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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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McDonald's: Behind The Arches Paperback – July 1, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Love presents a completely revised and updated version of the history behind the voracious hamburger empire.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

"The history of the McDonald's system is the story of an organization that learned how to harness the power of entrepreneursnot several, but hundreds of them." This work is not the story of Ray Kroc, McDonald's colorful founder, but that of all of the individuals, including the McDonald brothers, suppliers, financiers, franchisees, as well as the early employees, who made McDonald's the undisputed champion of the fast food industry. The complex financial arrangements that were necessary to McDonald's success are made clear, as is the company's commitment to quality, service, and cleanliness. This entertaining work is highly recommended for most public and academic libraries. Michael D. Kathman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Collegeville, Minn.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Rev Sub edition (July 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553347594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553347593
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You know how there have been some searing indictments of McDonald's in the last few years, ranging from "Fast Food Nation" to that movie "Supersize Me"?

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.
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Format: Paperback
Story telling at its best. I couldn't put it down. Miller was given access to inside information about the company far beyond anything I have read anywhere else.
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Format: Paperback
The story behind the ubiquitous golden arches, and the man who expanded them coast to coast, (and today they reach the edges of the Earth). This book provides a reader friendly, detailed synopsis of McDonald's through decades of the original brothers, to Ray Kroc's entry and exit of what would become one of the most recognized oranizations of the world. (Whether this fact has positive or negative implications is another matter entirely). This is a good book about Mickey-D's and sheds light on many other aspects of American history, diet, culture, business and advertising.
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As best summarized on the back cover of the book - "McDonald's is the story of an American business success, a company that proved the value of hard work, ingenuity, trial and error, and gut instincts. In McDonald's: Behind the Arches, business writer John F. Love tells the astonishing story of the people, and the strategies, the innovation and the brilliance that turned a single hamburger stand into a multibillion-dollar corporation that has influenced the very culture of America - and now the world."

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.
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