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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Grace College

Business studies essay

The Founder 2016

By: John Lee Hancock

' Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc

' Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald

' John Carrol Lynch as Mac McDonald

' Linda Cardelini as Joan Smith

' B.J Novak as Harry J.Sonneborn

' Luara Dern as Ethil Kroc

' Kenny Alfonso as Kroc corporate lawyer



1. Cover page

2. Index and glossary

3. Summary and reference

4. Management competencies, leadership and entrepreneurship

5. Creative thinking and problem solving

6. Branding and franchising

7. Ethics

8. Conclusion


1. Handshake agreement- where a decision about important topics are discussed which are most likely to occur.

2. Speedy system- faster way of working and producing, created by Dick McDonald.

3. Ethic- correct and moral principles.

4. Leasing- the use of something that is not yours by paying a monthly or yearly fee.

5. Royalties- the amount of money paid to a patentee for the use pf a patent.


The founder is a true story of a man called Ray Kroc that started off as a poor unknown salesman, that managed to gain the trust of two brothers, Mac and Dick McDonald who were running a small burger restaurant in the 1950's in Southern California. Kroc was impressed by their 'speedy system' and saw that operation as a place with potential. He came up with multiple ideas to make the McDonald brothers' dream a reality. He soon found a way to put himself in a position to take the little business from the brothers and turn it into his own multi-billion dollar empire.


' Wikipedia- key words in glossary

' Gr 12 IEB business studies textbook

' IBM for the director and actor names

Management competencies, leadership and entrepreneurship:

Kroc excels at being a salesman, because he knows how to advertise a product. He starts off by complementing the client and boosting their self-esteem, he then gathers a lot of statistical fact on how the business can be improved by using that product. He keeps on reminding himself how to be a great and successful businessman by listening to a record called 'the power of the positive' that gives him tips on achieving his goal by repeating 'persistence' and 'determination' and 'it doesn't take a great man to change the world, it just takes a man that changed his attitude to a positive and determined one'. He started off by selling 8 multi-mixers  to McDonalds, but before he goes to the business he goes and tries their food to do a background check on the business to see why they ordered 8 multi-mixers where other businesses none. The McDonald brothers was happy to show Kroc around the kitchen and then introduced their 'speedy system' to him. The managers was in the kitchen to control what is going on in and outside the restaurant to ensure that the standard they have set for their food and service is kept as a constant. The McDonald brothers showed great leadership when they are dealing with their employees, they showed them how to do everything and when they went wrong, corrected them, and they also motivated them while they were pretending to work, out on the tennis court. Kroc's persistence finally got the McDonald brothers to agree to let him improve and advertise their little operation by saying things like 'McDonald can be everyone's new church, feeding minds, feeding souls'. However Kroc does show poor leadership and entrepreneurship when he constantly hangs up the phone while talking to Dick McDonald.  

Kroc makes continues visits to all of the branches to ensure that rules are being followed. He has always been a risk taker and an executer. He also treats his staff well and corrected them when needed. Whereas Dick was afraid of the sudden change, he was scared that the standard they have set would fall.

Creative thinking and problem solving:

Dick suggested the golden arches as the theme colour, because it will attract people and creates a friendly environment. The McDonald brothers used a tennis court to draw the outline of their new location and new shop. They used their employees to figure out how exactly they are going to work as fast as possible without facing any challenges e.g. the employees bumping into each other causing slow performance and they then came up with the speedy system. They showed excellent creativity and solved the problem that most fast food restaurants faced. Kroc visits some of the new branches and faced a lot of problems related to bad management, he resolves them by employing another salesman and his wife as the new managers of one of the new branches, making sure they keep to the standards of McDonalds, he continues to personally pick the staff and enforcing standards upon them. The problem that McDonalds face related to refrigerating and stock costs are soon resolved when the Smith family introduces the powdered milkshake (instant mix) to Kroc. His new lawyer takes a look at his leaguer and finds a way to let the McDonald franchiser make more money, by controlling the land on which the branches are built on.

Branding and Franchising:

Kroc starts off the mission to franchise McDonalds by getting investors to raise funds. He uses direct marketing to wins over the investors by advertising and promoting the business, he explains the speedy system and guarantees them that they will make profit. Kroc's new lawyer finds a way for him to make more money, by leasing the property which the branches are built on making the franchisees pay a monthly fee (royalties). He started providing leasing services to franchisees , helping them ect. Brand integrity is maintained by Kroc.


From the start Kroc gave everyone the impression that he was the founder of McDonalds, starting with going to the bank to apply for a loan. Over a newspaper article he called himself McDonalds no 1, which slowly makes the clients and viewers think he is the original founder of the upcoming franchise. He also calls himself the 'McDonalds Corporation' He lied to the Smith family and said 'I started McDonalds in 1954'. Kroc starts to exclude the McDonald brothers when it comes to decision making, when they told Kroc that isn't how it works, he then told them that they have no say when it comes to things above, below and outside of the business and that he will do what he wants, he also told them that he is buying the land that the first McDonalds is built on. 'I am through with taking marching orders from you': Ray Kroc. He also tells Dick that contracts are like hearts, they're meant to be broken. He demanded more capital from the two brothers and do not negotiate with them. One of Kroc's lawyers tells him he can't just do what he wants because they are his partners, but he tells him to get rid of the contract and he doesn't care what it takes. He makes a contract with the McDonald brothers called the 'handshake agreement' but he does not stay by the agreement, because they have no proof that it has ever happened.

The McDonald brother lost their right to call their business McDonalds and anything related to the franchise. He stopped following the franchise agreement, because he changed the appearance and the name of McDonalds


The founder is a virtual example of the business world. Creative thinking and problem solving, entrepreneurship and leadership, ethics, branding and franchising are the most common factors when it comes to owning a business. It also gives us insight that the business world isn't easy, and that there are many problems that they faced that needs the correct resolution. The movie gives us an example of every little aspect there is to know when it comes to owning a business, and also the things that should be expected when dealing with competition and multiple crises'. It showed us how the brothers planned their future by making use of their mission and vision and how easily it can be ruined if the crises is not correctly dealt with.

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