Originally Posted 18/08/2004 07:36
Yesterday I finished reading Grinding It Out by Ray Kroc. Kroc, if you don’t know, was the milkshake mixer salesman who met the McDonald brothers and their state of the art fast food restaurant in San Bernardino, CA, and turned it into the larges fast-food franchise in the world.
The book was great. It slowed in certain areas-especially when he went into his pre-McD’s past when he was struggling as a piano player. He didn’t meet the McDonald brothers until he was 52. He died a multi-millionaire with 8,000 restaurants.
As someone who worked for McDonalds for three years as a teenager (in San Diego and Springfield, Massachusetts) I found the book especially interesting. All the things you have to learn as a McDonald’s employee and the vocabulary you have to adopt but don’t want your friends to hear you use, are unabashedly used in this book. Kroc would user phrases like “You could have toasted a McMuffin in the smile he gave me” or “I felt like a Shamrock Shake on St. Patrick’s Day.”
It’s refreshing to hear about the monolithic McDonald’s back when it was just an idea. In the large organisation with a legacy that it is today, it’s refreshing to think that it was just an idea 50 years ago.
A great book. A great man. Lots of disappointments. Lots of risks. But he built something that has become a part of all of our lives-regardless of what we think of it.