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9 Most Successful Fast-Food Chains


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McDonald's
McDonald's prides itself on changing with the times. After suffering harsh criticism, the chain revised its menu to offer healthier options.­
McDonald's prides itself on changing with the times. After suffering harsh criticism, the chain revised its menu to offer healthier options.­
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Originally founded by Dick and Mac McDonald as a barbecue drive-in in the 1940s, the McDonald's Corporation now boasts annual profits of more than $21 billion. Known for its signature french fries, the corporation trains more new workers annually than the U.S. Army, and an estimated one in eight Americans has worked for McDonald's. In 1968, McDonald's operated about 1,000 restaurants worldwide, but today it has more than 31,000.