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Old 19 May 2017, 14:45
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The Founder

This movie came out last year, tells the story of how McDonald's started and how Ray Kroc came to dominate both the company itself and the market they compete in.

A fairly decent portrayal of the origin story of how Kroc went out to San Bernardino to investigate the restaurant run by the 2 McDonald brothers after they placed an order for more milk shake multimixers than he had ever sold to one restaurant before, and how he became obsessed with both the concept and most importantly the name itself.

I have more than a passing interest in the company's history, since Kroc lived in my hometown when he started franchising McDonald's in the midwest (that was about 6 years before I was born) and I grew up hearing stories about how he enlisted some of his earliest franchisees from a local country club here in town.

The best part of the movie is the interaction between Ray Kroc, played by Michael Keaton, and the McDonald brothers. Also goes into some detail of the true secret behind McDonald's success in becoming bigger than any of the other fast food competitors that were in the marketplace at that time, its novel idea of owning the real estate on which the restaurants are built. The guy who pioneered that strategy was Harry Sonneborn, and along with Ray Kroc's passion for the operational side of the company was able to expand into markets throughout the US, leaving pretty much all of their competitors in the dust.

A good, not great movie, told mostly from the perspective of the McDonald brothers. Their grandchildren provided much of the background story to the producers of the movie.

I'm reading a pretty decent book on McDonald's history titled "McDonald's: Behind The Arches", which goes into much more detail of the rise of McDonald's, to include their second phase of expansion under an "OG" employee who was there from the very beginning with Kroc, Fred Turner. He's the guy who really expanded McDonald's way beyond what either Kroc or Sonneborn were able to do in the first decade, including going international.
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Old 19 May 2017, 18:41
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I listened to an interview with the director​ on NPR a while back, it sounds pretty interesting.
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Old 19 May 2017, 19:41
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I liked it and felt nostalgic to the point where Kroc change his tactics significantly for the negative.
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Old 20 May 2017, 13:52
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One of the interesting things about the chain, and something they don't really go into in the film, are all of the other businesses that sold to McDonald's, especially Jack Simplot and his potatoes out in Idaho, and came up with new methods for packaging them for ease in handling and shipping.

Kroc was pretty loyal to the vendors, and considered them partners in a sense. One thing McDonald's required was that the vendors themselves, at their expense, come up with better ways to produce the products Krock wanted to sell. And in terms of quality, Kroc was way ahead of the USDA in terms of inspecting its beef.

It turns out McDonald's standards were way higher than what was the prevailing standard at the time, which is to say there were really no standards when it came to ground beef.
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Old 21 May 2017, 19:15
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I thought it was a pretty good movie, last year was one of the worst years for movies so it made this one stand out even more for me, I'll be glad when it comes out on Netflix or HBO so I can watch it again.
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