Ray Kroc Biography

Do you enjoy eating at the local McDonald's outlet? Did you know that Ray Kroc was the man behind the success of this food enterprise? Read the Ray Kroc biography to learn more.
| Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Ray Kroc was born on 5th October, 1902 in the area of Illinois. At the age of 15 in the year 1917 Ray Kroc told a lie about his age so that he could join the Red Cross organization as an ambulance driver. He was initially sent to Connecticut for training but did not get a chance to go to Europe since the war had ended by then. As a teenager he then had to find work and initially he worked as a piano player and later on he worked as a salesman for the Lily Tulip Cup co selling paper cups. Ray Kroc was however less interested in music or selling cups. During that time he met Earl Prince who was responsible for inventing the five spindle multi mixer. Impressed with this invention Ray obtained exclusive rights of marketing of the machine from Prince. For the next 17 years Ray Kroc went across the country selling the mixers.

On one such delivery he came across a McDonald’s outlet in San Bernardino. They required eight mixers from Kroc. He saw their mass production set up and their ability to deliver a single meal in 60 seconds seemed interesting for him. They however had a limited menu and being the foresighted businessman that he was, Ray Kroc was able to see an opportunity to develop this into a successful business. He inquired about marketing their concept and eventually opened up a McDonald's in Des Plaines area in Illinois in 1955. In the early days of this business venture he was successful but also had to experience some financial troubles that nearly made him bankrupt. In 1961 after recovering from the financial issues he eventually bought out Mac McDonald's for $2.7 million. Finally Ray Kroc could run the business as per his desire and till 1963 McDonald's had sold a billion burgers. In that year Ronald McDonald made his first appearance and caught the imagination of children in particular.
McDonald's went public in 1965 and with this Ray Kroc’s fortune shot up. In 1967 McDonald's started expanding to Canada, Europe and eventually into the Asian regions. With time this food empire had its franchises in 65 countries and made changes in the menu to meet the needs of the different cultures. With their impeccable focus on service, quality, great value for money and cleanliness McDonald's continued their successful operations. Perhaps it was his attention to detail and absolute insistence about cleanliness that appealed to the customers. "If you have time to lean, you have time to clean" was his favorite axiom. His greatest contribution was his ability to recognize that the American people enjoyed eating out as opposed to the tradition of eating at home. This together with the knowledge that people wanted something different at low prices and good service allowed him to create the magic in the form of McDonald's. As he famously said, "The definition of salesmanship is the gentle art of letting the customer have it your way".

In 1974 Ray Kroc purchased the San Diego baseball team to prevent them from moving to Washington D.C. He continued staying involved in the business of McDonald's even after handing the operations to Fred Turner in 1968. He was known to conduct surprise checks at many of the franchises just to ensure that the philosophy of service, quality, value and money was being upheld. Finally Ray Kroc died on 14th January, 1984. His belief in himself and the need to create something different made him a great visionary in the world of business.
   
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