Ray Kroc--the founder of McDonald's Restaurants--was living proof that opportunity is
out there everywhere. Kroc's success formula in 1955 was the idea of licensing independent owners, thus creating the modern fast-food industry.
Before starting his new business, Kroc was running a small Chicago firm that distributed a multimixer for malted milks. His sales ability, experience, and research enabled him to see a unique opportunity missed by so many others.
Ray Kroc was always grateful for his mind-boggling success. "I had the satisfaction of seeing McDonald's become an institution." When he turned 70, Kroc had this to say: "On my 70th birthday my greatest pleasure is the chance to share my good fortune with others."
Ray opened the first McDonald's restaurant in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. The new business grossed $235,000 that first year. Years later, thousands of McDonald's restaurants were operating internationally. Every restaurant was planned and built around a foundation of service, quality, and cleanliness. This foundation was also part of the reason for Kroc's huge success. He found a need of the public. This same need was also something that could be sold in volume and with a continuing high quality level.
Born in Chicago, it's interesting to note that Ray Kroc was a high school dropout. In the first World War, he joined the Red Cross Ambulance Corps. When the war ended, he worked as a music director for one of the pioneer Chicago radio stations. He also played piano in some bands and even tried a real estate venture in Florida at one time.
Ray Kroc never dreamed just how big McDonald's would become. "I don't think anybody knows ahead of time. Everybody builds their castle and dreams. If you're ambitious, the sky is the limit, because you've got to think that way. But you also have to be realistic. You can't get to the end before you've gone through the graduation."
Few sales and marketing people attain what Ray Kroc accomplished. He had the distinction of being the only man in the world who sold enough hamburgers to stretch to the
moon...and probably back. That's selling like a true champion.