The story of how McDonald's became a worldwide phenomenon has been turned into a Hollywood movie on the big screen. Award winning actor Michael Keaton plays "The Founder" Ray Kroc, in this nostalgic tale. You are taken back to 1954 for a delicious serving of what it took to build this grilled cash cow. The lessons provide powerful meaning still to this day and is a must watch for any entrepreneur at heart.
You might have read my previous blog on Franchising, and to follow on from that here are some of the key take aways that stood out for me in this historical business tale:
Kroc was a salesman in the foodservice industry which gave him great insight on the current market offering. Traditional drive-in restaurants had large overhead costs and the customer experience was poor with slow service and often attracted trouble makers. When he saw what the McDonalds brothers had done with their own small business, it really stood out and an opportunity to disrupt the market.
Would you like fries with that?
By changing the traditional drive-in restaurant model, McDonald's had an edge on the competitors by being family friendly and offered a quick inexpensive menu. The McDonald brothers started the hamburger restaurant with 27 items, but soon realised it was too complex. They discovered that the majority of sales were in only 3 items - hamburgers, french fries and soft drinks. So they shifted focus and removed items that did not add value.
Their stores were redesigned from the ground up to ensure that all parts worked together as smoothly as possible. The way in which each item was cooked and prepared was measured and refined with a stop watch. This allowed predictable results with greater quality control and they named it the Speedee Service System.
Kroc would eventually persuade the brothers to go into business together and franchise their business model. But it was not without trials and tribulations. The fact that the brothers say they were an "overnight sensation, thirty years in the making", goes to show that even the best ideas take a lot of hard work to execute.