Ray Kroc was a businessman and entrepreneur, most famous for his feat in turning McDonalds from a local restaurant into the global empire that that serves in excess of 25 million people a day at nearly 20,000 outlets world wide.
He first came into contact with the McDonald brothers when he sold them multi-mixers. Immediately after he visited the store in San Bernardino, he saw an opportunity that he could not ignore.
The McDonald brothers had the right ingredients for success – they just needed someone with the vision to drive and expand their business. And that person was Ray Kroc. Kroc’s ingenious approach and guiding principles are not only relevant but, include gems of wisdom every restaurant owner should know.
His leadership and business sense helped make McDonald’s the biggest restaurant chain of all time and made more people (his franchisees) into millionaires than any one organization in history.
Here are the 10 Success lessons from Ray Kroc – “Raise Your Game” for entrepreneurs,
1. Having a big vision
While the McDonald’s brothers only saw a small restaurant business, Ray Kroc had much bigger plans in his mind. He had a great vision for what McDonald’s could become. With that vision, he spoke to the McDonald’s brothers to buy shares of the company.
He first envisioned 8 of these restaurants churning out burgers and making a steady stream of cash immediately, today, the McDonald’s arch is one of the most recognized logo in the world. Through his vision, he became one of the foremost business leaders of the world. While others see limitations, a leader sees opportunity and possibility.
2. Going to Work “On” The Business
When Ray Kroc secured the master franchising rights to McDonalds, he didn’t go to work “in” a McDonald’s “restaurant”. He went to work “on” McDonald’s “the business”. To Kroc, the first McDonald’s restaurant was just a model or prototype that could be reproduced again and again in cities and towns all over the country.
Instead of personally rolling up his sleeves to run the joint, he instead began analyzing every operational function of the original McDonald’s from purchasing to prep to the cooking and cleaning.
Without changing the essence of the concept, he made refinements and proceeded to develop a comprehensive set of standards and procedures, essentially a SYSTEM for running a hamburger stand “the McDonald’s way”.
3. Create opportunities
Kroc knew how to create opportunities for himself. After making a pitch to the McDonald’s brothers for nationwide expansion of their restaurants while still selling milkshake makers, the brothers asked who would manage their franchising division. Kroc replied “What about me?”
Kroc didn’t try to inspire the McDonald’s brothers to grow their business. He took advantage of the opportunity their disinterest in earning money offered him. As he later told a biographer, “I was obsessed with the idea of making McDonald’s the biggest and the best.
They were content with what they had. They didn’t want to take risks and meet greater demands.” Kroc achieved success by caring about his business more than anyone else.
4. Love what you do
“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” says Ray Kroc
Business should be about what you can provide for your customers, and how passionate you are about that. If the passion for your business and for your customers is not there, your business will die.
5. Be a risk taker
According to Kroc, “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.”
Harsh words, maybe, but in Ray Kroc’s mind not taking any risks deprives you of the opportunity of being successful. Kroc took a small business model and began down a long expansion plan with absolutely no real idea of what the outcome would be.
The fast-food industry was still very young, if non-existent, at the time when he embarked on his journey, but through perseverance, and his willingness to take risks and gamble on himself and his product, he came out on top as one of the most successful entrepreneurs.
6. Know Your Business
In their business plan, Ray knew that the primary business focus was to sell hamburger franchises, but what he never lost sight of was the location of each franchise. He knew that the real estate and its location was the most significant factor in the success of each franchise.
Basically, the person that bought the franchise was also paying for, buying, the land under the franchise for Ray Kroc’s organization.McDonald’s today is the largest single owner of real estate in the world, owning even more than the Catholic Church.
7. You must be relentless
Kroc was not one to sit around waiting for opportunity to strike and success to come immediately. He understood that transforming McDonalds into what it would become today would take a great deal of patience and effort.
In this Kroc was a relentless businessman. When the McDonalds initially refused to sell the Big M to him, Kroc opened a McDonalds right across the street, and striving to outbid his competitors, worked to improve the quality of his product and services, until finally they caved and the historic deal for $2.7 million was finalized.
He once said of the dog-eat-dog world of business, “If any of my competitors were drowning, I’d stick a hose in their mouth and turn on the water.”
8. Shoot for perfection
Nothing in this world is perfect, but Ray Kroc did everything he could to ensure that his customers received quality service every time they came to a McDonalds restaurant, no matter where the restaurant was located.
As McDonalds continued to grow, and Kroc was able to open more locations across the country, he needed to develop a system that would ensure every single customer received the exact same quality food and service.
To solve this problem Kroc expanded upon McDonalds’ assembly line set up. He set up standards for how the food was made and also how it was cooked, what the serving sizes were, and how McDonalds packaging and icons would appear.
9. Teamwork is the keys to success
Ray Kroc understood that teamwork is one of the most important elements to running a successful business, let alone a successful international conglomerate.
“None of us is as good as all of us,” he once said, and in order for him to expand his small one-unit restaurant across the United States and then overseas, he needed the help of loyal and dedicated employees.
Kroc insisted McDonalds’ workers be treated respectfully in every location, setting up rules for fair treatment and respect for all employees, and also ensuring his workers had a comfortable and fair environment to work in.
10. Always stay grounded
“It’s easy to have principles when you’re rich. The important thing is to have principles when you’re poor.” says Ray Kroc.
Ray believed that your integrity should be unwavering, and that your principles should stay grounded regardless of your circumstances.