McDonald’s began as a burger stand in San Bernadino, California, owned by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald. Their brilliant contribution to food preparation was the application of Henry Ford’s theory of assembly line construction to milkshakes. Armed with a massive grill, a gargantuan deep fryer, and 8 Multimixer shake machines (each Multimixer had 5 spindles), their mission was to ensure customers were in and out in less than 5 minutes.
In 1954, Ray Kroc mortgaged his home and put his life’s savings into becoming the sole distributor of the Multimixer. He visited the stand in California, and urged the McDonalds to set up new locations, hoping to sell a hoard of Multimixers to them. When the brothers proved reticent, he convinced them that he himself could operate another location for them, and in 1955, opened a McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.