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TuesReviews: Grinding it Out by Ray Kroc

Grinding it Out - The Making of McDonald's

By Ray Kroc

Published originally in 1977. Adapted to audiobook in 2018.

The story of Ray Kroc, mastermind behind the exploding success of the McDonald's franchises, begins in his childhood. A vivid daydreamer, Kroc would spend hours each day pondering how he would tackle different scenarios if he was confronted by them. Similarly, he enjoyed and excelled at debating in high school (despite finding the rest of high school a bore). Through these he formed a foundation of qualities that lead him to ambitiously grab life by the…. Hamburger: determination, optimism, innovation, and a penchant for hard work or “grinding it out”.


Such traits culminate in opportunities for success. Failure is inevitable, Kroc says, so when it occurs learn from it as much as you can; stay green – always maintain a fresh, eager-to-learn mindset. These upskill you in any area of your choosing, and for Kroc, this was sales and business expertise.


Kroc had many jobs. Piano playing at clubs did feature, but his success began with selling paper cups and drink multimixers. From there his determination to sell more multimixers found him in San Bernardino, California, observing the impeccable McDonald brother’s store in 1954 at the age of 57.

Although the McDonald's brothers created the original popular store, Kroc was the one to envision how successful it could become. In meeting the them, doing business with them and eventually taking over McDonald's, you can observe his keen analysis of why 15c burger store was so popular. Then in the expansion of new stores he used almost scientific analysis - and that green trial and error optimism - to combat obstacles. He successfully adapted stores to different locations, climates, taste, and even religions!


And his honesty! It sounds as if Kroc’s fiery honesty blew the socks off quite a few! But, as he describes it, it seems justified as he always stuck to his personal morals and dedication to quality service, and cleanliness. Whether an owner was cutting corners in store or someone tried to short-change Kroc in business, he held his ground. He demanded no less than the best from others and himself.

A firm believer in capitalism, Kroc saw McDonald’s not only as a provider of a good meal, but as an employer of many. McDonald's stores have often been wealth-building for communities, in terms of who became a local beef, bun, potato, or other ingredient supplier.

As you can see, this book is not just about business. It is about a life philosophy of integrity, honesty, drive, risks and happiness. To paraphrase Kroc, happiness is obscure. Man is not born with it, but in this economic and capitalist society, we have the freedom to pursue it. Kroc passed away in 1984 At age 84. In the years leading up to his death, he continued to drop into the McDonald’s office daily. He loved his business - turned empire - and what a business it is even today! In my opinion, this is a five star book.

5/5 ⭐️

3 commenti

03 giu

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Mi piace

That’s really interesting! I don’t tend to like non-fiction books, so I’m not sure I’d ever get to this one but I really enjoyed your review. There’s a film about this too, I’m unsure of the name but it stars Michael Keaton as I’m guessing Kroc. It was a good film! Would be interesting for you to watch and compare how the dramatisation of the film is different to the book.

Mi piace
Larz S
Larz S
17 gen
Risposta a

Yeah, I’ll have to check that movie out! Thanks for your comment. I’m loving reading them.

Mi piace

Hi there,

Lauren Sims is an artist and author from Brisbane, Australia. She has recently become and author and will be releasing her first book in late 2022.

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