Raymond Albert "Ray" Kroc (October 5, 1902 – January 14, 1984) was an American businessman who built McDonald's into the most successful fast food operation in the world. Kroc was included in Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century and owned the San Diego Padres baseball team from 1974-1984. His success only came well after he turned 50.
he had the cunning ability to grasp a concept with all its complexities and implement it in the best possible way. And that's as American as a cheeseburger.
Ray launched a training program, later called Hamburger University, at a new restaurant in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. There, franchisees and operators were trained in the scientific methods of running a successful McDonald’s. Hamburger U also had a research and development laboratory to develop new cooking, freezing, storing and serving methods.
I never had a penny until I was (he pauses, reflecting) — a penny? I meant a nickel — until I was 60 years old.
He was a demon for cleanliness. From the overall appearance, to the parking lot, to the kitchen floor, to the uniforms, cleanliness was foremost and essential. "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean," was one of his favorite axioms.
By 1965, the clown was more familiar to US children than the President. Kroc ensured that operations were standardised across all restaurants so that a Big Mac would taste the same wherever the customer purchased it.
Today, of the 90 meals a month we consume, the average American eats three of them at McDonald’s.
Kroc confided to a long-time employee, "I'm not normally a vindictive man, but this time I'm going to get those sons-of-bitches." And he knew just how to do it. Without the rights to their own name, the McDonalds were forced to rename their restaurant The Big M.
He recovered and in 1961 bought out Dick and Mac McDonald for $2.7 million. Kroc was now free to run the business as he thought best and by 1963 McDonalds had sold a billion hamburgers.
McDonald’s passion for quality meant that every single ingredient was tested, tasted and perfected to fit the operating system. As restaurants boomed, the massive volume of orders caught the attention of suppliers, who began taking McDonald’s standards as seriously as McDonald’s did.
he gave them a simple, casual and identifiable restaurant with friendly service, low prices, no waiting and no reservations. The system eulogized the sandwich--no tableware to wash. One goes to McDonald's to eat, not to dine.
Following, he headed to Florida to sell real estate, but the flailing market sent him back to Chicago. Upon his return, he sold multi-mixers, which could make five milk shakes at a time. One small restaurant named McDonald’s in California was using over five of the machines
In 1917, 15-year-old Ray Kroc lied about his age to join the Red Cross as an ambulance driver, but the war ended before his training finished. He then worked as a piano player, a paper cup salesman and a multi-mixer salesman.
Ray Kroc was good at identifying what the public wanted. He knew that many American families wanted to eat in a restaurant sometimes. He gave people a simple eating place with popular food, low prices, friendly service and no waiting.
Once referred to by Harvard Business School as "the service sector's equivalent of Henry Ford", Kroc but had a modest beginning.
In 1965 McDonalds went public and Ray Kroc's wealth shot up into the hundreds of millions - making the earlier deal with the McDonalds stand out as one of the great business deals of the century. By 1967 McDonalds decided to branch out - first to Canada, then to Europe, then to Asia
He saw that food sales could be organized for mass production -- almost like a factory. Mr. Kroc paid the McDonald brothers for permission to open several restaurants similar to theirs.
My interest in McDonald’s is so they don’t fall behind. So they stay ahead of competition. I’m the old-fashioned guy in competition — I’ll kill the son of a bitch.
Kroc started a fast-food revolution that is still followed in today’s restaurant business models. He wanted the food to be delivered fast, but he wanted it to be of the highest quality.