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When it comes to the fast food industry, it's hard to find a chain that's bigger than or has had a larger cultural impact than McDonald's. The restaurant chain has been an unstoppable force for decades, which leads one to wonder -- how many burgers does McDonald's actually sell in a day?
Unfortunately, the exact number is a bit murky as the burger chain hasn't exactly been forthcoming in recent years on the number of burgers sold daily. However, USA Today has hypothesized that McDonald's sells over 6 million burgers daily in the United States. In fact, it's estimated that McDonald's sells around 75 hamburgers every second here in the US. Talk about a lot of meat. If you want a visual representation, there's even a site that calculates the number of patties sold in real time.
If you're looking globally, however, then this number is actually a lot higher. McDonald's has expanded beyond its birthplace into many other countries, meaning it sells closer to 50 million burgers a day worldwide. It's clear that McDonald's can move a lot of burgers, placing an emphasis on both speed and efficiency.
How Many Burgers Has McDonald's Sold?
In the early years of McDonald's, the restaurant company placed a big emphasis on the number of burgers sold at its restaurants nationwide. McDonald's had already sold 100 million burgers before it left the 1950s. It would be a few short years later in 1963 that the fast food chain served its one billionth hamburger while on the air of "The Art Linkletter Show." McDonald's also used to advertise how many burgers it sold on its signs as part of its marketing.
The fast food chain ended up repeating a similar stunt for the company's 50 billionth burger in 1984. McDonald's co-founder Richard McDonald was personally served the burger during a media event to commemorate the occasion. It's been several decades since 1984 and McDonald's has only grown as a company. Unfortunately for those interested in the statistics, McDonald's stopped advertising how many burgers it sold. Instead, it adopted the terminology that it served more than 99 billion. Exactly how many over 99 billion has probably frustrated many. One writer at Science Everywhere has attempted to do the math to solve the mystery once and for all. He estimated that McDonald's has sold more than 377 billion burgers across its lifespan.
Dwarfing The Competition
When it comes to the fast food industry, McDonald's size versus its competition can't be overstated. Worldwide, McDonald's has over 38,000 locations, beating out other popular chains like Subway, which only has 36,000 locations. While other burger chains similarly don't list out how many burgers they sell in a day, third parties estimate that Burger King sells around 275 burgers every hour compared to McDonald's 75 burgers per second. While there are no known stats for Wendy's burgers, the chain did bring in around $2 billion in revenue on a yearly basis. Comparatively, McDonald's makes around $23 billion annually.
While it may be the oldest fast food chain, even White Castle has struggled to match McDonald's dominance in the industry, selling burgers at a much slower rate. In 2022, White Castle announced that it has sold more than 28 billion burgers since it was founded, which is an accomplishment in itself. However, McDonald's doubled this amount by the 1980s. To make the comparison worse, White Castle was founded in 1921 and generally sells multiple sliders at a time. Love them or hate them, it's hard to argue that McDonald's is extremely efficient at what it does -- selling burgers.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.