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The Founder

McDonald brothers from ‘The Founder’

Years after the brothers sold to Mr. Kroc, someone asked Richard McDonald if he had any regrets. None, Mr. Halberstam relates.
‘I would have wound up in some skyscraper somewhere with about four ulcers and eight tax attorneys trying to figure out how to pay all my income tax,” Mr. McDonald replied.

Source: NYTimes.com

Towards the end of the movie, ‘The Founder’, Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) says some uncharitable words to the two McDondald brothers who actually started the first McDonalds’s joint and put together the Speedee System. Going by the above NY Times article and the book “Behind the Golden Arches”, it is difficult to imagine if a) Ray Kroc actually said it b) it was so easy for Ray Kroc to put together the money to buy off McDonald brothers.

Barring these two, ‘The Founder’ pretty much captures the entrepreneurial spirit of 50 something Ray Kroc and does a good job of presenting how
he takes the idea from McDonald brothers and creates a nationwide fast food chain around it. The movie showcases his trials and tribulations, his epiphanies, and his personal transformation, and Michael Keaton delivers a good performance. There is a good deal of coverage about his team and their contribution–Harry Sonnenborn coming up with the real estate investment model, Fred L. Turner who became chairman of the company and June Martino, who started off as a book keeper grew along withe company.

What the movie misses out or rather omits, are the many innovations and backward integration that the company was involved in under Ray Kroc’s leadership and the overseas expansion of the brand. One has to read to the book ‘Behind the Arches’ to get a better idea of these.

Even without these, ‘The Founder’ is a good watch, and a must watch for all the entrepreneurs.

Related Links:
Richard McDonald, 89, Fast-Food Revolutionary
Behind the Golden Arches