Where and when did ray kroc open the first McDonalds franchise?
McDonalds actually started in California, despite what the "official" company history claims. Two brothers converted their BBQ restaurant to a hamburger stand in San Berndarino, CA. They developed the "Speedee Service" system. They opened several other franchises, including one in Phoenix, AZ and another in Downey, CA. The one in Downey, franchised in 1953, is still in operation, and it is the oldest McDonalds still in operation today. Ray Kroc, a milkshake machine salesman was so impressed with the restaurant system the McDonalds brothers had developed, he bought the whole company for $2 million. In 1955, he opened his first franchise in Des Plaines, IL. The "official" company history states that this was the first restaurant, or at least the first franchise. But, in fact, it was the fifth McDonalds and the fourth franchise. Note that the restaurant in Downey, which is still in operation, actually predates Kroc's buy-out by two years, but the company still maintains that the one in Des Plaines (which is no longer a restaurant, but houses a museum) was the first. That restaurant in San Bernardino, CA, by the way, was responsible for the birth of several other chains, including Taco Bell, Burger King, and Wienerschnetzel (although those chains didn't necessarily open in San Bernardino, they were conceived by workers at that very first McDonalds, and friends of the McDonalds brothers).
As far as the first McDonalds in Napa, California, it is more
difficult to tell when it opened. An earlier response (above the
line) said 1955, but I doubt that is the truth, since Kroc was just
opening his first franchise in Des Plaines that particular