The Founder

January 28th, 2017 at 5:03:38 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 95
Posts: 5837
Just came from seeing "The Founder." This is the Micheal Keaton as Ray Kroc/McDonald's story 1953-1970. If you know the story of McDonald's there are no real spoilers here.

Things start with Kroc driving around the plains states in a Plymouth Business Coupe, hawking the famous Multi-Mixer. He is having little luck since by this point his market is declining with the death of the soda fountains years before and few places needing to make 5 shakes at once. His business is not at all doing well.

Then the story hits the famous part, an 8 Mixer order and Kroc heads west to see who on earth needs 8 mixers when 2 would be considered a very major account. He meets the McDonald brothers who give him a tour and famously take his offer to be their master franchise rep.

Done well is the story of how the McDonald's came to be, the brother's history and the disasters along the way, excepting for the rainstorm that killed a day's work making the layout in chalk on their tennis court. What would have been nice was to see Ray's story done the same way.

The backbone of the movie is Kroc's fights with the brothers. One hanging up on the other in every call. Key players Fred Turner and Harry Sonneborn are shown by name but they are really bit parts. It is almost as if the movie half takes over the McDonald's scrubbing of Sonneborn from corporate history.

Mixed in is Kroc deciding to leave his wife to make a play for Joan, wife of one of his franchisees. Even here history is changed, McDonald's is shown getting single-use shake mix. This did not happen, but you have to allow for it being a movie, not a documentary.

Before you know it, the buyout of the brothers happens. History is changed in that it is made to be Kroc's idea and the brothers tell him upfront that the flagship store is not included. Reality is they called him and at the last minute said the store was not included. But that does not play to the tone of the movie, namely to make Kroc less and less likable the longer you know him. Though I having known the history did not so much feel that way.


It in the end is a "business movie" like "The Big Short" or "The Social Network." If you liked "The Social Network" you will likely enjoy "The Founder."
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
January 28th, 2017 at 6:49:02 PM permalink
buzzardknot
Member since: Mar 16, 2015
Threads: 7
Posts: 493
Franchises are part of the loss of the American dream. Back in 50's and 60's a guy could get a bank loan or a second mortgage and buy a franchice. Now many franchises are sold in bundles, 12. 14 , whatever for a territory. Small business in the fast food or restaurant business hardly have a chance. Two small restaurants here in Clifton are Randy's and Starving Arvins. 2 years ago Denny's opened up. Lots of coupon mailers, plus 15% off with AARP. Starvin still open 6am-9pm, but mostly empty decided specials of the past, cut 30-50% in price. Randy's gave dinner, breakfast and lunch.
Grand Junction is tourist destination, plus CMU college. Almost a dozen small owners of restaurant or fast foods have closed in the past few years. Not saying franchises are evil, just saying becoming almost impossible to compete. Say you have a sub shop, Subway opens across the street, how you gonna compete ? Lots of mailers, tv ads, somehow Josie get text coupons from them. If the guy owns 10 franchises, he can afford to make less than a living wage on that one store.

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-it-costs-to-open-a-mcdonalds-2014-11

In 1950's it was $950 plus 1.9% of sales
January 29th, 2017 at 4:11:00 AM permalink
stinkingliberal
Member since: Nov 9, 2016
Threads: 17
Posts: 731
Quote: buzzardknot
Not saying franchises are evil, just saying becoming almost impossible to compete. Say you have a sub shop, Subway opens across the street, how you gonna compete ? Lots of mailers, tv ads, somehow Josie get text coupons from them. If the guy owns 10 franchises, he can afford to make less than a living wage on that one store.


Bundled franchises work for the same reason that WalMart does: economies of scale. The individual businessman can't compete with that. Therefore, he shouldn't try. What he should do is offer what the mega-operations can't: personalized/specialized products and services. I've got a burger joint not far from my house that is thriving precisely because it offers what the fast food chains don't.
January 29th, 2017 at 5:35:06 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 95
Posts: 5837
Quote: buzzardknot
Franchises are part of the loss of the American dream. Back in 50's and 60's a guy could get a bank loan or a second mortgage and buy a franchice. Now many franchises are sold in bundles, 12. 14 , whatever for a territory. Small business in the fast food or restaurant business hardly have a chance. Two small restaurants here in Clifton are Randy's and Starving Arvins. 2 years ago Denny's opened up. Lots of coupon mailers, plus 15% off with AARP. Starvin still open 6am-9pm, but mostly empty decided specials of the past, cut 30-50% in price. Randy's gave dinner, breakfast and lunch.
Grand Junction is tourist destination, plus CMU college. Almost a dozen small owners of restaurant or fast foods have closed in the past few years. Not saying franchises are evil, just saying becoming almost impossible to compete. Say you have a sub shop, Subway opens across the street, how you gonna compete ? Lots of mailers, tv ads, somehow Josie get text coupons from them. If the guy owns 10 franchises, he can afford to make less than a living wage on that one store.

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-it-costs-to-open-a-mcdonalds-2014-11

In 1950's it was $950 plus 1.9% of sales


Yes, but in 1955 the store usually had no indoor seating and sold what was it, only 9 items, only three of which were cooked and the rest were drinks. Today it is hard to even tell how many items they have for all the revolving menu boards and limited-time items.

It is changing times. However, small owners always came and went.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
January 29th, 2017 at 3:32:38 PM permalink
buzzardknot
Member since: Mar 16, 2015
Threads: 7
Posts: 493
People are trying to get a small business going all the time here. Sometimes I wonder what the hell they are thinking. Baby consignment store, cribs. strollers last about 6 months. Thrift stores about the same. Think about it, Salvation Army and Goodwill, get their inventory free,
sell excess as rags, etc. Half the employees are doing community service. And they own the buildings.
How is an independent going to compete when he has to buy inventory, pay employees, and rent ???

Side Bar Several independent gas stations closed here last 2 or 3 years. Walmart and Kroger sell gas at discount for food purchases. Knew one owner and high gas prices killed hum. WHY ? Because when people were paying $3.80-$4.00 a gallon, less likely to buy cigarettes, snacks, etc. Just happened to think Maverick gas station opened here 2 year ago, 16 pumps. Gas station a block away is barely hanging on. Which is more than I can say about 2 of 3 liquor stores that closed as City Council approved liquor sales in Maverick station. Pretty sure Maverick gave campaign donations to members, because they care for the citizens here.
January 29th, 2017 at 3:50:12 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 95
Posts: 5837
Quote: buzzardknot
People are trying to get a small business going all the time here. Sometimes I wonder what the hell they are thinking.


Even after getting business degree it was until I managed a P&L for a year or more to really grasp budgeting and writing a business plan. It was so much about talking about cool marketing ideas. Lots of legal stuff. But to sit and take a blank sheet of paper and work the numbers then think it all out? Minimal.

"Shark Tank" is helping this with the general population. But still no shortage of bad operators.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
January 29th, 2017 at 3:52:40 PM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 129
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Quote: AZDuffman
It in the end is a "business movie" like "The Big Short" or "The Social Network." If you liked "The Social Network" you will likely enjoy "The Founder."


Thanks for the review. I indeed liked the Social Network and was thinking of seeing The Founder. After this review, I'll make it a priority.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
January 29th, 2017 at 4:23:44 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 95
Posts: 5837
Quote: Wizard
Thanks for the review. I indeed liked the Social Network and was thinking of seeing The Founder. After this review, I'll make it a priority.


Please add your thoughts when you see it.

One note not a spoiler, all the classic McDonald's are the same building, backgrounds changed in post-production or whatever they do. For the brother's location, they say they went to some trouble to make it look correct since no plans were around, just a very few photos. The "arch" locations of course there were plenty of plans and even a few survivors.

I can give more detail of what I noticed in the buildings after you watch to let you enjoy more, or if you want to know first say so. It is the kind of weird detail only certain kinds of people pick up on or care about.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
January 29th, 2017 at 4:45:29 PM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
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Quote: AZDuffman
Please add your thoughts when you see it.


I will.

The last place I lived in California was in La Mirada, which is pretty close to the oldest standing McDonald's, and the third created. I drove by it a lot but never knew it was the oldest standing, just that it was obviously among the first.

Trivia time! Where is the only McDonald's in the U.S. that doesn't have Golden Arches, but arches of another color, to comply with local building codes?

The arches are turquoise blue


Please put answers in spoiler tags. Try to beat Paco to the right answer. No searching!!!
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
January 29th, 2017 at 9:28:21 PM permalink
stinkingliberal
Member since: Nov 9, 2016
Threads: 17
Posts: 731
I would imagine that it's in
Florida, probably Miami area, (Miami Beach?), though Hawaii is a distant possibilty


I thought that the one in Mammoth Lakes, CA was forbidden to use the standard McColor scheme because buildings there are supposed to blend into the forest, but that could mean that they have no arches at all.