Kroc, Ray (Raymond Albert Kroc), 1902–84, American fast-food restauranteur and franchiser, b. Chicago. Kroc held several jobs before becoming (1937) the distributor for a blender that simultaneously prepared several milkshakes. Visiting a small but profitable San Bernadino, Calif., restaurant owned by brothers Mac and Dick McDonald, he was impressed by the fast assembly-line fashion preparation of burgers, fries, sodas, and shakes. Kroc acquired the business's franchising rights and in 1955 founded the McDonald's Corp. Six years later he bought out the brothers. Using quality, service, cleanliness, and value as a commercial mantra, and maintaining strict uniformity of product, McDonald's grew quickly, as franchises opened throughout the country and menu items were gradually added. Kroc served as president (1955–68), chairman of the board (1968–77), and then senior chairman until his death. By then, McDonald's had changed America's eating habits, with more than 7,500 restaurants in operation and annual sales topping $8 billion.
See his Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's (1977, repr. 1990).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Business Leaders
Browse by Subject
- Earth and the Environment +-
- History +-
- Literature and the Arts +-
- Medicine +-
- People +-
- Philosophy and Religion +-
- Places +-
- Australia and Oceania
- Britain, Ireland, France, and the Low Countries
- Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic Nations
- Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Oceans, Continents, and Polar Regions
- Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and the Balkans
- United States, Canada, and Greenland
- Plants and Animals +-
- Science and Technology +-
- Social Sciences and the Law +-
- Sports and Everyday Life +-