McDonald's sold its 100 millionth burger in 1958 and surpassed 400 million two years later. It hit 700 million burgers by 1962, and the billionth burger was served in 1963 on the Art Linkletter TV show.
When did McDonald's change from millions to billions?
“Over 99 Billion Sold.” That's been McDonald's line since April 1994, when it stopped updating the number. History Of The Number: Ray Kroc Began posting the number of total hamburgers sold on their signs in 1955 when Ray Kroc bought his first McDonald's franchise in Des Plaines Illinois. At that time the number on the sign was Over 1 Million Served.
McDonald's Sign Milestones
1955 - 1 million (Ray Kroc's first McDonald's opens in Illinois)
1956 - 5 million
1960 - 400 million
1963 - 1 Billion (served by Ray Kroc himself on National TV)
1969 - 5 Billion
1976 - 20 Billion
1984 - 50 Billion
1987 - 65 Billion
1990 - 80 Billion
Where you going with this Tom?
Today, it's estimated that McDonald's has served billions and billions of burgers, with the Wall Street Journal estimating the chain sold its 300 billionth burger around 2013. USA Today reported that the company sold roughly 75 burgers every second in 2013, or 4,500 burgers every minute. It is now believed to be triple that number, over 200 burgers every second.
The "billions served" number became so big, that it lost its power. It went from being newsworthy, it went from making it entertaining enough to be announced on National TV, to just not even mentioning it at all. Yeah, 300 billionth in 2013, whatever. The number got so big, so fast, that it is not even worth using in marketing or in advertising.
OK, Google: how many people are born a day?
Of the people who die each day across the globe, about two thirds (100,000 per day) die of age-related causes. In industrialized nations, the proportion is much higher, reaching 90%.
So, I am no math major, but it seems pretty obvious that there are way more births than deaths around the world, every day. And people are living longer. And people are reading less. Did you know that 1 in 8 adults are illiterate?
According to shocking figures from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), around 774 million people worldwide are illiterate. To many of us, these statistics may be surprising. But more than one in eight adults across the globe are unable to read and write!
Do we take literacy for granted?
What would your life be like if you couldn’t read or write? Would you have been able to get your current job? Or even any job? Living in a country where school attendance is mandatory and adult illiteracy is rare, we’ve probably never considered what our lives would be like if we couldn’t read or write.
For someone who is illiterate and living in poverty, it is extremely difficult to get a job that pays well enough to escape these living conditions. However, learning to read and write can open up job opportunities and help to get people away from poverty.
Without literacy, many people are stuck in dead end jobs which barely support them financially. These jobs offer no area for progression and only add to the levels of poverty in any given country. But, learning to read and write and thriving on the opportunities it can provide can help individuals get better jobs and earn enough money to improve their lives.
What about COMPUTER literacy? What about the world we all live in - now - with Audible books, and social media, and YouTube videos, and AI that now does the reading and the research FOR US? How long will it be before AI replaces (or partners with) our LIVE human teachers in High School, College, even in our Medical Schools? Or Engineering Schools?
OK, land the plane, Tom...
Just how McDonald's used to BRAG on the millions and millions (and then) billions and billions served - the number became so big, so fast, that it lost its marketing power. The number became so big, so fast, it went from being impressive to ordinary. The number became so big, it became "normal".
Because I have super fast wireless Internet at my home, I can see on https://www.worldometers.info that net population growth today is 50,529. Make that 50,553. No make that 50,595.... Well, you get the point.
I run the Distance Learning Association. Born in New York City 100 years ago (pre-Internet) we are now active with thriving chapters in North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. All in less than 100 years.
And as we watched Distance Learning morphing into DIGITAL Learning, today it's all just DIGITAL LIVING. Just like McDonald's we are quickly getting to the point where the BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of global Internet Users "served" is now so obvious, that we don't even say the actual number out loud.
Ah yes, the number of global Internet Users is growing so big so fast, it went from being impressive to ordinary.