In 1940, Dick and Mac Mcdonald opened McDonald's Barbecue Restaurant in San Bernardino, California, at 14th st. and E st. They had a staff of 20 attractive carhops and a 25 item menu that included barbecue ribs, beef, and pork sandwiches. They soon became the #1 teen hangout in the San Bernardino.
Although the brothers were becoming very wealthy, they felt that there were too many headaches to running a large operation and felt there had to be a better system.
Dick Mcdonald started studying his sales item by item and realized that 80% of his sandwiches sold were hamburgers! The brothers also realized two more important factors that shaped their thinking.
1. Although the restaurant was very busy, teens would hang out, chat with the carhops and not leave after eating thus reducing turnover. Less turnover meant less sales and less profit.
2. World War II ended and everyone was anxious to start new families. The brothers realized the potential of the coming baby boom generation and in turn wanted to create a wholesome family restaurant atmosphere to cater to them.
In October of 1948, the brothers took the plunge (against the advice of all their customers) and closed their successful restaurant, terminated all their attractive carhops, reduced their menu to cheeseburgers, hamburgers, milkshakes, and fountain sodas, and reorganized their kitchen in order to specialize in speed of service, simplicity of menu, and low prices. Their revolutionary thinking forever changed the restaurant industry.
The McDonalds Museum also is the home of a free Route 66 Museum and the corporate offices of Juan Pollo Restaurants Inc.
The original McDonalds building was demolished in 1971 but several original items still remain. The original parking light poles are still standing. The original office of Dick and Mac McDonald is in the back of the property as well as the room that the brothers perfected the famous french fry procedures. There are two slabs of the original quarry tile from the original restaurant. The original golden arches (minus the arches) sign is still standing waiting to be fully restored.
The museum contains the most extensive collection of pre-Ray Kroc McDonalds memorabilia such as news article, pictures, and mementos such as menus, straws, cups, a prototype of cat-sup dispensing gun, a copy of McDonalds menu, etc.
The McDonald brothers came to San Bernardino in 1940 and opened McDonalds Famous Barbecue with car-hop service. In 1948, they reopened as McDonalds hamburgers and the rest is history.
Hours: 10am to 5pm Mon - Sun
Tours: Tour Guide Available on weekends. Group Tours with advance notice.
Location: 1398 N. E St. San Bernardino, California
Contact: (909) 885-6324