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The Founder tells the story of McDonald's and the man who made the fast food franchise into what it is today. In The Founder, we follow the story of the man who made the once fledgling roadside lunch stand run by the McDonald brothers into a multi million dollar empire. Ray Kroc is played by Michael Keaton, who happens to be one of my favorite actors. Kroc did not come up with the original concept of McDonald's, it was the idea of two brothers who were running it as a struggling roadside diner. Ray was an idea man and a milkshake machine salesman who could turn it into a success beyond the wildest dreams of everyone involved.
The original founders of McDonald's, the McDonald brothers came up with an efficiency concept that made sure that the restaurant would always function like a machine. Another idea that they came up with was giving the customers their food in a paper bag and cup so that the customer could easily leave with their food if they chose to do so. At the time you had to sit, wait, and eat in just about every other restaurant. Ray Kroc was a milkshake machine salesman who had seen the restaurant's genius and decided to become a partner with the McDonald brothers even if the brothers were not interested. Kroc would eventually muscle into the operation and then muscle the brothers out of their own operation and restaurant. He would take all of the credit of McDonald's for himself. The birth of the golden arches was the idea of Ray Kroc. He came up with the idea or easier brand recognition and because it would be easy to spot from the road.
Ray became rich and famous off of other people's success and ideas so therefore a lesson to be learned from this movie is that while when people partner with each other credit should always be given for everything each individual involved contributes, many believe that "if you don't steal, you won't eat," so you must always safeguard your ideas.
I loved this film, but then again I love period pieces. Michael Keaton did a wonderful job portraying Ray Kroc. Michael is playing a part but at the same time Michael Keaton's own appeal and essence shines throughout. Michael really does bring his character to life on the silver screen. The Founder also talks about Ray's life outside of the business. His home life was not great, nor was his marriage. His pursuit of success and higher standing in society and the circles he wanted desperately to be a part of took away from his marriage and home life. The Kroc's marriage had suffered but it did not end in divorce. However, their union would become stronger after a reconciliation. His wife would come to understand that her husband's business pursuits and goals were to provide a better life for his wife and his children in the end.
Ray Kroc's business practices were shrewd but not always ethical. He was a man who always looked out for himself first in order to succeed, thrive, and prosper. One would even go so far as to say that Ray was also ego maniacal and their opinion would be accurate but they have to take into consideration that the business world is tough and extremely cut throat; he did what he had to do. Being business minded myself I think Ray Kroc is a genius in the financial and business world. Today the McDonald's franchise has become one of the most successful to date.