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McDonald's: Behind The Arches Paperback – July 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, this book ain't in that category.
Not that this is an OFFICIAL biography of McDonald's or anything, no. It's just that the author is a little too professional to get into the kind of vicious nitpicking that you might expect, given recent lurid developments (obesity lawsuits, bombings of McDonald's, etc.).
No, this book is more of a mature, considered chronicle of the overall health and strategy of the corporation as a whole than a series of cheap take-downs.
True, Love does criticize McDonald's from time to time, but it's not in particularly vicious terms. For example, in the later chapters, he analyzes in some depth the company's ill-fated diversification strategy in the early 90s. He also happily delves into several of Kroc's kooky, doomed ideas.
Unfortunately, many of the "minor hiccoughs" in the company's recent history (e.g., that French farmer that raised a ruckus, that British couple who have devoted their lives to taking them down) are so well-known and fascinating that their absence is keenly felt. And what interesting reading they would have made, given Love's scholarship and even-handedness.
So, while Love is willing, from time to time, to cast a negative light on McDonald's, for the most part the book is a straight macroeconomic history by a man who obviously admires but is not overly-reverential of one of the world's greatest corporations.
If you find that to your liking, you will certainly declare the book an entertaining and useful read -- especially if you're stuck having to write a serious, no-nonsense paper about the chain's corporate strategy, say for a business class.
Two brothers named McDonald went west to California from the north-east. They came with about about $8 dollars in their pockets (according to them) and got jobs moving props on movie sets in Hollywood (sound familiar?) After some initial business ventures the brothers opened their own small restaurant in San Bernadino.
Meanwhile, in the Midwest Ray Kroc left school at 16, and like almost all other achievers that reached his level of success, he had a strong work ethic and a hard-driving tenacity to succeed. Expecially at concepts that intially proved successful (hence SOP procedures). How ya build opon something that has a good and successful foundation. A gifted, successful salesman from an early age, he got a job selling paper cups and sold them for 17 years as one of the top salesman of his company. Some of his clients for example, were Wrigley field's vendors, among other Chicago establishments. In his late thirties, he started selling shake mixers. McDonald's comes into the picture when Kroc noticed that two brothers who owned a drive-in hamburger restaurant in Southern California, kept ordering lots of shake mixing machines, when Kroc's mixer business was dying out everywhere else in the country.Read more ›
An exceptional business read, with countless lessons in business, management, leadership and sourcing. These lessons are inter-weaved within a great story about the start and growth of one of the most recognizable brands in the world. A must read!
Below are excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1- "Few outside McDonald's understand that Ray Kroc's brilliance is found in the way he selected and motivated his managers, his franchisees, and his suppliers. He had a knack for bringing out the best in people who worked with him. To be sure, Kroc's success with McDonald's is a story of his own entrepreneurship. But it is more. He succeeded on a grand scale because he had the wisdom and the courage to rely on hundreds of other entrepreneurs."
2- "The fundamental secret to McDonald's success is the way it achieves uniformity and allegiance to an operating regimen without sacrificing the strengths of American individualism and diversity. McDonald's manages to mix conformity with creativity."
3- "Essentially, the approach Kroc took in franchising was the same as he took in selling food service supplies: his success was based on finding a way to make his customers successful with his product.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm curious about how McDonald's become the country's number one fastfood chain, and this book answered my query.Published 1 month ago by Shane McGregor
McDonald’s will always have a special place in my heart, even though I rarely eat there these days. A happy meal was a treasured treat when I was a kid and my first real job was... Read morePublished 3 months ago by T. Graczewski
Now this is one American success story that everyone reading this review has played a part in. You should read this book for the sheer pleasure of better understanding what a... Read morePublished 18 months ago by richard e whitelock
Interesting story, a lot of behind the scenes facts about how this international giant came into being, enjoyed reading it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by TWChop@aol.com