MacDonald's SystemI’ve been encouraging business owners not to miss seeing the new movie, “The Founder.” It’s the global success story about the McDonald’s system that set a giant precedent for franchise operations.

“The Founder” is a must-see movie for any business owner!

If you decide to see this provocative film, I urge you to observe its many important insights.


An intriguing part of the film was watching the McDonald brothers in action, developing what they called “The System.”  The brothers’ next move was to open several other locations using their “system.”  However, to their  disappointment, “The System” broke down, chaos reigned, and they had to close those other locations.

Having failed to expand McDonald’s across America, they retreated to their original location in San Bernardino, California. With this approach, they could personally oversee their baby, the McDonald’s system. Because, they couldn’t bear seeing chaos in any store location where their name was over the door.

The McDonald’s System, Food in 30 Seconds

As the story goes, a milkshake blender salesman named Ray Kroc, paid the McDonald brothers a visit. Whereby, the proud owners of an excellent restaurant with a unique system, were excited to tell Kroc and others exactly how it operated. In addition, they demonstrated how they could deliver food to customers in 30 seconds. As a result, people flocked to their business.

Kroc, so intrigued with their operation, he convinced the McDonald’s he could fulfill their dream of many franchises. Furthermore, he would become an integral part of this phenomenon, promising, “this time” they would not fail. Yet, despite Kroc’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the McDonald’s system, the new locations began to flounder. Because, they didn’t operate like the brothers’ original McDonald’s store, which was consistently clean and efficient.

Kroc concluded that the reason for the failure was, the new franchise owners needed to be on-site all day, every day. He decided, married couples should be all future franchisee owners. Therefore, they could to work together IN the business.

As a result, with owners on-site, overseeing every aspect of the MacDonald’s system, this hands-on approach work much better.

The Missing Key to the Original MacDonald’s System

The thing that was never mentioned in the movie was that eventually The McDonald’s Corporation created detailed written procedures of how “The System” worked. They gathered those procedures and other documents into an operations manual, then held classes to train not only the franchise owners, but also their staff on how to use them. Trained on “the System,” the staff was then able to run the business without the owner(s) having to be onsite.

The goal here was, to give any franchise owner the ability to be an absentee owner by managing remotely. Thus, they could become successful, owning multiple locations that operated clean and efficiently, as with the McDonald’s system.

This systematic approach empowers an owner to truly OWN their business, not just have a JOB inside the business, like the McDonald brothers.

Great systems are an imperative for the success of any small business! Whether it’s a small manufacturer needing job shop management or a service business needing organizational management.  I wrote all about it in my book, System Busters: How to Stop Them In Your Business.  System100 is a unique and powerful tool that allows an owner to input their vision for their business into an interactive software with access for all their staff!

Did I mention? Great systems work!

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