The bright golden letter M for McDonald’s has to be one of the most recognizable logos in the entire world. It adorns McDonald’s restaurants across the globe, to the point where “The Golden Arches” has become a nickname for the fast-food giant.
It’s easy to see just how significant their logo and trademark arches are when you look at their remarkable numbers. McDonald’s restaurants are found in 120 countries (for context there’s 195 countries in the world), and serve a staggering 68 million customers each day. The average McDonald’s restaurant generates $2.6 million in sales annually, making it the fifth-highest-grossing chain in the U.S. by sales per unit behind Chick-fil-A.
Interestingly, the McDonald’s menu varies massively in different countries. In Germany they sell delicious Mozzarella Sticks, in India their menu doesn’t include any beef-burgers, and in several Asian countries you’ll be able to find McNoodles on the menu. The one thing that never changes is their famed Golden Arches logo… or so we thought.
Turns out there is a single exception to this rule.
The city of Sedona, located in the center of Arizona, is famous for its stunning natural beauty—namely, its mountainous landscape of red rock.
Because of said beautiful landscape, there are rules in place for buildings in Sedona, to make sure that no structure intrudes too much on the surrounding natural scenery.
When the McDonald’s was built there in 1993, city officials believed that a bright golden M would do just that. They claimed that gold would clash with the surrounding red rocks, and opted for a more pleasing, soft blue. You read that right—the arches are blue because gold didn’t match the city’s (natural) decor.
Ironically the move away from golden-arches was meant to be reduce impact but it’s had the opposite affect. The soft blue arches has become a must-see for visitors and is attracting tourists from all over the globe.
So if mountain views and nature Instagrams don’t entice you, sleep well knowing that a McDonald’s restaurant in one of the most beautiful cities in the world is probably photographed (and appreciated) just as frequently as the surrounding landscape itself. What a world we live in.
Make sure you store this knowledge away for a trivia quiz or text your squad letting them know now. I’m willing to bet that sometime in the next six-months this piece of fast-food trivia is going to impress those around you. You’re welcome.