Childhood & School
Raymond Albert Kroc was born on October 5, 1902, in Oak Park to Alois Louis Kroc and Rosemary. His father worked in the telegraph company, and his mother was a piano teacher. Ray attended Lincoln School in Oak Park. He was a confident boy and excellent in his studies.
First Job of Raymond Albert Kroc
Ray Kroc was an American entrepreneur and the genius behind the world’s most famous fast-food chain restaurant, McDonald’s.
Ray started to work at a very young age. While in grammar school he started a lemonade stand in front of his house. This was his first job in the food industry. He also worked in a grocery store.
Struggle After School Life
At the age of fourteen, Ray opened a music store with his friend. The strew was called the Ray Kroc Music Emporium. He sold sheet music while he played the piano.
However, the store Shut down in just a few months. At the age of fifteen, he served in the First World War as a Red Cross ambulance driver.
After the finished his service, he returned to Chicago. He tried his luck at various jobs like being a paper cup salesman, a jazz musician, a pianist, a radio DJ and a band member.
Starting Career in Age of 21
Kroc started his career in 1919. He joined the American Stock Exchange in New York. His job was to read ticker tapes and translate symbols. At the age of 21, he took up a job as a salesperson for Lily-Tulip Cup Co.
Kroc was young, ambitious and worked for long hours. He traveled a lot to sell paper cups. Kroc soon became the company’s top salesperson.
Met With Prince Earl and Partnership with Him
That year he met Prince Earl had invented the shake-mixing machine called Multimixer. Kroc knew Multimixer rights of the product.
Kroc quit the Lily Tulip Paper Cup Company, after working there for sixteen years. In the 1940s, Kroc sold Multimixers around the country.
Shortly after, the demand for these mixers went down and Kroc lost dozens of his costumers.
However, at that time he received an order of eight machines from a small restaurant. He was curious about the order, so he went to see for himself what kind of restaurant needed to make those many milkshakes at a time. It was a small hamburger stand run by two brothers.
McDonald brothers’ Restaurant
Kroc was amazed by the McDonald brothers’ restaurant. It was a self service restaurant with no indoor seating, and the menu was limited to cheeseburgers, hamburgers, fries, drinks, and milkshakes.
He saw that the customers got their meals in less than a minute the preparation and sale of such a large volume of food in a short time amazed Kroc.
He started to dream of a McDonald’s chain. He approached the McDonalds brothers but they were not interested in continuing this business.
So, Kroc offer to do it for them. The brothers agreed and gave Kroc the rights to a franchise.
Kroc First Restaurant in Illinois
The same year, Kroc opened his first restaurant in Illinois’ and by the end of the year two more. He used the McDonald brothers’ method, making sure the taste was consistent across restaurants, and paid special attention to cleanliness.
Then, Kroc met Harry Sonneborn, a financial genius. Sonneborn showed him how to earn money by selling real estate.
To make more profit, Kroc opened another company that would buy or rent land, on which the McDonald’s restaurants stood.
Dispute with McDonald
In 1950, Kroc and the McDonald brothers were involved in a dispute over changes in the restaurant. Therefore, in 1961, Kroc bought the McDonald’s brand entirely.
However, the brothers refused to give the original McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino.
So, Kroc opened a brand-new McDonald’s one block away from the original store, now named ‘The big M,’ to put them out of business. By 1965 he had opened several restaurants spanning 44 states.
King of the Hamburger
Kroc was known as the ‘King of the Hamburger’ in the fast food industry. Kroc received the Horatio Alger Award for his dedication and honesty in 1972.
He once said, “The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.”
Love Life and Death
Kroc married thrice. He died of heart failure in California on January 14, 1984.