Ray Kroc, at 52, was the exclusive distributor for a company that produced "multi-mixer" milk shake machines. Impressed by a small chain of hamburger restaurants based in San Bernadino, California, that used the multi-mixers, Mr Kroc acquired franchising rights from the owners, the McDonald brothers. He then founded McDonald's Corporation in 1955.
"We take the hamburger business more seriously than anyone else," Mr Kroc said, explaining McDonald's success. His dedication to strict standards, his diligence to providing customers with consistent quality, service, cleanliness and value and his innovative use of cooking techniques prompted a Harvard Business School professor to describe him as "the service sector's equivalent of Henry Ford".