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Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  3,149 ratings  ·  235 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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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,149 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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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!
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
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
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,
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.
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
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.
May 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography
Can't finished it. Boring as hell...
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
Jorge Carvalho
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, business
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
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the documentary more!
Jennifer Tanzi
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book - couldn't put it down. Ray Kroc was a genius!
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, food, memoirs
Glad a read this. It was good hear Krocs version of what happened with the McDonald's brothers. The movie was definitely slanted towards them being taken advantage of and run over. That may have been what actually happened but it was nice to hear the other side. You could tell by some of the things Kroc said that he is definitely from a different era then me. All and all he worked hard to make Mcdonalds what it is today, god bless him!! Mmmmm!
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographical
Written in 1977, and updated/reissued recently because of the release of the movie 'The Founder' in 2016, this was a good insight into Ray Kroc's business thinking as he took the concept developed by Mac and Dick McDonald and expanded it into America's first fast food restaurant. (I hesitated about calling McD a 'restaurant')
His insistence on cleanliness was a constant theme throughout the decades when he dictated what the McD chain had to do to comply with his corporate rules.
Jane Erickson
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
It’s pretty unbelievable that when most people were nearing retirement age, Ray Kroc created the most successful restaurant franchise in history. Starting with a small restaurant in San Bernardino in 1954, to an international operation with over 4,000 sites in 1976, this book shows the rapid growth of McDonalds told by the man at its helm.

Throughout the biography, you get to know Ray Kroc as a driven, demanding entrepreneur who was grounded in the company’s operations, while being strategic in i
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.
Abhishek Rai
A paean to self. But, then what else you do, when you hit the goldmine. What else you do, when you invent a whole new world of fast food. What else you do, when you make millions addicted to flour, fat, salt and some meat thrown in. What else you do, when you get lucky at an age, when others stop looking for luck.
An inspiration to those who haven't yet become lucky yet. An inspiration to those, who think that IQ matters, and they don't have it. An inspiration to those who are finding it hard to
Doug Pfeffer
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was kind of fun. McDonalds is super easy to shit on all the time, but during the 60s it was a really new concept in massive commercial franchising.

The guy that started it as a big enterprise, Ray Krok, was in his 50s when he got going. That's interesting. So the book starts with a bunch of strange stuff from the early part of the century. Weird milkshake machine manufacturing scams, the thrilling rise of the paper cut industry, etc. PAPER CUPS USED TO BE CUTTING EDGE.

Then it gets into a bun
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
His ingenuity and creativity in approaching sales and life is amazing and inspiring! He solved problems by CREATING solutions or finding other people who could. His philosophy of not accepting even the idea of giving up, I think, became the cornerstone of his success, which has impacted millions of people worldwide.
David Vink
I found this book to be painfully boring. There are a few interesting points but overall it's just a combination of very successful business decisions, drive and passion for McDonald's. I found it dry and without any negative experiences it doesn't create a human story.
André Bueno
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autobiography
Very inspiring read. Enjoyed seeing how it all played out and it begs the question, if this 52 year old man can start over and create an empire- what excuse do we have? (This includes those over 52 too!)
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Entrepreneurs
This is the best autobiographical read I have come across so far. Generally speaking, I find biographies boring, as, from what I've seen, there is too much emphasis on things that are not important or particularly relevant; this book is nothing like that. In fact, it is easily one of the best books I have ever read. Ray Kroc is a great storyteller. I do not like McDonald's food, what they represent, and a lot of their behind the scenes operations, but I have immense respect for Kroc and the empi ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dmitry Kuriakov
Feb 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography
У этой книги много проблем. Более того, тут присутствует эффект синергии. Если бы книга была просто скучная, это было бы ещё ничего, но мы имеем великолепную альтернативу в лице другой книги на эту же тему, а именно «McDonald's. О чем молчит БИГМАК?».
Не знаю, правильна ли последовательность чтения этих двух книг, но всё же мне думается, что у этой книги не было никаких шансов. Вот возьмём, как я уже сказал, то, что книга скучная. Трудно даже сказать почему. Ну, во-первых, автор начинает не сразу
Cullen Haynes
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Look after the customer, and the business will take care of itself" - Ray Kroc

I will start this review off by addressing the Elephant in the room, although a practicing vegetarian of many years, one cannot deny the stratospheric mark that McDonalds, as a business, has made on the world; in terms of real estate locations, employment opportunities, work for charity (Ronald McDonald House) the list goes on and has ultimately changed the way we live.

Similar to the story of Asa Candler and the birt
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I heard good things about this book, so I decided to give it a try. I am glad that I did; it was an enjoyable story. I had vague ideas about Ray Kroc, none of which were accurate. He was an interesting man with unique ideas about business and life. I loved his response when others say that he was an overnight success; he says that he was an overnight success, but 30 years is a long night. It turns out that he was a salesman prior to his McDonald's venture, with some successes and some failures. ...more
Robby Grabow
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story of Ray Kroc is intriguing for many reasons including the fact that he didn't realize McDonald's until he was 52. While the interaction with the McDonald's brothers is a subject of some controversy in how it actually went down, Grinding it Out provides Ray's point of view which is not flattering to the McDonald's brothers portraying them as untrustworthy and granting territories to other franchisees without regard for Ray. I expect the McDonald's brothers would have a different perspect ...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
“I was an overnight success all right, but thirty years is a long, long night. I” 2 likes
“Happiness is not a tangible thing, it’s a byproduct of achievement. Achievement must be made against the possibility of failure, against the risk of defeat. It is no achievement to walk a tightrope laid flat on the floor. Where there is no risk, there can be no pride in achievement and, consequently, no happiness. The only way we can advance is by going forward, individually and collectively, in the spirit of the pioneer. We must take the risks involved in our free enterprise system. This is the only way in the world to economic freedom. There is no other way.” 2 likes
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