McDonald's opened its first franchised US restaurant in Illinois 1955 and its first UK restaurant in London in 1974.
The company now has more than 30,000 restaurants across the world in 119 countries serving 52 million people a day. At one time, it was the largest fast-food chain in the world, although it has now been overtaken by sandwich chain Subway and KFC owner Yum!.
More than 70% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by franchisees, although this figure drops to around 30% in the UK.
The UK operation is made up of 1,200 restaurants serving 2.5 million customers a day and employing more than 67,000 staff.
McDonald's has made great strides in recent years in its efforts to shake off the tag as a provider of low-value, low paid "McJobs".
It launched a campaign to get the term McJob removed from the Oxford English Dictionary and followed this up with an advertising campaign highlighting the career opportunities at the company.
In the UK, McDonald's has invested heavily in staff initiatives, including apprenticeship schemes, nationally recognised qualifications and pledges to give opportunities to the long-term unemployed.
It is schemes such as these that have seen the company receiving accolades at Caterer'sBest Places to Work in Hospitality awards for three years in succession, including the overall "Platinum" award in 2007.
On this page, we round-up all the news, analysis and comment on McDonald's, including its staffing and recruitment initiatives.