Ray Kroc from McDonald’s was smart and we can be too


We’ve covered enough ground on this blog to start to see a pattern: Our rewards will always match our service. At risk of beating a dead horse, I want to take you down a little different path to the same end (I hope).

Here’s a statement that most folks would agree with: Businesses exist to make money.

Offer something people want, streamline your process, eliminate mistakes, underbid your competition.. It sounds good. Most businesses you can think of take this mindset: McDonald’s, Winco, the mobile pressure-washer, and the diesel mechanic. But let’s dig one layer deeper so I can introduce you to Ray Kroc, the brain and the action behind the McDonald’s franchise model.

Get to know Ray in this short article.

“If I had a brick for every time I’ve repeated the phrase Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value, I think I’d probably be able to bridge the Atlantic Ocean with them.” —Ray Kroc

If we look at the execution of the franchise model that McDonald’s became wildly successful through, we see what Ray was really up to. It didn’t have to do with any of the four things he mentions in the quote above. Where he really made it work was in his service to the fanchisees, suppliers, and employees. He was the one that brought them all together by offering a product to the end consumer that had ‘quality, service, cleanliness, and value.’

Looking at it from this perspective, I see things a little differently. I get that McDonald’s had to streamline their processes, eliminate defects, and they opted to be the cheapest. But at it’s core, McDonald’s exists for one reason: to serve.

Their cashflow is only a measure of how well they’ve been able to do that!

The fascinating part about this is to apply it to our own businesses, jobs, and relationships.

Do you want more from any of these? Serve more.

Like this post on Golden Arches? You might like this one about Harley Davidson!


2 thoughts on “Ray Kroc from McDonald’s was smart and we can be too

  1. The franchise model is interesting in that the customer of the corporation is not the person eating the hamburgers, but rather is the franchisee. The corporation provides a business model, materials, advertising, and other unfinished resources as a service so that the franchisee can provide a finished product to the end consumer. A franchising corporation wants to see their franchisees succeed, for if the franchisees do not succeed then the corporation suffers.

    So by your example, McDonalds is not a manufacturer, but is rather a service company, from the top all the way to the front line employee.

    It’s really that way in any business, whether you are managing someone’s money, sewing clothes, or building houses: you are in a service business. Even if you never meet the person who buys your product, you are providing a service to them: they don’t have to make it themselves.


    1. Jaje, Exactly.

      The business model isn’t the point. Our rewards will be paid us to the extent that we provide customers with what they want!

      Thanks for the insight!


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