Would You Like Fries With That Cash?
Making money has never been easy. It takes brains, money to start out with, and innovative thinking. Maurice and Richard McDonald of San Bernadino, California, had all of that, although the money only multiplied once they started refining their ideas for serving your typical hamburger stand fare, faster and with less frills. Their operation was purely a drive-through restaurant with no seating. It was the beginning of a food service revolution, and the birth of what would become the McDonald's Corporation, although by then, the brothers were no longer a part of it.
In 1954, the McDonald's stand was a going concern. So much so, that they ordered eight milk shake mixers from the Prince Castle Mixer Company. Each one could whip up five shakes at a time. The salesman who drove the machines out to San Bernadino to be delivered, was Ray Kroc.
So fascinated was he with the set-up that the McDonald's had, Kroc convinced the brothers to give him the right to sell franchises to their idea of "fast food". The first one opened in Des Plains, Illinois in 1955. A franchise cost $950, with 1.9% of sales going back to Kroc, who then paid the McDonalds, .5%.
By the next year, Kroc formed the Franchise Realty Company, buying buildings or leasing them, and then leasing to franchise owners at a 20% mark up. The business grew so fast and furious, that Kroc bought the brothers out in 1961 for $2.7 million dollars, and his corporation was born.