Starring: Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Patrick Wilson, B.J. Novak, Linda Cardellini, Wilbur Fitzgerald
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Bio-drama directed by John Lee Hancock. The Founder (2016) tells the true story of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a salesman from Illinois, teamed with two brothers, Richard and Maurice “Mac” McDonald Nick Offerman and John Caroll Lynch), who were operating a hamburger restaurant in southern California in the 1950s to launch a fast food chain. Kroc subtly maneuvers himself into a position to take control of their company, which grows into one of the world’s best-known brands and creates a billion-dollar empire.
Our Favorite Quotes:
Ray Kroc: Persistence. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent won’t. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius won’t. Unrewarded genius is practically a cliché. Education won’t. The world is full of educated fools. Persistence and determination alone are all powerful. Show that you don’t have to be defeated by anything. That you can have peace of mind, improved health, and a never ceasing flow of energy. If you attempt each and every day to achieve these things, the results will make themselves obvious to you. While it may sound like a magical notion, it is in you to create your own future. The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson declared, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
Ray Kroc: I know what you’re thinking, how the heck does a fifty-two year-old, over the hill, milkshake machine salesman build a fast food empire with sixteen hundred restaurants and an annual revenue of seven hundred million dollar? One word. Persistence.
June Martino: Prince Castle Sales.
Ray Kroc: Hi, June.
June Martino: Ray, how’s it going it down there?
Ray Kroc: Good. Swell. A lot of interest.
June Martino: We got an order. Six mixers.
Ray Kroc: To anywhere in particular?
McDonald’s Customer: [standing in line at McDonald’s to get served] Don’t worry, it move fast.
Ray Kroc: Really?
McDonald’s Employee: Welcome to McDonald’s, may I take your order?
Ray Kroc: Yeah, give me a hamburger, french-fries and a Coca-Cola.
McDonald’s Employee: That’ll be thirty-five cents, please.
Ray Kroc: Okay.
McDonald’s Employee: Fifteen cents is your change. Here you are.
Ray Kroc: What’s that?
McDonald’s Employee: Your food.
Ray Kroc: No, no, no. I just ordered.
McDonald’s Employee: And now it’s here.
Ray Kroc: Are you sure? Alright. what about the silverware and the plate and everything.
McDonald’s Employee: You just eat it straight out of the wrapper and then you throw it all out.
Ray Kroc: Alright. Where do I eat it?
McDonald’s Employee: In your car. At the park. At home. Wherever you like.
Ray Kroc: Okay. Okay. Okay. Thanks.
'Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.' - Ray Kroc (The Founder) Click To Tweet
Mac McDonald: [to Kroc] McDonald’s. Care for a little tour?
Mac McDonald: We wanted something different and that’s when my brother here comes up with one of his brilliant ideas.
Dick McDonald: Orders ready in thirty seconds, not thirty minutes.
Ray Kroc: Unique, original, there’s nothing like this.
Ethel Kroc: It’s revolutionary?
Ray Kroc: That’s exactly what it is, it’s revolutionary.
Ray Kroc: [pointing to the painting in their office] What is that?
Dick McDonald: The Golden Arches.
Mac McDonald: It’s a way to make the place standout.
'Business is war. It's dog eat dog, rat eat rat. If my competitor were drowning, I'd walk over and I'd put a hose right in his mouth.' - Ray Kroc (The Founder) Click To Tweet
Ray Kroc: Franchise.
Mac McDonald: Beg your pardon?
Ray Kroc: Franchise. Franchise the damn thing. It’s too damn good for just one location. There should be McDonald’s everywhere. Coast to coast. Sea to shining sea.
Dick McDonald: Mr. Kroc…
Ray Kroc: Hey, you know, I have a confession I want to make to you boys. I’m not out here in California for any kind of business meetings. I came out here for you. A few days ago, I got into St. Louis, Missouri, and I was doing some business, and I broke out my map, and I followed my finger on one single highway, west, Route 66.
Dick McDonald: Mr. Kroc…
Ray Kroc: Something told me. Something told me to get into my car and try that highway. And you know where it led me? Right here. Right, smack down here. Right to this unbelievable establishment. And when I saw these lines, and your whole operation, and I tasted your product, I knew what needed to happen. Franchise. Franchise. Franchise. Franchise.
Dick McDonald: We already tried that.
Ray Kroc: [to Dick and Mac] McDonald’s can be the new American church, and it ain’t just open on Sundays, boys.
Ray Kroc: I’ve never seen a restaurant like this.
Joan Smith: [to Kroc] Good things come to those who wait.
'While it may sound like a magical notion, it is in you to create your own future.' - Ray Kroc (The Founder) Click To Tweet
Ray Kroc: How can we be almost out of capital?
Ethel Kroc: [to Kroc] Did you mortgage our home? We could lose everything.
Ray Kroc: I want to renegotiate my lousy deal.
Dick McDonald: I can’t.
Ray Kroc: Can’t or won’t?
Dick McDonald: Ray.
Ray Kroc: What!
Dick McDonald: No!
Ray Kroc: Dammit!
[slams down the phone]
Harry J. Sonneborn: So to summarize, you have a miniscule revenue stream, no cash reserves, and an albatross of a contract that requires you to go through a slow approval process to inact changes, if approved at all, which they never are. Am I missing anything?
Ray Kroc: That about sums it up.
Harry J. Sonneborn: Tell me about the land.
Ray Kroc: The land.
Harry J. Sonneborn: The land, the building, how that whole aspect of it works.
Ray Kroc: Oh, pretty simply really. Franchises finds a piece of land he likes, gets a lease, usually twenty years, he takes out a construction loan, builds up the building and off he goes.
Harry J. Sonneborn: So the operator selects the site?
Ray Kroc: Yeah.
Harry J. Sonneborn: He picks the property.
Ray Kroc: Right.
Harry J. Sonneborn: You provide the training, the system, the operational knowhow, and he is responsible for the rest.
Ray Kroc: Is there a problem?
Harry J. Sonneborn: A big one. You don’t seem to realize what business you’re in. You’re not in the burger business, you’re in the real estate business. You build an empire by owning the land. What you ought to be doing is owning the land upon which that burger is cooked.
'Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.' - Ray Kroc (The Founder) Click To Tweet
Dick McDonald: Franchise Realty Corporation.
Ray Kroc: It’s its own separate company, which puts it outside your purview.
Dick McDonald: [to Mac] There’s a wolf in the hen house, we let him in!
Ray Kroc: [giving the same speech to different groups to get investors for McDonald’s] I’m going to give you three words. I want you to take those three words home with you tonight. McDonald’s is family. Isn’t it great? Do you know what I see when I say that? Family. I want one big family. The army. You have mouths to feed, that’s family. I’m looking for a few good men, and women, who aren’t afraid of hard work, who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves. It’s a cliché, I know, but I’m looking for scrappers, hustlers, guys who are willing to roll up their sleeves, they got a little drive, they got a little fire in their belly, a little chutzpa. I stand right here before you today, and I’m going to offer you something as precious as, do you know what that is? Anybody? Anybody? Opportunity. It’s opportunity. Opportunity. Opportunity to things, to move forward, to move up, to advance, to succeed, to win, to step up, the sky is the limit. The sky is the limit. To grab the brass spring. To give yourself a shot at the American dream. To put your arms around the American dream. Opportunity. Because I tell you something, at McDonald’s, just like this great nation of ours, some of that elbow grease, guarantee if you got the guts, gumption, if you have the desire, I guarantee that you can succeed. There’s gold to be had at the end of those golden arches. Golden arches. Golden arches. Now who’s with me, who wants to jump on that ladder to success, to become part of the McDonald’s mishpucha? Now who’s with me?
Ethel Kroc: When’s enough going to be enough for you?
Ray Kroc: Probably never.
'The world is full of educated fools. Persistence and determination alone are all powerful.' - Ray Kroc (The Founder) Click To Tweet
Dick McDonald: You are to stop this instant.
Ray Kroc: Through taking orders from you.
Dick McDonald: You have a contract!
Ray Kroc: Contracts are like hearts, they’re made to be broken.
Dick McDonald: I’m looking at a letterhead with the name McDonald’s on it. Would you care to explain?
Ray Kroc: It was confusing, people didn’t even know it had anything to do with McDonald’s.
Dick McDonald: What’s confusing is you calling yourself the McDonald’s Corporation. People will think it’s the whole company not just a real estate arm, which we strongly suspect is what you hope!
Mac McDonald: You put Dick’s arches on your letterhead. This is not your company, Ray!
Ray Kroc: Mac.
Mac McDonald: Do you understand that!
Ray Kroc: Mac, don’t get upset.
Mac McDonald: We came up with the speedy system, not you, us! What did you ever come up with? Can you name one thing? You can’t, and you never have and you never will because you are a leach, Ray, you’re a professional leach.
Ray Kroc: Do you know what I came up with, Mac? A concept. I came up with the concept of winning.
Dick McDonald: [to Mac] Let me talk to him.
Ray Kroc: While you two boys were content to sit back and be a couple of all so round. I want to take the future, I want to win, and you don’t get there by being aw-shucks nice guys sap. There’s no place in business for people like that. Business is war. It’s dog eat dog, rat eat rat. If my competitor were drowning, I’d walk over and I’d put a hose right in his mouth. Can you say the same?
Ray Kroc: I could be growing this thing at twice the pay.
'Contracts are like hearts, they're made to be broken.' - Ray Kroc (The Founder) Click To Tweet
Dick McDonald: Let’s just slow down a minute.
Mac McDonald: Did he just hang up on you?
Dick McDonald: Unless we got violently disconnected.
Ray Kroc: [to Dick] I’m through with your endless parade of no’s.
Dick McDonald: [over phone, to Kroc] There are plenty of things we could do to make a quick buck, but that doesn’t mean we should… He hung up again.
'Fortune favors the bold.' - Joan Smith (The Founder) Click To Tweet
Ray Kroc: They’re brothers, you’re business partners, make it go away. I don’t care what it takes.
Ray Kroc: That glorious name, McDonald’s. I had to have it.
Dick McDonald: You don’t have it.
Ray Kroc: Are you sure about that?