McDonald’s was the first to be established out of the two, founded in 1940 in the shape of a small restaurant called McDonald’s Bar-Be-Que in California, run by brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald. Their 'Speedee Service System' was their trademark, serving good quality food to customers quickly, and this concept caught the eye of Ray Kroc, a high school drop out turned American businessman who took over the McDonald’s corporation franchise in 1954 and opened the ninth McDonald’s restaurant. He then purchased the McDonald brothers’ equity in the company and led its worldwide expansion through franchising the business concept. At present, McDonald’s restaurants are found in 119 countries and territories around the world and serve 58 million customers daily. There are currently 31,000 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 1.5 million people.
Burger King was founded in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Florida-based restaurant chain. The company ran into financial difficulties in 1955 and was bought out and renamed Burger King by two of its Miami-based franchisees, David Edgerton and James McLamore. They ran the company for eight years, expanding to 250 restaurants in the U.S. Before selling to the Pillsbury Company in 1967. The company has since been through many change of hands and restructuring to survive financial downturns and closing of major franchises. At the end of 2010 Burger King announced it had more than 12,200 restaurants in 73 countries across the world; of these 66 per cent are in the United States.