“The Founder” Movie Analysis

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Movie Summary

The Founder is a movie that was filmed in 2016 and was directed by John Lee Hancock. The film is based on a true story about a man that goes by the name of Ray Kroc, who is a Struggling salesman from St. Louis, who is try to sell his milkshake maker, he pitches his milkshake maker to many different fast food industries but none of them like his idea and they reject him.

He then travels to San Bernardino, California after receiving a phone call from his secretary saying that someone ordered 6 of his milkshake makers. When he reaches San Bernardino he gets to a Fast food restaurant by the name of McDonalds Hamburgers that ordered the milkshake makers. When Ray orders food from McDonalds Hamburgers it arrives to him wrapped in paper and his drink is in a paper cup. Which showed that McDonalds Hamburgers was ahead of all the other fast food restaurants as well as thinking outside the box.

While Ray sits eating his Hamburger he is introduced to Mc Macdonald on of the owners of McDonald’s Hamburgers. Mac takes Ray inside to the kitchen where all the Hamburger making Magic happens as well as where he meets Dick McDonald. Ray is quite impressed with the operation that the McDonalds brothers have going on in the McDonalds kitchen. Ray asks to hear the brother’s story as to how they came up with McDonald’s its self.

After hearing the brother’s remarkable story, Ray Pitches the idea that they become a franchise, however the brothers had already tried to become a franchise. The brothers said that becoming a franchise did not work out the way that they wanted it to, so they stopped trying to become a franchise. Ray travels to Phoenix to see the brothers other McDonalds that they had built. Ray then goes home and thinks about possibly investing in it but his wife does not agree with this idea. So ray then goes back to promoting his Milkshake maker, where he continues to get rejected.

Ray decides that he is tired of being rejected and returns back to the brothers where he convinces them to become a franchise one more time. The brothers give in to becoming a franchise and becoming in partnership with Ray. Ray helps the brothers to promote and build their franchise.

Ray and his wife go to a restaurant where they meet with some of their friends and he promotes the franchise too many of his friends and to other people that are willing to invest in the franchise. Once they all invest in the franchise he teaches them all the ways of being in the kitchen and how it works. Ray soon falls into debt and his wife finds out that he mortgaged their home, Ray is then in big trouble. However Ray comes across an opportunity to fall out of debt, he takes it and goes through with it.

Ray then receives a call from the brothers and he tells them that they have a say of what goes on inside the restaurants but they do not control what goes on outside of them. Ray then buys the brothers land, breaks the contract he has with the brothers, divorces his wife but gives her no share in the business, Mac then has a panic attack.

Ray bought McDonalds out from the brothers, the brothers were not allowed to use the name McDonalds in their restaurants name or anything in relation to the name McDonald’s. Ray Kroc then bought a new home, remarried and became the sole Founder, Owner and Franchisee of McDonalds.

Movie Evaluation

Management and Leadership

The meaning of Management in business terms is the organization and co-ordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives. Management is when you are given the authority and the power to instruct people to handle specific tasks.

The meaning of Leadership in business terms is the capacity of a company’s management to set and achieve challenging goals, take fast and decisive action when needed, outperform the competition, and inspire others to perform at the highest level they can.

Management and leadership has managed to work together with in the film, an example of these two aspects working together would be with the McDonald brothers when they started McDonald’s its self as well as when Ray Kroc joined them.

With management and leadership working together with one another the tasks that are included with management and leadership are creating corporate policies and organizing, planning, leading, controlling, delegating, decision- making, disciplining, motivating and directing an organization’s resources in order to achieve the objectives. The aim of management and leadership is to ensure that the employee’s performance is effective and efficient in order to achieve the goals of the business.

One of the key aspects of management and leadership is having control. There are several aspects that are involved with control, this would include, the setting standards, measurement of performance and implementing corrective measures. The McDonald brothers display a brilliant form of control, this is seen in the kitchen of their restaurant where they supervise the entire production process of their hamburgers, therefore resulting in their work force being efficient. Another form of control was displayed by Ray Kroc when he does a quality check in the kitchen making sure that the burger patties are cooked to perfection as well as that each burger has five squirts of ketchup and mustard, a sprinkle of onions and two pickles.

If there is a lack of control within the business, the business will fail. Within the first 9 minutes of the film we see Ray Kroc spend his days travelling around and away from home, we see him traveling from one poor drive in restaurant to the next. At one of the restaurants we see Ray Kroc wait 30 minutes before he receives the wrong order of fried chicken instead of receiving his order of barbequed beef. This shows that this drive-in restaurant had bad service, no control and was inefficient in their work and delivery of food.

With that in order to ensure that brothers business was ready to face their desired outcomes, they had to be able to plan and organise their business plans accordingly. Planning can become a management process, concerned with defining goals for a future direction of a business and determining on the missions and resources to achieve the businesses targets. To meet the goals for a business, managers may develop plans such as a business plan or a marketing plan. Planning needs to be flexible and adaptable, in order to avoid problems.

Organizing and planning link together in order to ensure sufficiency are available in order to carry the plan for the business. 20 minutes into the film we can see this being demonstrated by the McDonalds brothers when they map out, organize and reorganise the design of their production process on a tennis court, to make sure that that it works without any flaws as well as that it is effective and efficient. While the brothers use 3 different layouts on the tennis court, Dick McDonald stands on a ladder, directing his staff as to how they should be working effectively in the third kitchen layout of the burger patty making process.

When Ray Kroc has a look at what the brothers have done and hearing their back story, he goes into partnership with them. However the brothers clearly state that all decisions that are made must first be approved by them, this shows that the brothers wish to be in full control.

Ray Kroc however would like to be more involved with the business and create a more confident atmosphere for the employees. He tends to put emphasis on the values of creative thinking and problem solving skills towards his employees, he motivates his employees by assisting them in understanding the meaning of their work. Ray Kroc is transformational leader.

Ray Kroc used the art of delegation in order to insure that the McDonalds franchise would be successful. Delegation is the assignment of any authority to another person to carry out specific activities. It is one of the core concepts of management leadership. Ray Kroc takes up the task of carefully selecting hard-working, dedicated, and diligent people to become part of the McDonalds franchise. Ray Kroc also makes regular stops at the McDonalds restaurants to make sure that they are clean, well maintained and up to standard.

Ray Kroc also took up the part of decision- making on a number of occasions. For example- when he decided that switching to instant powdered milkshakes would not only lower the costs but have food delivery time be shorter. We also see Communication take place between Joan and Ray Kroc, communication is the process of sharing information between people within and outside a company. Effective communication is how employees and management interact to reach organizational goals. Its purpose is to improve organizational practices and lessen errors.

Entrepreneurial Qualities

What is an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. An entrepreneur is also someone who sees an opportunity in the market and assumes the risk of starting a business with his/her capital in order to make a profit.

Ray Kroc and the McDonald brothers show numerous entrepreneurial qualities throughout the film. These qualities allow them to make a successful business venture. Ray Kroc portrays a risk-taking personality within the film which leads him to be the entrepreneur he is portrayed as.

An entrepreneur has many different qualities, but one of the more important qualities of an entrepreneur is having the ability to identify an opportunity. Entrepreneurs are also well identified for optimistic risk- taking and for being opportunists. Ray Kroc identifies the opportunity of turning McDonalds into a franchise, he takes the opportunity and pitches the idea to the brothers, when Ray Kroc does this he is persist and ambitious these of which are the qualities of a successful entrepreneur. In order for Ray Kroc to uphold his risk taking nature (as mentioned before) he goes to the bank looking for a loan, but when the bank says they cannot loan him money, he takes out a mortgage on his home without telling his wife, he does this in order to finance and obtain funding on his business venture.

Ray Kroc only found the opportunity to turn McDonalds into a franchise when he was at the right place at the right time, it was to Ray’s amazement that the McDonalds brothers were able to create and uphold such a magnificent, unique, and efficient and people impacting business.

The brother’s hard-work and commitment for building up their business payed off. When the brothers were designing their kitchen on the tennis court, they used their creativity, innovation and initiative to come up with the most unique, original and effective production process. The brothers’ idea was to create something where people would walk to the window and receive their food instead of sitting, waiting for the food to be delivered to them in their cars (the drive-ins),this process was designed to be faster, more efficient and so the food tasted great every time. The McDonalds target market was family orientated, they managed to achieve this.

Creative thinking and problem solving is a way of solving problems or identifying opportunities when conventional thinking has failed. It encourages you to find fresh perspectives and come up with innovative solutions, so that you can formulate a plan to overcome obstacles and reach your goals. Ray Kroc shows us his Creative thinking and problem solving skills when he gives the franchisees the instruction as to they must use the instant powdered milkshake to lessen costs and increase their profits. By doing this he has identified the correct thing to do. We then see Ray’s demonstration of problem-solving skills when he meets the financial advisor to help him with the cash flow problems considering that that contract was limited. After the Advisor informs Ray that he is in the wrong form of business and he should be in the real estate business. This is why Ray changes his attitude and starts looking at the business from a real estate’s view in order to increase the cash flow and gain leverage over his franchisees, including the McDonald brothers. Within the film we notice that Ray wants to become his own boss and he doesn’t want to be told what to do and how to do things by anyone. In order for Ray to do this, he creates a company named “Franchise Reality Corporation” which brought in investors, however even though it bought in investors, Ray later on decides that it’s time to rename his corporation, with that Ray renames the company “The McDonalds Corporation” and after doing that, he buys out the McDonald brother’s. After seeing what he has done, Ray realises he has personal motivation and with having that he realises that he has the ability to succeed.

Aside from the fact that Ray has personal motivation, He is also a motivator and a leader to others, Ray leads by example when he arrives at the restaurants and he cleans up outside, sweeps the floors outside and by hosing down the car park, by doing this Ray is motivating his employees to work hard and to be dedicated to their work, like he is. Ray then leads even further but by communication with his employees, making sure that they are aware of the standards they have to uphold, such as when Ray checks with great detail and attention that there are two pickles on each of hamburgers.

Marketing and Branding

What is a Brand?

A brand or branding is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. In the film, the McDonalds brand is influenced by the name, logo and design that makes it different and unique from its other restaurant competitors.

Ray Kroc shows us towards the end of the movie that the strong brand name is what helped lead him to the success that he achieved. What made McDonalds a unique restaurant was in their logo, this is clearly recognized and known as the Golden Arches. McDonalds came out as a stronger and better brand than all the other restaurants in the restaurant industry, McDonalds also created a good customer loyalty and care basis which allowed for their restaurant to also travel via word or mouth because of their good service, which allowed their business to strengthen and become more confident in their product and service.

What is Marketing?

Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses. Marketing consists of the 7P’s snakingly; Product, Price, Promotion, people, Place, Physical evidence and Process. Each of these were used and identified within the film.

McDonalds Product: McDonalds chose to focus on three of their most popular products; a burger, fries and a coke, the reason they did this was to guarantee the best quality of their product.

McDonald’s price: McDonalds sells their burgers at a low cost in order to bring in customers and to make a profit every time. Even though their cost was low, they were thinking strategically.

McDonald’s promotion: McDonalds relied on word of mouth by their customers as their promotion plan, considering that they had good customer service and credibility.

McDonald People: Ray Kroc is the man that brings in the other franchisees, after realising its better to work ethically (which is what these people knew how to do) and have people that were more determined and hard working to be part of his franchisees “team”.

McDonalds Place: McDonalds was designed at the time to be a family- friendly restaurant, were it was pleasant for everyone of age. McDonalds became a likable brand because of the atmosphere, customer service, friendliness and positivity that drew the customers in.

McDonalds Physical Evidence: When Ray Kroc is seen cleaning up outside of the McDonalds, after hours, this shows that he cares for the appearance of his business. If the appearance outside of McDonalds is cleaning it will lead people to want to come back for more because it would have left a good impression and created a positive brand identity as well as atmosphere. The use of the golden arches also allows the business to stand out, look unique and me memorable towards the customers.

McDonalds Process: When we first met the McDonald brothers we see them demonstrate and introduce us to their speedy production. This process helped their business to be more organized within their production process. They came up with this process by laying out their kitchen design ideas on a tennis court to make sure that their ideas would be effective, efficient and have no flaws in it before putting their layout in the actual kitchen. With the kitchen being custom build it allows for the customers to receive their orders in the exact time of 30 seconds, which shows that their speedy system production process was effective.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Franchising

A franchisor is a person or company that grants a license to a third party for the conducting of a business under the franchisor’s marks. The franchisor owns the overall rights and trademarks of the company and allows its franchisees to use these rights and trademarks to do business. The franchisor in the film is known as Ray Kroc.

The franchisee is the individual who buys into the original company by purchasing the right to sell the franchisor’s goods or services under the existing business model and trademark. The franchisees in the film would be identified as the people that Ray Kroc asks to invest into the business.

Franchising is a continuing relationship in which a franchisor provides a licensed privilege to the franchisee to do business and offers assistance in organizing, training, merchandising, marketing and managing in return for a monetary consideration.


There are many different advantages with being in the franchising business one of them being that if you sign an agreement to go into a franchise the agreement will protect the ideas and concepts of the franchisees and franchisors of McDonalds in this case.

With Ray Kroc being the sole franchisor of McDonalds it leads him to have many advantages such as the hiring and firing of franchisees, being able to grow the business more quickly without a large capitol. Even though Ray’s responsibilities limited to him, he makes the best out of the situation he puts himself in. he made sure he hired the right franchisees and he trusted them to hire the right staff, so he didn’t have to worry about staff member problems, those would be taken up by the individual franchisees of each McDonalds.

Having your franchises brand recognizable is a big advantage. The brand name “McDonalds” was recognized by everyone that came in to buy from them because of their uniquene.

Cite this paper

“The Founder” Movie Analysis. (2022, Apr 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-founder-movie-analysis/



Is The Founder movie accurate?
The Founder is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Robert D. Siegel. The film stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's. The film is based on the true story of how Ray Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers' speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He eventually maneuvered himself into a position to be able to take over the company. The movie is accurate in its portrayal of how Kroc took over the McDonald's company. However, it does leave out some details and takes some liberties with the timeline of events.
What is the message of The Founder movie?
The message of The Founder movie is that anyone can become a success if they have the right combination of drive and opportunity. Additionally, the film argues that the American dream is still alive and attainable.
What is the problem in The Founder movie?
The problem in The Founder movie is that Ray Kroc is trying to take over the McDonald's brothers' business.
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