McDonald's is the world's largest hamburger fast food chain and a competitor of Jack in the Box.
Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald; in 1948 they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand using production line principles. Businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as a franchise agent in 1955. He subsequently purchased the chain from the McDonald brothers and oversaw its worldwide growth.
A McDonald's restaurant is operated by either a franchisee, an affiliate, or the corporation itself. McDonald's Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. In 2012, McDonald's Corporation had annual revenues of $27.5 billion, and profits of $5.5 billion.
McDonald's primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, fish, wraps, smoothies, and fruit.
Relationship with Jack in the Box
- Both restaurants have clowns for mascots. The original incarnation of Jack was created in 1951, while Ronald McDonald was introduced in 1963.
- The double-decker Bonus Jack (introduced in 1970) appears to have been designed to compete with the McDonald's Big Mac (introduced nationwide in 1968), which was itself designed to compete with a similar Big Boy burger.
- The Jack in the Box Bunch characters of the 1970s are similar to the McDonaldland characters, in that each one is associated with a menu item.
- In a series of commercials in the mid-1990s, Jack Box challenged the heads of McDonald's and Burger King to call a phone number and make a pledge to change their ways.
- A series of McDonald's commercials in 1996 teasing the introduction of the Arch Deluxe burger featured Ronald McDonald in realistic, "adult" settings: playing golf, using a shoe polisher in a McDonald's corporate office, dancing at a nightclub. The juxtaposition of a fast-food clown mascot with realistic settings is the foundation of Jack in the Box's advertising featuring Jack Box.
- In The Visitor, Jack Box claims his fries are "better than Mac's."
- The 2002 commercial Ronald featured a man named Ronald MacDonald complimenting Jack in the Box's burgers.
- In a 2009 podcast interview with Adam Carolla, Jack Box called Ronald McDonald "a decent guy" and that they've played golf together a few times.
- A video shown at San Diego State University featured Jack Box hitting Ronald McDonald with a golf ball.
- In March 2022, Jack in the Box began sponsoring mcbroken, a website created in 2020 that tracks the downtime and state of McDonald's ice cream machines in the United States. A banner ad on the site warns visitors "Don't Get McShammed," a reference to McDonald's seasonal Shamrock Shake.
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- "Ronald McDonald on the golf course." YouTube, 17 Aug. 2020, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRSCjygJLh4>.
- "McDonalds Arch Deluxe Is Coming!!" YouTube, 5 Nov. 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhJNE6CMkkY>.
- "Ronald McDonald at the dance." YouTube, 17 Aug. 2020, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNYS8VZwlp0>.
- "Jack in the Box hits Ronald McDonald in the balls." YouTube, 21 May 2013, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JYXErAVtc8>.
- Chin, Monica. "Meet the 24-year-old who's tracking every broken McDonald's ice-cream machine in the US". The Verge. October 22, 2020.
- Jennings, Lisa. "Jack in the Box taps into ‘McDisappointment’ about broken ice cream machines during Shamrock Shake season." Nation's Restaurant News. March 2, 2022.