In 1977, Kroc wrote an autobiography titled Grinding It Out: The Making Of McDonald’s, documenting his vision for burgers and fries made quickly, cheaply, and at immense scale. In the book, he notes that McDonald’s is always experimenting new potential additions to the menu, going so far as to explicitly state that “it’s entirely possible that one day we’ll have pizza [on the menu].” (Pizza was indeed test, and made the menu of roughly 500 stores before being withdrawn. Per Wikipedia, though, McPizza is still available as of April, 2011 at three McDonald’s locations, one each in Spencer, WV; Orlando, FL; and New Haven, CT.) But Kroc singled out hot dogs as the one food as beyond the pale of even experimentation: “On the other hand, there’s damned good reason we should never have hot dogs. There’s no telling what’s inside a hot dog’s skin, and our standard of quality just wouldn’t permit that kind of item.”
Nevertheless, Kroc’s edict did not withstand the test of time. McDonald’s has tested hotdogs — the McHotDog, naturally (seen above) — in a number of markets, most notably at the location in Toronto’s SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre), home of the Toronto Blue Jays. Apparently, in Canada, there’s nothing more American than a hot dog at a baseball game.
From the Archives: Kosher Cheeseburgers: The story of the only kosher McDonalds outside Israel.
Related reading: “McDonald’s Behind the Arches,” combined with Kroc’s book listed above, gives the reader a complete history of the company (this being through a third-party’s eyes). Thirty-two reviews averaging 4.5 stars.