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Ray Kroc McDonalds
When Kroc went to San Bernardino, California in 1954 to visit Mac and Dick MacDonald, he saw two brothers who were satisfied with their small-scale hamburger and fries operation. His idea was born from a very different vision; he wanted to create a global franchise. Much like the original inventor of Coca-Cola who sold his core idea to somebody with a strong imagination and a greater desire to expand that idea, Kroc took their fast food franchise to a higher level.
The fast food chain that the world would come to know so well provides a number of useful lessons for today’s entrepreneurs to draw from. Indeed, the story of the company’s success is outlined for all to read in “Grinding it Out: The Making of McDonald’s”, a book written by Kroc and Robert Anderson. In it, the basic philosophy behind what made the chain so successful is explained: “Achievement must be made against the possibility of failure, against the risk of defeat,” wrote Kroc and Anderson. “It is no achievement to walk a tightrope laid flat on the floor.”
For Ray Kroc, McDonald’s became like a religious experience. In fact, Kroc even claims in his book that while he was at work, McDonald’s would come before God. That is the dedication with which he was able to take his company to the top.
According to this entrepreneur, McDonald’s was managed based on the principle of KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid). However, that is a seemingly modest account of a man that paid painstaking attention to even the smallest of details. From the size of their French fries, to the shape of their hamburger patties, to the amount of time it took to deliver both, no detail went overlooked. He even claims that “a great deal of study had gone into creating the appearance and personality of Ronald McDonald, right down to the colour and texture of his wig.”
In growing the chain, Kroc might have been obsessed with cleanliness, but he was definitely not afraid of getting his hands dirty. As the company’s success grew, so too did its competitors’ attempts at industrial espionage. Kroc decided to respond in kind. However, instead of hiring a professional detective agency, he took matters into his own hands. At nights, he would go to his rivals’ outlets and sift through their outdoor garbage cans in order to determine which of their product lines were selling poorly and thus being thrown out.
In its early days, Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s struggled even just to pay its wages. But, after bringing in an accountant and refocusing their efforts, Ray Kroc and McDonald’s became the success they both are today.
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