Recommendation: Its always interesting to know how a big company came to be, so if the topic interests you, Id say this is worth a read. I wanted to read this after I watched The Founder I didnt learn that many new things other than more about Ray Kroc as a person and it made me hate him even more. But I was just like a lot of show business personalities who work away quietly at their craft for years, and then, suddenly, they get the right break and make it big. I was an overnight success all right, but thirty years is a long, long night.
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There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures. It is a simple philosophy. I think it must have been passed along to me in the peasant bones of my Bohemian ancestors.
But I like it because it works, and I find that it functions as well for me now that I am a multimillionaire as it did when I was selling paper cups for thirty-five dollars a week and playing the piano part-time to support my wife and baby daughter back in the early twenties. It follows, obviously, that a man must take advantage of any opportunity that comes along, and I have always done that, too. My wife was shocked and incredulous. But my success soon calmed her fears, and I plunged gleefully into my campaign to sell a Multimixer to every drug store soda fountain and dairy bar in the nation.
It was a rewarding struggle. I loved it. Yet I was alert to other opportunities. The vibrations came in calls from voluntary prospects in different parts of the country. One day it would be a restaurant owner in Portland, Oregon; the next day a soda fountain operator in Yuma, Arizona; the following week, a dairy-bar manager in Washington, D.
In essence, the message was always the same, "I want one of those mixers of yours like the McDonald brothers have in San Bernardino, California. Who were these McDonald brothers, and why were customers picking up on the Multimixer from them when I had similar machines in lots of places? The machine, by this time had five spindles instead of six.
So I did some checking and was astonished to learn that the McDonalds had not one Multimixer, not two or three, but eight! The mental picture of eight Multimixers churning out forty shakes at one time was just too much to be believed. The fact that this was taking place in San Bernardino, which was a quiet town in those days, practically in the desert, made it all the more amazing.
I flew out to Los Angeles one day and made some routine calls with my representative there. Then, bright and early the next morning, I drove the sixty miles east to San Bernardino. There was a smallish octagonal building, a very humble sort of structure situated on a corner lot about feet square. It was a typical, ordinary-looking drive-in. I liked that. They began to move supplies from a long, low shed at the back of the property. They trundled four-wheeled carts loaded with sacks of potatoes, cartons of meat, cases of milk and soft drinks, and boxes of buns into the octagonal building.
Something was definitely happening here, I told myself. The tempo of their work picked up until they were bustling around like ants at a picnic. Then the cars began to arrive, and the lines started to form.
Soon the parking lot was full and people were marching up to the windows and back to their cars with bags full of hamburgers. Eight Multimixers churning away at one time began to seem a lot less far-fetched in light of this steady procession of customers lockstepping up to the windows. Slightly dazed but still somewhat dubious, I got out of my car and took a place in line. He looked up at me with an open, friendly gaze, so I asked him how often he came there for lunch.
The men in the white suits were keeping everything neat and clean as they worked. I observed that even the parking lot was being kept free of litter. In a bright yellow convertible sat a strawberry blond who looked like she had gotten lost on her way to the Brown Derby or the Paramount cafeteria.
She was demolishing a hamburger and a bag of fries with a demure precision that was fascinating. Emboldened by curiosity, I approached her and said I was taking a traffic survey. It was not her sex appeal but the obvious relish with which she devoured the hamburger that made my pulse begin to hammer with excitement. Her appetite was magnified for me by the many people in cars that filled the parking lot, and I could feel myself getting wound up like a pitcher with a no-hitter going.
This had to be the most amazing merchandising operation I had ever seen! I went back to my car and waited around until about in the afternoon, when the crowd dwindled down to just an occasional customer.
They were delighted to see me "Mr. Multimixer" they called me , and I warmed up to them immediately. We made a date to get together for dinner that evening so they could tell me all about their operation. I was fascinated by the simplicity and effectiveness of the system they described that night. Each step in producing the limited menu was stripped down to its essence and accomplished with a minimum of effort. They sold hamburgers and cheeseburgers only. The burgers were a tenth of a pound of meat, all fried the same way, for fifteen cents.
You got a slice of cheese on it for four cents more. Soft drinks were ten cents, sixteen-ounce milk shakes were twenty cents, and coffee was a nickel. After dinner, the brothers took me over to visit their architect, who was just completing work on the design of a new drive-in building for them.
It was neat. The building was red and white with touches of yellow, and had snazzy looking oversized windows. And it had washrooms in back. In the existing building, customers had to walk to the back of the lot to the long, low building that was a combination warehouse, office, and washrooms. What made the new building unique was a set of arches that went right through the roof. There was a tall sign out front with arches that had neon tubes lighting the underside.
I could see plenty of problems there. The arches of the sign looked like they would topple over in a strong wind, and those neon lights would need constant attention to keep them from fading out and looking tacky.
But I liked the basic idea of the arches and most of the other features of the design, too. In each store, of course, were eight Multimixers whirring away and paddling a steady flow of cash into my pockets. The next morning I got up with a plan of action in mind. What followed was pretty much a repeat of the scenario that had played the previous day, but I watched it with undiminished fascination.
I observed some things a lot more closely, though, and with more awareness, thanks to my conversation with the McDonald brothers. I noted how the griddleman handled his job; how he slapped the patties of meat down when he turned them, and how he kept the sizzling griddle surface scraped. But I paid particular attention to the french-fry operation.
But I had to see for myself how it worked. There had to be a secret something to make french fries that good. Now, to most people, a french-fried potato is a pretty uninspiring object. They lavished attention on it. The french fry would become almost sacrosanct for me, its preparation a ritual to be followed religiously.
The McDonald brothers kept their potatoes — top quality Idaho spuds, about eight ounces apiece — piled in bins in their back warehouse building. Since rats and mice and other varmints like to eat potatoes, the walls of the bins were of two layers of small-mesh chicken wire. This kept the critters out and allowed fresh air to circulate among the potatoes.
I watched the spuds being bagged up and followed their trip by four-wheeled cart to the octagonal drive-in building. There they were carefully peeled, leaving a tiny proportion of skin on, and then they were cut into long sections and dumped into large sinks of cold water. The french-fry man, with his sleeves rolled up to the shoulders, would plunge his arms into the floating schools of potatoes and gently stir them.
I could see the water turning white with starch. This was drained off and the residual starch was rinsed from the glistening morsels with a flexible spray hose. Then the potatoes went into wire baskets, stacked in production-line fashion next to the deep-fry vats. Any restaurant will deny it, but almost all of them do it. There was no adulteration of the oil for cooking french fries by the McDonald brothers.
They had nothing else to cook in it. Their potatoes sold at ten cents for a three-ounce bag, and let me tell you, that was a rare bargain. The customers knew it, too. They bought prodigious quantities of those potatoes. I was convinced that I had it down pat in my head, and that anybody could do it if he followed those individual steps to the letter. That was just one of the many mistakes I would make in my dealings with the McDonald brothers.
My enthusiasm for their operation was genuine, and I hoped it would be infectious and rally them in favor of the plan I had mapped out in my mind. It would be a gold mine for you and for me, too, because every one would boost my Multimixer sales. The two brothers just sat there looking at me. Then Mac gave that little wince that sometimes passes for a smile in New England and turned around in his chair to point up at the hill overlooking the restaurant.
We sit out on the porch in the evenings and watch the sunset and look down on our place here. But it soon became apparent that further discussion along that line would be futile, so I said they could have their cake and eat it too by getting somebody else to open the other places for them.
I could still peddle my Multimixers in the chain. Then I leaned forward and said, "Well, what about me? I was a battle-scarred veteran of the business wars, but I was still eager to go into action. I was 52 years old.
GRINDING IT OUT RAY KROC PDF
I was intrigued and nobody else in my family objected — so we watched it. The movie was really well done and we enjoyed it very much. As a skeptic of Hollywood liberalism — I could see through their tactics right away. Most people would be content to just watch the movie and then go on with their lives.
Grinding It Out – Inspired by McDonald’s Founder, Ray Kroc
Gole Our colleges are crowded with young people who a learning a lot about liberal arts and ot about earning a living Throughout the course of his life, Kroc adapted his business sense into his only sense, and only those strong enough to endure his passion for business would remain in his life. This character trait was his saving grace, and his demise at the same time. But, then okt else you do, when you hit the goldmine. Because for better or worse, Ray Kroc created a global institution.
Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's