The Wall Street Journal notes the passing of former McDonald’s CEO Fred Turner, who was largely responsible for transforming the fast food chain into a global powerhouse.
While CEO of McDonald’s from 1974 to 1987, Mr. Turner expanded McDonald’s to Japan, England and France. Total outlets had tripled to 11,000 by the time he became senior chairman in 1990.
He had an important role in the creation of the Chicken McNugget, which he conceived during an elevator conversation with a company test chef. The crunchy chicken pieces were rolled out as a menu item in 1983.
Today, chicken vies with beef as McDonald’s most popular meat, the company says.
In 1975, shortly after he became CEO, the Egg McMuffin was added to the national menu and the company pushed its way into the breakfast business. Mr. Turner also supervised the introduction of the Quarter Pounder, the cult-favorite McRib and the Happy Meal.
Turner pushed for extreme specifications, such as making sure each and every fry was 0.28 inches thick. And he preserved the steam bun on the Filet-O-Fish, for which I am eternally grateful. The obituary makes no mention, however, of the McDLT (see patented schematic below).