McDonald's Ray Kroc "The Founder" looks like a good movie coming out*

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by tommy-thewho, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Can I propose a metric - the milliHitler? Only Hitler reached the level of 1000 mH, and I'd be shocked if anyone could make a case for putting Ray Kroc any higher than 30 to 35 mH.
     
  2. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Placerville, CA
    "milliHitler" Made me laugh! :laugh:
     
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  3. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Saw the movie last night....a few comments
    1) I grew up in Arlington Heights, IL, so I fell out of my chair when I saw that is where Ray Kroc lived. I knew the first Ray Kroc Mcdonalds was in Des Plains (The town next door)....its a Mcdonald's Museum now
    2) Read Ray Kroc's book.....it is excellent. He tells much of what was in the movie.
    What Ray Kroc did was invent the modern blue print on how to roll out a franchise.
    Real Estate. Quality Control.

    Even more impressive is how Mcdonalds really has done well over many many years. Imagine how well you would have done if you bought this stock when it went public.
     
    clhboa and Chris DeVoe like this.
  4. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    The last more than anything else. It may be mediocre, but it is consistently mediocre. I know professional chefs who take their families to McDonald's when visiting other countries - mostly because they are assured that every franchise location will follow US sanitary procedures.
     
  5. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    A lot of the time I will pick McDonalds to get a bite to eat on long road trips because I know what I will get with their cheeseburgers. There's some comfort in familiarity. :)
     
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  6. jjh1959

    jjh1959 Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Charles, MO
    Ironically, I found that McDonald's in England was consistently higher in quality (burgers served hotter and assembled neater, Coke mixed better from the fountain with real sugar, fries perfectly golden crispy) than in the US. Not sure about the real sugar these days, but I had to go to London to get the quintessential American fast food product.
     
  7. nojmplease

    nojmplease Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC
    That's not really ironic; it's just sad. Europe has much higher food quality standards than the US does because our government is too easily bought by corporate food lobbyists (Monsanto/Tyson/corn, etc).
     
    Vidiot and Dark Mavis like this.
  8. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    If you run into a McDonald's that does not meet standards, let them know. When you get down to it, all McDonald's corporate has to sell is the McDonald's experience, and they take any deviation seriously. I've complained and seen changes within a week.
     
  9. jjh1959

    jjh1959 Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Charles, MO
    Oh I know. And it's not that I've had horrible food quality at McDonald's. I've actually had more problems with the system. They seem to have problems with too many people not following the methods efficiently. Overall, they turn out a fairly consistent product, which is impressive.
     
  10. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Thank you. The Nobel committee has my contact information.
     
    Vidiot, kevinsinnott and Brian Lux like this.
  11. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    For what its worth, the oldest Mcdonald's is in Downey, CA near Disneyland......and I found the food to be fresher than most mcdonalds......and they use real milkshake machines
     
    kevinsinnott likes this.
  12. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I still haven't seen the movie. But I have read the two books I noted above, and other materials over the years. That doesn't make me the expert, but I have read of other aspects that the movie must not show.

    Did the movie touch on the fact that the McDonald brothers were so proud of themselves that they showed their system to anyone - anyone who wanted watch and learn it?

    One who did and ran with it was Glen Bell who later founded Taco Bell. Taco Bell owes its existence directly to the McDonald brothers before Kroc got involved, and after Kroc too. Bell had a taco restaurant before, and on seeing and meeting the McDonalds, and having them explain their system to him, he copied their system as exactly as possible, in his existing restaurant of taco oriented items. He sold that little thing to his partner, and founded Taco Bell in 1962, based from the start on copying the whole McDonalds system in the restaurants and the business concept from Kroc, except Kroc did not show him anything but the door, Bell just emulated what he could see of what Kroc was doing.

    There was lots of business skullduggery. It was WAR. The 1954-1955 time in the US was just ripe for it.

    There were Burger King and Burger Chef, both of which started before their founders ever heard of McDonald's, (but Kroc had at least heard of and probably visited them to sell his shake machine), and 100 others who came later who were trying to build fast food empires by copying the others.

    Nobody knows who created The Whopper. Burger King copied it from some little indie Miami burger shop/stand that opened down the street from a near-dead BK, that stand instantly drawing long lines of customers and killing that BK even more. I think there were only three virtually dead BKs then in Miami. BK's founders later said they couldn't remember the name of that place, but they admitted to copying The Whopper, although they did create that name for it. They (BK) were about to go BK (bankrupt) because they didn't have enough business. After The Whopper, they had lines in their three stores too and ran the little guy out of business. What a surprise that they could never recall who it was.

    Burger King and Burger Chef both started as businesses to sell their own fancy burger making cookers to other chains and independents. Then both figured out that the best way to sell their burger cookers was to build their own burger stores to buy them. Their earliest years were affected by that thinking. For a brief time, Burger Chef had more units than McD. General Foods bought Chef, so Pillsbury bought BK. Chef declined right out of business, BK declined to a point that Pillsbury cuts its losses and sold it. Kroc kept on going with his McD.

    "The Colonel" had been selling his special chicken since the 1930s, and had no vision. He only started licensing his recipe when he was forced to, having no other way to earn a living, a story you can find on wikipedia although there are many more shades to that. He also made some choices about franchising and investors, which in retrospect seem like poor choices, but was anyone in that story a "villain"? Sanders could not have done much by himself, he just couldn't, he did not have the vision and was basically satisifed, barely, with what he did himself.

    Kroc was in the unique position of having traveled the country visiting all kinds of little burger joints and other places selling food, selling his shakemakers and other kitchen items, and he hungered for and needed money. He was driven. He had an epiphany when he first saw McDonald's after wondering why that one place had ordered five of his six-bay shakemakers. (And when he got there he bumped the order to eight.) An epiphany he never got from 500 other places he had seen. Probably in a flash of insight instantly or over a day or so, he saw a way to take over the US, and the world, with what the McDonald brothers had come up with. (Then a later second epiphany about real estate.) The brothers didn't have the same vision, and they had not had the experiences Kroc had. To take over the world, Kroc needed to take over, and he tried to do that cleanly and let the brothers keep a nice royalty forever, if they would mostly stay out if it. But under the original arrangement, the brothers became so against anything Kroc wanted to do, that Kroc bet and mortgaged everything he had and more to buy/force them out and get rid of them.

    My opinion: was Kroc a villain or evil? I don't think so, just a hard hungry driven businessman with visions of business grandeur who was basically honest (as honest as a cut throat businessperson is in a time of war against competitors). Were the McDonald brothers dumb or stupid? Not exactly, although they clearly did some really dumb things, before and after Kroc entered.

    Is this all off topic? Here: I still haven't seen this movie, but from what I see here, the movie does not cover enough parts of the real known story and the business war that was going on around the participants of the McD story.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  13. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    One problem with the movie is that they just show Kroc as a hard-nosed businessman who leaps on the McDonald's idea after years and years of failure. He actually was a smarter guy than that, but you don't see that side of him in the film. I would say the movie paints him as an unscrupulous guy who lied to and cheated the McDonald Brothers. The truth was more complicated, but it's a fact that he promised they would get a certain percentage of the McDonald Corporation profits for life, and he didn't do it.

    One good tidbit from the movie: Ray Kroc's biggest innovation was buying the property on which all future McDonald's restaurants would be built. If the franchisee didn't follow the rules on making fresh food and not changing the menu, Kroc could actually terminate their lease.
     
    kevinsinnott and JohnO like this.
  14. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    That was the struggle - the original agreement was that they would get a share for life, but rather unstated was that the brothers had to go along with Kroc, or that they all had to agree on future steps. The brothers didn't agree with what Kroc wanted to do. It came to a point of one of those times where one party had to buy out the other, whichever party could come up with enough money to buy out the other. Kroc bought them out completely, cleanly (eventually) and legally (legally). Kroc then did not owe them anything more. A comparison of the successes of what the brothers did next with their pile of cash, and the successes of what Kroc did next with an overmortgaged McD, speaks for itself.
     
    Vidiot, kevinsinnott and Chris DeVoe like this.
  15. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    It just so happens that I rented this out at Redbox a couple of hours ago.
     
    kevinsinnott likes this.
  16. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    What were the books you read on Ray Kroc and Mcdonald's . I couldn't find them in this thread
     
  17. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    This comment:
    McDonald's Ray Kroc "The Founder" looks like a good movie coming out*

    I'm interested to see what they did in the movie, but I read the best primary two books and other materials over the years. It's a fascinating story, and to have Kroc's own version and a good outsider version is instructive. I'll see, and I guess I better see it soon. But, it's Hollywood.
    Grinding it Out by Ray Kroc
    Behind The Arches by John R. Love
     
    pdenny likes this.
  18. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Read Ray Kroc's book many years ago....and its very good
     
  19. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    The script does some time compression. Ray is on the road, visiting drive-ins trying to sell his multimixer, calls into his office and gets the news that a place in California ordered six. He calls them, and they bump the order to eight. On a whim, he decides he has to see who needs to make so many shakes at once. He visits, loves the food and service, talks to one of the brothers who gives him a complete tour. He takes them out for dinner and gets even more of the story. Anyone who was less ethical would have taken the idea and run, not having given the brothers a dime.
     
  20. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I just finished watching the movie. Honestly, it left a bad taste in my mouth if the way the brothers were treated was true. Add that to fairly recent treatment of the workers, and it makes me not want to ever eat there ever again.
     
    Scope J likes this.
  21. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Way they were treated? Each was made a millionaire. JohnO pointed out that they didn't really invent fast food - White Castle had basically been doing the same thing since 1921, and the guy who started Taco Bell ripped them off wholesale.
     
    Grant likes this.
  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    It's very hard to argue with that. But... the movie omits some sordid details, like Ray Kroc's three different marriages. The movie implies that the later Mrs. Kroc who was in charge of charitable organizations was the original wife, but she was actually #3.

    I don't think Kroc was necessarily a terrible person, but if you research the lives of many hugely-successful businessmen -- Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, etc. -- you realize they didn't get what they got from being nice people. All of them were ruthless and difficult.
     
  23. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    To his credit, Ray Kroc never electrocuted an elephant, carved wooden croutons to put in a salad for Henry Firestone or commissioned the ugliest yacht in history.
     
    JohnO, Vidiot and Dark Mavis like this.
  24. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Ray Kroc is with his 1st wife through most of the movie. The movie never talks about the 2nd one (Kroc married her because Joan would not divorce her husband) 8 years later, they both got divorces and married each other.
     
  25. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Yeah, there are billionaires out there who are (or were) terrible people. There was a film some years back that made the disturbing claim that Edison had a French inventor killed because the inventor owned a major patent on 35mm motion picture film. We don't know for sure if he did that, but Edison did electrocute an elephant with AC current to prove the "danger" of that kind of electricity (to try to discredit Tesla's invention), and there are pictures and newspaper stories to prove it.
     
    JohnO and Chris DeVoe like this.

Share This Page