The brothers’ system impressed Ray Kroc, a milkshake mixer salesman for a struggling food equipment maker. Croc’s trade had put him in thousands of kitchens, but he never saw anything quite like this. He convinced the brothers to franchise.
McDonald’s as we know it was born.
2. Ray Kroc (left) met Walt Disney (right) when they both lied about their age to train for Red Cross ambulance service during WWI. Both men were from Illinois. After finalizing the franchise agreement with McDonald brothers, Kroc wrote to Disney to partner up. Disney agreed.
3. Aside from his franchising innovations (which others quickly copied), Kroc was a stickler for standardization, zero-waste and sanitation - every condiment container had to be scraped clean, and no employees with scruffy beards and cigarette machines were allowed on premises.
4. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald's majordomo Ray Kroc, died of cancer in 2003. Before her death she had made substantial gifts to organizations promoting world peace. Her $225 million donation to @NPR was the largest monetary gift ever received by an American cultural institution.
5. Joan Kroc also made a $1.5 billion donation to the Salvation Army to build more than two dozen community centers across the country. So the next time you pass a McDonald’s, think about all the good work they have done that doesn’t receive daily press.
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