The success of McDonald's is the business equivalent of the American Dream. While McDonald's was not the first franchise business, it has possibly become the premier example of the business model. With roots that trace back to a single drive-in started by a pair of brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald, in Southern California, McDonald's has grown to a network of well over 30,000 locations in more than 100 countries.
So how did the chain grow from a single restaurant into the expansive corporation it is today? It's not a question that can be answered concisely because McDonald's is first-class in every segment of its operation. With that in mind, this article focuses upon three of the characteristics which stand out when speaking about the success of McDonald's: consistency, innovation and resiliency.
It doesn't matter if you're visiting a McDonald's in California or Connecticut, America or Australia – you're going to have a similar experience wherever you are. This highlights Ray Kroc's vision for McDonald's from the beginning. Kroc was a salesman from Illinois who ventured to San Bernardino, California in 1954 when he noticed a larger than normal order for the milkshake multi-mixers he was selling came in. When he arrived in Southern California, he was intrigued with what he witnessed – a restaurant that was efficiently serving a large number of customers who seemed pleased with the food they were receiving. Sensing a business opportunity, he made a proposal to the McDonald brothers to begin franchising their restaurant concept, which the brothers eventually accepted. Kroc opened his first McDonald's in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois.
“Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value” was Kroc's motto. His belief in this motto was so strong he went on to found a training school, Hamburger University, in 1961 whose curriculum is based upon the four concepts, as well as lessons he had learned from his initial years in operating the franchise. Consistency, of...