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In 1954 a fifty-two-year-old milk-shake machine salesman saw a hamburger stand in San Bernardino California and envisioned an enormous new industry fast food In what should have been his golden years Raymond Kroc the founder and builder of McDonalds Corporation proved himself an industrial pioneer no less capable than Henry Ford He revolutionized the American restaurant industry by imposing discipline on the production of hamburgers french fries and milk shakes By developing a sophisticated operating and delivery system he insured that the french fries customers bought in Topeka would be the same as the ones purchased in New York City Such consistency made McDonalds the brand name that defined American fast food By 1960 there were more than 200 McDonalds outlets across the country a rapid expansion fueled by low franchising fees Ray Kroc had created one of the most compelling brands of all time But he was barely turning a profit Ultimately it was his decision to use real estate as a financial lever that made McDonalds a viable operation In 1956 Kroc set up the Franchise Realty Corporation buying up tracts of land and acting as a landlord to eager franchisees With this step McDonalds began to make real income and the company took off In the early 1970s he started an energetic and successful push to make McDonalds a global presence Throughout the companys amazing growth Kroc maintained a delicate balancing act imposing accurate system-wide standards while encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit that welcomed ideas from all levels Many of these ideas contributed to the companys shocking success The widely imitated success of McDonalds offers an excellent example for todays managers and executives searching for greater production efficiencies By putting the humble hamburger on the assembly line Kroc showed the world how to apply sophisticated process management to the dullest deeds To succeed the McDonalds way companies must define the basic premise of the service they offer break the labor into
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