"The Founder" Story: Summary

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“The Founder” Story: Summary

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The story revolves around a guy named Ray Kroc who is working as a salesman selling milkshake mixer to different food outlets across. He goes across the United States hoping to make a sale but he fails to convince any restaurant manager. Ray despite not seeing any potential demand for his product still remains optimistic because he believes a lot in persistence. One day he gets a call from his office that a store named McDonald’s in San Bernardino, California has ordered some his milkshake mixers. Ray gets really excited and drives all the way from Missouri to drive down to the sunny California. He goes down to their store and then decides to order himself some food and when he goes there and orders up a burger he is really surprised that his order is ready in a mere 30 seconds. Ray thought that this was a mistake as he just ordered his food but the employee at McDonald’s told him that this was new system of serving quick food. Ray gets really impressed by this and wants to meet the owners of the store. Brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald’s were the owners of the revolutionary store.

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They start explaining to Ray that they have developed a new system of serving food to customers in a very quick and timely manner, they start their story by explaining that they were very poor and went through a lot of sufferings to get to this point. This was the birth of the fast way of serving food to people or “fast food”. The next day Ray suggests to the brothers that they should franchise their operations throughout the United States to which the brothers respond that they already tried and that there was the issue of quality control and the franchisees were not serving the food the way the original McDonald’s was serving which was damaging their reputation. But as mentioned earlier Ray was a very optimistic guy and he suggested to the brothers that they should put a trust in him and he will ensure that the franchisees perform according to the brother’s wish list. The brothers seem skeptical at first but agree after they tell Ray that they will agree on one condition and that is if Ray will sign a contract with him. Ray agrees and signs a contract with the brothers and becomes responsible for giving out the franchise authority to different people.

Ray’s wife is very supportive but she has had enough of Ray’s enthusiastic ventures which resulted in very little to their income but still she supports his husband. Ray starts with the country club where he and his wife are members and this is the place where rich people come and have dinner together with their friends. Ray suggests to his friends there that they should buy and own a franchise of McDonald’s because he believes that it was the next big thing. Ray’s friends at the club agree and buy a franchise but the same problem persists where the franchisees were not performing or serving according to the standards of the original McDonald’s. One day a Jewish bible seller comes to Ray’s office and he gets this idea of selling the franchise to middle class people rather than wealthy people.

When Ray goes through with this plan it is an immediate success and the franchises start performing better. He goes to Rollie Smith in Minnesota who is a restaurant owner and he suggests that he wants to own a McDonald’s franchise to which Ray agrees and gives him a franchise. In that meeting Ray also meets Joan who is the wife of Rollie and becomes Ray’s love interest and later his future wife. With all the franchise operation going on Ray has established the reputation of being the founder and original owner of McDonald’s and where ever he goes he is well received by the people. Despite his jump in reputation and success in the franchise business Ray starts having some money problems and is told by the bank that he is short of payments on the loan that the bank provided him. Ray then contacts the McDonald brothers and tells them that his profit share needs to be increased but the brothers’ decline and say that it is not possible because he signed a contract with him. Rollie and Joan who are one of the owners of a franchise suggest to Ray that they should instant milkshakes to serve to customers which will be fast and also save money.

Ray loves the idea but the McDonald brothers get furious when they learn about this and feel that it will damage their reputation. A financial consultant learns about Ray’s problem and suggests to Ray that he should establish a new company which will increase his revenue. He does so and gets immediate benefit. He also divorces his wife Ethel. After sometime he renames his company to McDonald’s corporation. The McDonald brothers become even more furious and feel that Ray has stolen their name. Ray did this because he wanted to generate more profits and get himself out of the contract that he signed with the McDonald brothers. The brothers had no choice but to agree to Ray’s conditions and had to take down the name of McDonald’s from their restaurant. Ray tells Richard (one of the McDonald brothers) that the success of McDonald’s was in the name of McDonald’s itself. The film ends with different scenes showing that Ray went on to become a wealthy man, marrying Joan and not paying the royalties to the McDonald brothers. Evaluation of the WorkThis was a very well written movie and when you watch it you sort of feel like you’re learning something about history. I definitely did learn a lot about how the fast food industry came into being, how it evolved and who was responsible for the fast food industry’s revolution.

The face of the film is also good and by that I mean if it was longer than the current time then it would have been boring and if it were short then I feel the story could have not been told completely or be told in a very quick and confusing manner. Ray’s character was played brilliantly but I feel that he displayed a little bit of an aggressive tone sometimes in the movie but overall he was brilliant. I believe it is a very beautiful movie for business students and should be shown to students in class because many lessons can be learned from it like getting to know how the fast food business came into being, who were the people responsible for it?, how people enter into contracts and what can go wrong etc. I would definitely recommend this movie to my friends and colleagues because it was brilliantly put together.

There was this element put together in the movie that when you watch it you at the same time entertain yourself and also get to learn a lot about history. Overall Rating: 8/10Relating the Movie with Project Management ConceptsFirst of all the venture that the McDonald brothers started was a Project because it created a unique product to its customers in the form of burgers and provided unique service in the form of getting lined up and getting your meal as opposed to delivering the meal to the customers car. The burgers had to be completed within a specified time frame and served to customers. When Ray was in charge of all the franchises he was basically running a Program because it had lot of franchises to handle and each franchise was a different Project and it was unique in a sense that it was located in a different location.

The McDonald brother served as the Project Management Office or PMO because they had established the best practices, policies, procedures etc for McDonald’s and had established the standards of how each and every McDonald’s franchise would run. Their PMO role in my opinion was Controlling because the franchises had to follow a certain template and form of operation rather than doing everything themselves. We also see examples of Budget Constraints when Ray faced shortage of funds and the problem of Stakeholder Communication when Ray faced conflicts with the McDonald brothers over their terms and agreement in their contract. Again as with any project there is the Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing. Both Ray and the McDonald brothers did this with their ideas; Ray initiated the idea of running the franchise of McDonald’s, he planned it that he would sell it to different people that he knew and had terms with, Ray executed that project by contacting persons that he knew and giving them the franchise of McDonald’s, Ray also did monitoring and controlling of the franchises by visiting them and ensuring that they were complying with the said standards. Finally he applied the closing phase to some of the franchises closed some of the franchises because the Project Objectives were not met because the sponsor or the owners were not following the procedures or standards.

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