Movie 'The Founder' – The McDonald's System
I’ve been encouraging business owners NOT to miss seeing the new movie, “The Founder.” It’s the global success story about the McDonald’s system that set a giant precedent for franchise operations.
A must-see movie for any business owner!
If you decide to see this provocative film, I urge you to observe its many important insights.
An intriguing part of the film was watching the McDonald brothers in action, developing what they called “The System.” The brothers’ next move was to open several other locations using their “system.” However, to their disappointment, “The System” broke down, chaos reigned, and they had to close all those other locations.
Having failed to expand McDonald’s across America back then, they retreated to their original location in San Bernardino, Calif. There they could personally oversee their baby, the McDonald’s system. They just couldn’t bear seeing chaos in any store location where their name was over the door.
The McDonald’s System, food in 30 seconds
As the story goes, a milkshake blender salesman named Ray Kroc, played by Michael Keaton in the film, paid the McDonald brothers a visit. Proud owners of a great restaurant with unique system, the brothers were all too happy to tell Kroc and many others exactly how it operated. They could actually deliver food to their customers in 30 seconds, and people were flocking to their business.
Kroc had been so intrigued with their operation, he convinced the McDonald’s he could fulfill their original dream of many franchises. He would become an integral part of this phenomenon, promising that “this time” they would not fail. Yet, despite Kroc’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the McDonald’s system, the new locations began to flounder. They just didn’t operate like the brothers’ original McDonald’s store, which was consistently clean and efficient.
Kroc concluded that the reason for the failure was, the new franchise owners were not on-site all day, every day. He decided that all future franchisees should be married couples, who could work together IN the business. This hands-on approach, with franchise owners being on-site, overseeing every aspect of the MacDonald’s system, seemed to work much better.
The missing key to the original MacDonald’s system
The thing that was never mentioned in the movie was that eventually The McDonald’s Corporation created detailed written procedures of how “The System” worked. They gathered those procedures and other documents into an operations manual, then held classes to train not only the franchise owners, but also their staff on how to use them. Trained on “the System,” the staff was then able to run the business without the owner(s) having to be onsite.
The goal here was, to give any franchise owner the ability to be an absentee owner. Thus, they could become successful, owning multiple locations that operated clean and efficiently, as with the McDonald’s system.
This systematic approach empowers an owner to truly OWN their business, not just have a JOB inside the business, like the McDonald brothers.
Great systems are an imperative for the success of any company! I wrote all about it in my book, System Busters: How to Stop Them In Your Business.
Did I mention? Great systems work!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.