Mr. Big Mac - Ray Kroc

Mr. Ray Kroc was the man who made McDonalds what it is today – a mega-giant in the fast food industry with thousands of outlets worldwide. Ray Kroc was born on October 5, 1902 in Illinois.

When he was 15 years old, he told a little white lie so that he can become qualified as an Ambulance driver in the war. The war, however, ended on the last day of his training, so he had to find some other employment.

He worked in various jobs and by 1922 he was selling paper cups. It was during these 'menial' jobs he learned the vital skill of selling. He ended up selling milk shake mixers for Prince Multimixers and this occupied the rest of his 17 years of life before McDonalds.

It was on one of his outings selling milkshake mixers in San Bernardino that he came across a small takeaway shop selling hamburgers - the forerunner to the now famous McDonald's Hamburgers.

Through his experience criss-crossing the country to sell his mixers, he saw that the small burger shop had an unusual operation - especially since they wanted 8 of his mixers (the model that could mix 5 milkshakes at a time).

Their mass-production of food (they could deliver a meal in 60 seconds) intrigued Ray so much that the next day he asked them if he could market their concept.
Ray Kroc opened his first McDonalds in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Even though the concept caught on quickly and he sold several franchises, he ran into some financial problems that nearly bankrupted him.

He made changes and recovered his business so well that in 1961 he bought out Dick and Mac McDonald for $2.7 million.

Kroc was now free to run the business as he thought best. By 1963, McDonalds had sold a billion hamburgers. Ronald McDonald made his first appearance later that year. A study in 1965 indicated that more children knew who Ronald McDonald was than who the President of the United States was.

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 greatest business deals of the century.

By 1967 McDonalds decided to branch out - first to Canada, then to Europe, then to Asia and the rest of the world. McDonalds remained successful through their focus on quality, service, cleanliness and value.

His wealth, however, did not go to his head and he stayed actively involved in McDonalds until his death on January 14, 1984.

After Ray Kroc's death, McDonalds lost some of its sparkle in America, but it continues to flourish in the rest of the world. Ray Kroc is remembered as the man that introduced the assembly line to food and leveraging it on a massive scale.

Lesson we can learn from the Ray Croc story

Always be on the lookout for that opportunity. A true Entrepreneur never sleeps but is continually keeping his or her eyes open for what may come around the corner. When the deal presents itself weigh things up, put in a plan and then go for it. Don’t procrastinate.

Take the risk but make sure it’s a calculated one and make sure you do your homework before signing on the dotted line. Best of luck.

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