(K. Brent Tomer),
IT WAS apposite that “The Founder” opened on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration; Ray Kroc—a businessman who transformed the McDonald’s franchise—was a turbo-charged egomaniac. He neared bankruptcy several times, behaved with questionable business ethics and became successful beyond even his wildest dreams. He was also the offspring of immigrants (Czech, rather than German), thrice married and, obviously, a big fan of fast food.
Unlike the president, however, Kroc was entirely self-made. At the age of 52 he was criss-crossing the Midwest as salesman of milkshake mixers. With normally mediocre sales, Kroc cannot believe it when an unsolicited order for six milkshake mixers comes in. His curiosity is piqued: he drives all the way from Missouri to San Bernardino, California, to check out the business. The restaurant increases its order when he talks to them on the phone.
What he finds in San Bernardino is a bustling joint where customers happily stand in line for burgers and fries that are miraculously prepared in 30 seconds rather than 30 minutes (this is 1954). Kroc meets Richard and Maurice McDonald, the…Continue reading