1st McDonalds opens in London
In October1974, to no great fanfare and met pretty much with initial indifference by the British public, the first McDonald’s outlet in the UK opened in the London Borough of Woolwich, though the company decided to have its British HQ in rather more upmarket Hampstead .
The joys of the Big Mac, (“Do you want fries with that?”) the thick vanilla milkshake and the Egg McMuffin were of course soon to become almost omnipresent in the British High Street, but the concept of fast food (or the then British version of it, not completely slow food) was far from new, with Wimpey for years previously serving their burgers to Brits eager for a taste of pseudo-America.
The Woolwich McDonald’s was a significant one for the company: not only was it invading the British market, but it was a landmark too in that this was the 3,000th restaurant opened by the chain worldwide.
To break Britain the company needed the power of cleverly targeted TV ads, putting over the idea of food as fun and McDonald’s as a colourful and unstuffy place to eat. Love them or loathe them McDonald’s was destined to conquer the British market.
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From gordon warnock on 3rd November 2012
McDonald's in the UK opened on October 12 not Oct 1st.