im lovin it
In case you didn't know, Ray Kroc founded MacDonalds Restaurant. It’s rare to find a person on this planet who doesn’t recognize the name McDonalds. Even non-English speaking people would feel at home at their neighborhood McDonalds Restaurant. The golden arches speak to millions in any language. And this fact is all thanks to an enterprising man named Ray Kroc.
A Knack for Selling
Raymond Albert Kroc was born in 1902, in Chicago, Illinois. He was born into a relatively poor family and attended public schools. Since his family was struggling financially Ray needed to start working at an early age. As a boy he set up a lemonade stand, and worked behind a soda fountain and in a grocery store.
Due to these experiences, he was introduced, at a young age, to the world of selling. And it turned out he was not only good at it, he really enjoyed it. You can almost see the young freckled-face Ray back then saying, "im lovin it!" His salemanship abilities would one day help him found and grow today’s largest fast food chain in the world.
After quitting school, he took up a job as a salesperson for Lily-Tulip Cup Company. With his skills in sales plus hard work, it wasn’t long before he became the company’s top salesperson. It was here when he met Earl Prince, a man who had invented the “Multimixer” – a five-spindle milk shake-mixing machine. Ray Kroc knew he would make money selling this invention, and he left his job to sell it all over the country.
Finding the Beginnings of the Future Fast Food Giant
Alas, the time came that Ray Kroc’s sales of the Multimixer dropped to an ultimate low. So, it was an intriguing surprise for Ray when one small restaurant in San Bernardino, California, ordered 8 of these machines. Curious about a place that needed to make 40 milkshakes at a time, he decided to visit and see why they needed so many.
While in California, Ray found a small hamburger stand named “McDonalds”, run by Richard “Dick” and Maurice “Mac” McDonalds. It was self-service, had no indoor seating and contained a menu of cheeseburgers, hamburgers, fries, drinks and milk shakes.
The food was made in the fastest time possible (less than a minute, even!) because employees worked in an assembly-line manner. Customers were able to eat deliciously hot food – express – at very low prices. It was at this moment that Ray Kroc saw the future of McDonalds Restaurant – with hundreds of franchise stores all over the country.
Ray Kroc: Ultimate Salesman – Determined Entrepreneur
Ray’s story and McDonalds didn’t end there. In fact, his attempt to grow McDonalds into what he envisioned was full of challenges, but these experiences certainly didn’t stop him:
- Dick and Mac McDonald didn’t want to pursue what Ray had proposed, but with his persuasion and salesmanship skills, they gave him the rights to sell the McDonalds method. Ray opened his first McDonalds Restaurant in April 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. This was his model McDonalds Restaurant that would soon be franchised and known all over the country, then the world.
- Business boomed in the first year, but Ray Kroc found out that profits weren’t enough for his expenses. Again, he found a way to overcome this, which is to buy and lease the land on which franchises of McDonalds would be built. With the help of Harry Sonnenborne, he successfully set up the Franchise Realty Corporation for this plan.
- Ray Kroc believed that for success, every McDonalds should be exactly the same – food, method, etc. He wanted to be able to control everything about it. But because the McDonald brothers still had control over the original restaurant and its franchises, and they often disagreed on changes, Ray found a way to buy McDonalds in 1961 for $2.7million in cash.
How to Get the im lovin it Attitude
“The definition of salesmanship is the gentle art of letting the customer have it your way.” – Ray Kroc
Indeed, Ray knew what he wanted to do, and he did it. He had a keen eye for what would be profitable, and he worked hard to make sure he was right. He was determined to get what he wanted, and he found ways to get it or get it done.
He was open to new ideas, and more importantly, he had a lot of belief in himself and in what he can do. He was already around the age of 50 when he found the first McDonalds in California, but that didn’t stop him.
Today, there are more than 25, 000 McDonalds all over the world. And counting…
Making MacDonalds into a franchise was a winning decision for Ray Kroc. To find out about another incredible franchise vist the the Starbucks History page.
Many have written about him and and other success stories of entrepreneurs. Mr. Kroc exemplifies the definition of an entrepreneur ans the entrepreneurial spirit. Business people all over the world learn from leaders like Ray Kroc because he contains the characteristics of an enterpreneur that does not take no for an answer.
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