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Grinding It Out: The Making Of McDonald's Mass Market Paperback – 5 Mar 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (5 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312929870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312929879
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.6 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Columbus discovered America, Jefferson invented it, and Ray Kroc Big Mac'd it." --Tom Robbins, "Esquire" magazine

"A marvelous, zesty read, filled with the optimism and enthusiasm of Ray Kroc." --"West Coast Review of Books"

"He was past fifty before he ever thought of getting into the fast food business. Within a decade he was a millionaire, and his odyssey is a classic success story!" --"Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin"

About the Author

Rac Kroc (1902-1954) was a businessman, generally credited with building the McDonald's restaurant chain into one of the successful corporations in the world.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 10 Aug. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anybody with ideological objections to the McDonald's Corporation will hate "Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's" by Ray Kroc and his ghost writer, Robert Anderson. This is a shameless story of capitalist success. Kroc sums up his philosophy by saying that "Achievement must be made against the possibility of failure, against the risk of defeat. It is no achievement to walk a tightrope laid flat on the floor." Kroc's description of his first visit to the McDonald brother's restaurant in San Bernardino is almost like a religious experience. Indeed, later on in the book he says that when he's at work then McDonald's comes before God.
Kroc saw the potential of somebody else's business idea, the McDonald bother's formula of providing cheap but high quality food prepared in a clean environment, and used all his energy and capital to exploit it. This simplicity is unsurprising coming from the man who claims to have come up with the KISS acronym: Keep It Simple Stupid. The success, however, was not without problems. In the early days even though the restaurants were in profit and the franchises apparently booming, the McDonald's corporation had a very serious cash flow problem. They couldn't pay the wages. But they acted fast and brought in an accountant who turned things around.
A key feature of the McDonald's franchise's success is not easy to grasp. It's the formula whereby McDonald's acquired and leased the land on which the restaurants are built. It is this field which produced what is arguably Kroc's most expensive mistake and also highlighted a contradiction in his character. Because Kroc and his right hand man, Harry Sonneborn, failed to monitor a property developer who was supposed to be locating sites and building stores they had to borrow $400,000 in order to bail themselves out.
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The book is very old- it was finished in the early 80s and Ray Kroc is long since dead, but it is a great book.

It tells the story of how a middle aged salesman spotted a great product invented by two slightly unambitious characters and then set about world domination.

Due to the time in which it was written, it has a few comments which would now be seen as sexist (for example he employed a man as a secretary so he could also send him out as a salesperson), there is a lot to be learnt from this book.

However, like many books by successful businessmen one thing stands out as the key ingredient to make success- and that is hard work and dedication above all else, or as Ray liked to say; "Grinding it out".
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An excellent book it really does show that is never too late to pursue your dreams. As they say the greatest business mistake ever made is to never try!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are three reasons to read Grinding It Out by Ray Kroc, who developed the world's best fast food franchise, McDonald's.
The first is to understand how great salesmen work. The second is to understand how to lead and develop a great business. The third, and the one which this review will dwell on, is to understand how a good franchise should work.
While there is a difference between a franchise and a symbol group, there are a great many independent retailers in the UK considering some sort of tie up with a wholesaler or buying group to propel their business forward. Kroc's thoughts provide a useful benchmark to compare what is on offer.
"There is a basic conflict in trying to treat a man as a partner on the one hand while selling him something at a profit on the other," says Kroc.
When setting up the McDonald's franchise system, he decided that it would not supply its operators. This was because he believed that once in the supply business, he would become more concerned on the sales he was making to his franchisee rather than with "how his sales are doing".
A second key idea was that McDonalds would be a restaurant system that would be known for food of consistently high quality and uniform methods of preparation. "Our aim, of course was to insure repeat business based on the system's reputation rather than on the quality of a single store or operator."
The basics of good service had to be "stressed over and over." Kroc was always reminding everyone of QSC and V: quality, service, cleanliness and value.
In the 1970s when Kroc wrote the book, a prospective franchisee had to pass an interview and work evenings or weekends in a local McDonald's store. Only then would he be able to put down a $4,000 deposit to join the two year waiting list for a site.
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By DOPPLEGANGER TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 April 2012
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.....of the genesis of a commercial organisation that now has spread it's 'fast food' tentacles to just about every corner of the world, and is now arguably the most well known retail brand name ever known.

The founder of McDonald's Ray Kroc (helped by Robert Anderson) recounts his visit in 1954 to San Bernardino near San Diego to call upon the McDonald Brothers who owned a small 200 feet square food outlet. He was visiting them hopeful of selling them one or more of the milk shake machines he was hawking wherever he saw an opportunity but what he found was at the age of 52, an idea that he instantly thought would be a great business opportunity if 'rolled out' by way of company owned branches or franchises across the States.....low cost quality hamburgers (in those days selling for fifteen cents) with well sourced and cooked fries, a milk shake, and little else. He tried to persuade the Brothers to go into business together with the intention of expanding the business but were only interested if Ray Kroc was solely responsible for the opening of all new outlets as they were quite happy with their lifestyles and didn't want the additional aggravation. A contract was drawn up and at the age of 52 with diabetes and incipient arthritis he found himself embarking upon a business for which he had little experience.

The outcome of this entrepreneurial 'gamble' is well known and just about everybody is aware of the phenomenal success of the McDonald business but this book in a very 'folksie' narrative fills in the way the McDonald very simple and straightforward philosophy was evolved, and implemented across the whole business of fast food retailing from ingredient sourcing, preparation, staff attitudes, interior design, imaging, marketing and advertising.
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