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Throwback photos show how much McDonalds restaurants in Australia have changed

Incredible before and after photos have shown the development of McDonald’s restaurants from the first branch in 1971 to today.

And the change is just as striking when comparing the company’s first ever Happy Meal in 1979 with the more modern equivalent. 

The fast food giant’s inaugural Australian location in Yagoona, western Sydney was a simple brick building with interior furnishings that would be very dated today.

Fascinating before and after photos have shown the incredible development of McDonald's restaurants from the first branch in 1971 (pictured in Yagoona, western Sydney) to today

Fascinating before and after photos have shown the incredible development of McDonald’s restaurants from the first branch in 1971 (pictured in Yagoona, western Sydney) to today

The fast food giant's inaugural Australian location in Yagoona, western Sydney was a simple brick building with interior furnishings that would be very dated today

The fast food giant’s inaugural Australian location in Yagoona, western Sydney was a simple brick building with interior furnishings that would be very dated today

Throwback images show some of the first Australians making use of the restaurant's Drive-Thru in saloon cars classic to the era

Throwback images show some of the first Australians making use of the restaurant’s Drive-Thru in saloon cars classic to the era

Humble parasols were dotted around on the balcony outside – a far cry from McDonald’s newest branch which opened in the city’s north-west this year. 

The throwback images show some of the first Australians making use of the restaurant’s Drive-Thru in saloon cars classic to the era.

The recognisable interior colour schemes of today’s branches, meanwhile, were nowhere to be seen in the American behemoth’s first location Down Under.

Instead, Sydneysiders looking to dine in were treated to a more anonymous set-up akin to a traditional 1970s diner.

Simple picture frames hung from the wall and old-fashioned wooden ceiling supports gave the restaurant a cosy vibe.

In contrast to the Yagoona branch, the most recently opened branch in Bella Vista in Sydney’s Hill District cost an estimated $2-3million to build. 

The recognisable interior colour schemes of today's branches, meanwhile, are nowhere to be seen in the American behemoth's first location Down Under

The recognisable interior colour schemes of today’s branches, meanwhile, are nowhere to be seen in the American behemoth’s first location Down Under

Customers would have enjoyed a very different menu selection to the one they choose from in 2019, before the days of Happy Meals which were introduced in 1979

Customers would have enjoyed a very different menu selection to the one they choose from in 2019, before the days of Happy Meals which were introduced in 1979

The early Australian menu featured chicken and chips, a fish dinner and a deluxe burger

The early Australian menu featured chicken and chips, a fish dinner and a deluxe burger

At night, the McDonald's could be seen from afar with its iconic neon 'drive-in' sign and strip-lit roof

At night, the McDonald’s could be seen from afar with its iconic neon ‘drive-in’ sign and strip-lit roof

It comes complete with a two-storey high McDonalds PlayPlace jungle gym and is fitted out with self-order terminals, power outlets and tubed lighting.

The new McDonald’s, which opened on March 29, is the 984th of the company’s restaurants to open its doors in Australia. 

The company will reach the 1,000-restaurant mark within the next 12 months, a spokesman for McDonald’s said. 

In contrast, the most recently opened branch in Bella Vista (pictured) in Sydney's Hill District cost an estimated $2-$3million to build

In contrast, the most recently opened branch in Bella Vista (pictured) in Sydney’s Hill District cost an estimated $2-$3million to build

It comes complete with a two-storey high McDonalds PlayPlace jungle gym and is fitted out with self-order terminals, power outlets and tubed lighting

It comes complete with a two-storey high McDonalds PlayPlace jungle gym and is fitted out with self-order terminals, power outlets and tubed lighting

The new McDonalds, which opened on March 29, is the 984th of the company's restaurants to open its doors in Australia

 The new McDonalds, which opened on March 29, is the 984th of the company’s restaurants to open its doors in Australia

Customers would have enjoyed a very different menu selection to the one they choose from in 2019, before the days of the Happy Meals unveiled in the late 1970s.

The early Australian menu featured chicken and chips, a fish dinner and a deluxe burger.

A menu designed around kids-sized meals would have been an alien concept in 1971, with the idea taking hold in the middle of the 1970s in the most unlikely of places.

It was in Guatemala where a ‘Menu Ronald’ was designed as a convenient way for parents to feed their children, Consequence of Sound reported. 

Customers would have enjoyed a very different menu selection to the one they choose from in 2019, before the days of the Happy Meals unveiled in the late 1970s (1979 Happy Meal packaging pictured)

Customers would have enjoyed a very different menu selection to the one they choose from in 2019, before the days of the Happy Meals unveiled in the late 1970s (2019 version pictured)

Customers would have enjoyed a very different menu selection to the one they choose from in 2019, before the days of the Happy Meals unveiled in the late 1970s (1979 Happy Meal packaging pictured left and 2019 version right)

The packaging looks very different; a circus-themed designed adorned the retro version compared to the more stylish plain red packaging today (1979 kids game on Happy Meal pictured)

The packaging looks very different; a circus-themed designed adorned the retro version compared to the more stylish plain red packaging today (1979 kids game on Happy Meal pictured)

A small bag included a hamburger and a miniature sundae and fries, and the invention was then test driven in the US before the Happy Meal was launched in 1979.

A Happy Meal today actually has many of the same items inside as it did 40 years ago, with Australia’s 2019 version including chicken McNuggets and apple slices.

But the packaging looks very different; a circus-themed designed adorned the retro version compared to the more stylish plain red packaging today. 

A small bag included a hamburger and a miniature sundae and fries, and the invention was then test driven in the US before the Happy Meal was launched in 1979

A small bag included a hamburger and a miniature sundae and fries, and the invention was then test driven in the US before the Happy Meal was launched in 1979

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