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Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  5,050 ratings  ·  375 reviews
Few entrepreneurs can claim to have actually changed the way we live, but Ray Kroc is one of them. His revolutions in food service automation, franchising, shared national training and advertising have earned him a place beside the men who founded not merely businesses but entire new industries.

But even more interesting than Ray Kroc the business legend is Ray Kroc the man
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 15th 1992 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1977)
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Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Ray Kroc wrote this book back in 1977, he was optimistic about the growth of McDonald's' breakfast. And suggested they might even one day serve pizza (LOVED IT!).

So this is obviously a little dated. That and references to housewives.

But it's a fascinating business story. This guy didn't kick off McDonald's until he was 52. Which makes me feel a lot better about my career. Before that he was a Depression-era salesman and piano player who epitomized that American gung-ho hard work ethic. He's
Jason Navallo
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I re-read this book after watching the movie. What an inspiring story about persistence! Ray Kroc was truly a great American entrepreneur. My only regret is that I did not get a chance to interview him for one of my books!
David Rosage
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing read. It simply amazes me that he started MCDonalds at age 52 and in 25 years had over 4000 stores and 3 billion in sales. Favorite quote: "PRESS On: Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Ray Kroc ...more
Ashley Glovasky
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
In a nutshell: Ray Kroc is an asshole, but he gave us McDonald’s, so there’s that...

Recommendation: It’s always interesting to know how a big company came to be, so if the topic interests you, I’d say this is worth a read.

I wanted to read this after I watched The Founder... I didn’t learn that many new things other than more about Ray Kroc as a person and it made me hate him even more.

“People have marveled at the fact that I didn’t start McDonald’s until I was fifty-two years old, and then
After watching The Founder I naturally believed Ray Kroc to be an irrepressible, rapacious—yet bizaarely talented—bastard. He apparently only operates in a French-fry scented sea of amorality, and seemed to think nothing of his complacent-yet-mostly-supportive wife.

And yet, the film would have us believe he still ostensibly wakes up to smell the grease and relish his daily submerging of his enemies in the proverbial deep fryer.

But after consuming Grinding it Out in earnest, I felt that this vie
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great book about the effect of hard work and a determined attitude. I admire Ray Kroc for remaining 'green' in his thinking and seizing a business opportunity at 52. ...more
Jay Pruitt
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok

The autobiography touches on many of the twists and turns of Ray Kroc's life. Not as much discussion as it'd hoped about the buyout of the McDonald brothers, and certainly not as it was portrayed in the movie, The Founder. There were some interesting chapters (I thought it was particularly interesting to hear about Ray's public chastising of the San Diego Padres), but I found the book to be mostly pretty slow.
João Peliteiro Coutinho
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After watching “The Founder” I was intrigued with the story behind McDonalds and decided to buy this book, which tells with much more detail how Ray Kroc found out this little restaurant in the middle of the desert and in just a matter of years managed to build an empire with the same “hamburger model”. Moreover, it describes the early career days of him, since when he was a piano player and afterwards a best seller of paper cups.

I love the “starting from the bottom” stories and this one really
Aug 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm not really sure how this book ended up in my to-read pile, but it was short and so I grabbed it for a recent plane trip.

I was surprised to find that it was a rather engaging read. Finished (even this 2nd edition) long before McDonalds became the anti-health and corporate manipulation punching bag that it is today, I found it was rather charming to think of McDs as a tiny little operation with a small menu selling 15 cent hamburgers. I kind of wish I had been able to try their fries back whe
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
It could have been that because this book was written 30 years ago (1977), but the style was not what I expected. Kroc has a co-author, yet the text isn't crisp.

There are some good lessons here but the largest is the rewards and consequences of ego. Kroc built out the most successful fast food franchise ever. He created a large charity, owned the San Diego Padres, rubbed elbows with so-and-sos and more. The ability to think 'I can do this' requires some amount of optimism, ambition, and ego.
Sumit Gouthaman
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: management, business
I did not know about Ray Kroc's story until I watched "The Founder (2016)". Initially I debated whether it was worth reading this book, having watched the movie already.

Turns out it was a great decision. This book adds another dimension to the McDonald's story that the movie does not do complete justice too. It is very interesting to read and understand Ray Kroc's internal though process as he made decisions that seems ridiculous at the time.

There a lot of things to learn from Ray Kroc's story,
Mike Adeleke
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In recent times, it seems that those who rise to success are always bright, young, and precocious. They hit on an idea and in a relatively short amount of time rode their prowess and an economic wave to success. This was not Ray Kroc founder of the modern McDonalds. Ray Kroc was a journeyman of sales moving from one product to another. When he met the McDonalds brothers and looked to expand their brand he was 52 years old! But as the book states, he simply made it a habit to grind it out. This s ...more
Arthur Sperry
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The way McDonalds came to be is studied by many people in business, and is well known, but this book adds some interesting facts and info to the story from the perspective of the man who made it a business and food empire. The book is full of a lot of interesting observations on human behavior. I still personally think having decent morning coffee is crucial to their success! Lol.
May 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography
Can't finished it. Boring as hell... ...more
Bhargav Pandya
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A guy who felt greener than ever at the age of 52! A guy who was a paper cup salesman (and eventually a milkshake milti mixer salesman) for 30 years!

They think he suddenly had an overnight success. But he credits it to the journey he followed throughout his life. Hence he says that if I am an overnight success, then 30 years is a really long night!

Even though this book had so few pages, it took me quite a while to finish this one. Mainly because the author took the great efforts to explain the
Leslie Goddard
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was surprised how engaging I found this short, entertaining biography. Surprised because (a) the basic story is now so well-known -- how Kroc took a good basic premise from the McDonald brothers and built it into a food juggernaut. There's no real question what the end will be -- massive financial success and a big push towards upending of the traditional American way of eating.

Surprised also because, (b) McDonald's today represents so much that is questionable about the American diet. It's ha
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The title says it all. Ray Kroc was 52, had diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and suffered from a gallbladder surgery all while starting McDonald's. Ray was an average American who simply worked at his goals until he attained them. His story is very similar to Sam Walton's 'Made In America' and they both had similar approaches to how they ran their businesses. Ray was simply a brilliant salesman, promoter and story teller. The fact that he was able to identify a winning formula for a franchise and ...more
Dec 23, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Plainspoken, almost to a fault. Kroc certainly wasn't a great writer, though I wasn't expecting him to be, either. But business books can sometimes have style, e.g., "The Soul of a New Machine" or "Kitchen Confidential". This is not a business book with style.

Ray Kroc was really into himself. There's not much in this memoir in terms of humility or even self-reflection. He describes his career in a linear, matter-of-fact way, and there's no denying that he achieved financial success. But the care
Niranjana Sundararajan
Mc Donald's is just one of those great American stories of extraordinary entrepreneurship during the golden era for business.

It's a great story but this narration felt a bit like a grandpa telling us stories of his life (which although fun, are always a bit exaggerated, seem to portray the grandpa as infallible and as someone who can do no wrong-which, can get a bit tiresome).

One thing is clear, Ray Kroc thought of himself a master salesman before anything else. To me, that's a bit of a strange
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
You may be thinking to yourself what could possibly be interesting about a book titled Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's by Ray Kroc. The honest answer is a lot! The author created the fast food industry at the age of 52 with revolutions and innovations in food service automation, franchising, shared national training and advertising. Kroc was on the road selling Multi Mixer machines to restaurants and other businesses who were selling milkshakes and malts when he met the McDonald brothe ...more
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, owned
Another incredible story about the building of an American empire. I enjoyed this nearly as much as I enjoyed "Sam Walton: Made in America". This was an incredible book and an incredible journey to go on. Very glad I hadn't watched the movie yet, but now I will definitely have to check this one out.

If you want to be inspired to take risks, push yourself to always stay "green and growing", then this book here will help light that fire. If you're looking to become an entrepreneur in the future or
Jorge Carvalho
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, biography
Fascinating corporate success story and fascinating man!
Who doesn't dream to be able to launch a second career after his 50's and build a billion USD corporation? Ray Kroc shows we should at least give it a try, life allowing you so.
Not the very best literary style, but who cares? Plenty of good ideas on how and what to do if you want to launch your startup after your first quarter of a century professional career.
I personally value the corporation and the principles that entail its management,
Eleonora Pogorelova
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the first business books I read. It's an amazing success story about the person, who managed to set a goal and achieve it ...more
Jingwei Shi
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brands
This is an entertaining book about the rise of McDonald's from Ray Kroc's perspective. The only drawback is the lack of McDonald business details. ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Written in the 1970s whilst Ray Kroc was still alive - so very outdated. 1/3 of the book covers the interesting history of one of the most influential and disruptive (franchising and supply chain) companies of all time, 1/3 of valuable business lessons from Ray Kroc's unlikely rise and 1/3 of unbearably relentless self promotions. ...more
Sarah Moritz
An incredibly arrogant man's perspective to read about but interesting nonetheless to read about the beginning of the famous golden arches! ...more
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some impressive data:
This book was first published in 1977.
Ray Kroc started his work with McDonald in in his 50s back in the 50s.
The first McDonald's were by the McDonald brothers.
It is a short book worth reading...
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nutrition
I enjoyed the documentary more!
Piotr Pabis
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Easy to read autobiography of an exceptional entrepreneur. Although I don’t ethically agree with deeds of McDonald’s, I can understand it was started in different time period.
One of the memorable parts of the book is the fact that it’s not important if someone steals our business processes, they still can’t read our minds and they don’t necessarily follow “go forward” principle, which states that nothing in the world can’t beat persistence: not talent, not genius, not education.
Jennifer Tanzi
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book - couldn't put it down. Ray Kroc was a genius! ...more
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Raymond Albert Kroc, popularly known as Ray Kroc, was an American businessman, who brought about a revolution in the fast food industry, making McDonald’s the biggest fast food chain in the world.

Once referred to by Harvard Business School as “the service sector’s equivalent of Henry Ford”, Kroc but had a modest beginning. Initially, he sold various items such as paper cups, milkshake mixers befor

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