NEWSROOM

HISTORY

McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in the UK in 1974. It is still there today in Woolwich, London. There are now 1,270 restaurants across the UK. 


1974

The first restaurant opened in Woolwich, south east London in October.

The head office was sited in Hampstead, north London.

1975

The first advertisement appeared on UK cinema screens.

1976

The first TV advertisement was broadcast.

1978

The head office was relocated to Edgware Road, London.

1982

Breakfast was introduced to the menu. The head office was relocated to its current site at East Finchley, north London.

1983

The 100th restaurant opened in Market Street, Manchester.

1984

McDonald's became the first UK quick service restaurant group to introduce nutritional information throughout the country for the benefit of customers.

Chicken McNuggets were introduced to the menu.

1986

Drive-thru restaurants opened in Fallowfield (Manchester), Dudley, Neasden (London) and Coventry.

The 200th restaurant opened in Ipswich.

The first franchisee-operated restaurant opened in Hayes, Middlesex.

Happy Meals were introduced to the UK for the first time.

1988

CFCs ceased to be used in all McDonald's foam packaging.

The 300th restaurant opened in Dagenham.

1989

RMCC (Ronald McDonald Childrens Charity) was registered as an independent charity, this later became knowns as RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities).

The Manchester regional training centre opened.

The McChicken Sandwich was introduced to the menu.

1990

The first Ronald McDonald House opened at Guy's Hospital, London.

1991

The 400th restaurant and first in Northern Ireland opened in Belfast.

1992

McDonald's opened in a railway station at Liverpool Street, London.

1993

The second Ronald McDonald House opened at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool.

The 500th restaurant opened in Notting Hill Gate, London.

1994

McDonald's celebrated 20 years of serving in the UK.

1995

The 600th restaurant opened at Woodall motorway service area (M1).

McDonald's became the Official Restaurant of the FA Premier League.

1996

McDonald's increased its commitment to football as a major sponsor of Euro '96.

The Vegetable Deluxe was introduced nationwide.

The 700th restaurant opened at the Trocadero at London's Piccadilly Circus.

1997

The 800th restaurant opened at London's former County Hall.

1998

McDonald's was recognised as an Investor in People.

1999

McDonald's celebrated its 25th anniversary in the UK.

2000

McDonald's UK launched its website - www.mcdonalds.co.uk.

The McFlurry ice-cream dessert was launched.

2001

Sir Geoff Hurst was appointed as McDonald's Director of Football.

2002

McDonald's became The FA's 'Community Partner' to create 10,000 new football coaches for children across the UK over the next four years.

2003

McDonald's introduced the new Fruit Bag to the menu.

2004

October saw the launch of a series of additions to the breakfast menu including Oatso Simple porridge and bagels.

McDonald's launched Wifi access in around 500 restaurants across the UK.

2005

McDonald's introduced a number of new Happy Meal choices and provided parents with easy-to-use nutritional information by meal option rather than individual item.

At the RSPCA Alternative Awards McDonald's was recognised for its commitment to improving animal welfare in the fast food sector.

2006

Steve Easterbrook was appointed as McDonald's UK President and Chief Executive Officer.

McDonald's new career and lifestyle website Our Lounge launched.

2007

McDonald's started using organic semi-skimmed milk from UK dairies in all of its teas, coffees, Happy Meal milk bottles and porridge.

McDonald's UK started serving Rainforest Alliance coffee.

Petition to change the definition of "McJob" in the OED with 105,000 signatures including from high profile worlds of business, education and retail.

McDonald's named as one of first three employers in the UK to gain awarding body status, meaning it will be able to train UK staff up to A Level equivalent.

McDonald's started serving Rainforest Alliance tea.

McDonald's announced that apprenticeships will be made available to all of its employees, giving its people the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification equivalent to five GCSEs grade A*-C.

McDonald's UK launched its Open Farms programme with an event held at the Olympic Park in East London, including farmers that currently form part of McDonald's Supply Chain.

McDonald's became a founding member of Keep Britain Tidy's 'Love Where You Live Campaign'.

2011

Nutrition on menu boards - the company became more open and transparent as a business by printing nutritional information on packaging and menu boards.

2012

McDonald's UK launched Farm Forward, its programme to support British and Irish farmers.

McDonald's achieved 6th position in "The Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work for".

McDonald's became the first high street restaurant to switch to 100% RSPCA Assured pork across the entire menu.

McDonald's launched the Happy Readers campaign to put millions of popular books into the hands of families.

McDonald's launched Quality Scouts, an ambitious campaign inviting members of the public to trace the supply chain journey of its most iconic products and report back on what they found.

2014

McDonald's celebrated 40 years in the UK, using the milestone to launch Serving the UK, a new campaign to show how McDonald's has contributed £40bn to the UK economy and supported countless suppliers, employees and communities.

Launch of Free Fruit Fridays to encourage millions of children to eat and enjoy 5-a-day.

Launch of the new Better Play football programme building on work to raise the standards at grassroots clubs.

McDonald's began rolling out Experience of the Future restaurants which include new technologies such as self-service kiosks to enhance the in-store experience for customers.

2015

In January, McDonald's launched a campaign to champion the value of soft skills, working with James Caan CBE and a coalition of employers and business groups.

In September, McDonald's UK announced it would use 100% British potatoes for its fries.

McDonald's trialed the new Signature Collection, a gourmet burger range.

McDonald's invited YouTubers behind the scenes of the supply chain to bust myths about the quality of our food, starting by taking Doug Armstrong behind the scenes of the beef supply chain.

2016

McDonald's celebrated 10 consecutive years of growth in the UK.

McDonald's launched a campaign celebrating the benefits of a multigenerational workforce.

McDonald's launched Follow Our Foodsteps, a campaign that harnesses the power of virtual reality to open up the supply chain UK CEO Paul Pomroy pledges to create 5,000 new jobs by the end of 2017.

2017

McDonald's celebrated 11 consecutive years of growth in the UK and employs over 115,000 people across 1,270 stores.

McDonald's announces trials of McDelivery in April the business also begins rapid rollout of click-and-collect app.

McDonald's announces rollout of both fixed and flexible contracts to all its UK employees by the end of the year.

Experience of the Future reaches critical mass with 900 restaurants transformed.

The Signature Collection rollout continues at pace, now available in over 900 restaurants.

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