McDonald’s is like a synonym to fastfood like Coke is to softdrinks.
(And they can always come up with the most attractive menu to make you obese, aka FAT).
Human from the youngest of age til the oldest would no doubt recognize the Golden Arches logo and the world’s most famous brand of fastfood.
However, the same cannot be said of Ray Kroc.
Ray Kroc is actually the one person who made McDonald’s as popular as it is.
Yes, it wasn’t McDonald’s or the owner of McDonald’s first restaurant, it was Ray Kroc!
He was born in 1902 in Chicago but only in 1954, at the age of 52 that he discovered the first McDonald’s restaurant.
Grinding It Out is the book about the Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc himself.
He started the book about his growing up and his earlier job as a paper cup salesman.
Ray has also been through the period of World Wars and also was friend with Walt Disney.
Some other interesting facts also can be found in the book, such as he had moonlighted as pianists in a bordello (brothel) and even taken up jobs such as Red Cross ambulance driver and radio jockey.
Eventually, he became a multi-mixer milkshake machine salesman, and that was when he met with the McDonald’s.
The first McDonald’s began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernardino, California.
Business was brisk that they used eight multi-mixer machines at one time (each one can make 5 cups of milkshakes at the same time), so Ray Kroc was amazed by it and went to observe how the business was run.
The two McDonald brothers were kind to tell Ray how their business run and Ray suggested to them that they franchised it.
However, the McDonald brothers wasn’t interested to run a larger business than what they already had, so Ray Kroc had an agreement with the brothers so he could create more McDonald’s restaurants in America and have a percentage of revenue paid to them in return for their advice.
Ray had much problems setting up the restaurants in various location prior to making a system that works for all. Even the fries and choice of potato and how it was prepared were all tried and tested.
During that period of starting up the business, Ray was one person who was very concerned about the details of everything.
But perfection is very difficult to achieve, and perfection is what I wanted in McDonald’s. Everything else was secondary for me.
People have marveled at the fact that I didn’t start McDonald’s until I was fifty-two years old, and then I became a success overnight. 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.
The book shares about Ray’s trials and tribulations in getting the franchise system going, growing it, getting the right people and setting up the correct menu.
Eventually, due to the McDonald brothers refusal to alter their original agreement for Ray to continue develop the chain, Ray bought over the company from the brothers in 1961.
Grinding It Out is a good read as it is written not through a third party perspective, but by the man who made McDonald’s a global brand.
Although the making of McDonald’s is what is most interesting, the personal life of Ray Kroc including his love life and relationships are revealed in the book as well.
For less than $8, this is one of the best deal of a book I had, getting to know the interesting history of McDonald’s that I never knew.
Although Ray Kroc died of heart failure in 1984 at the age of 81, McDonald’s is surely one enormous legacy that changed the world.
The only thing that I missed from the menu of McDonald’s is the Grilled Chicken Foldover, one that is not common in all restaurants and not in Malaysia’s McDonald’s anymore.
I wonder why? It is one that is tasty and could have been the least contributing factor in obesity.
Or making people obese IS the intention? 🙂