuts, then a year after that it finally became Dunkin’ Donuts. While the building has been remodeled over the years, it still maintains the original aesthetic.

Starbucks (2000 Western Ave, Seattle, Washington)


 

The original Starbucks store began selling coffee beans and equipment from its 2000 Western Ave location in 1971. In 1977, they opened the ‘1st and Pike’ cafe.


Burger King (7146 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, Florida)



Initially named Insta-Burger, the first Burger King was founded by Keith J. Kramer and his wife’s uncle-in-law Matthew Burns in Jacksonville, Florida. Using ‘Insta-Broilers’, which were ovens capable of cooking 400 burgers per hour, the two founders went on to open multiple Insta-Burger restaurants and become a franchise. In 1959, Kramer and Burns sold the company to Insta-Burger franchisees James McLamore and David R. Edgerton, who changed the name to Burger King.

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