Ray Kroc’s Vision
To further describe the context for the turnaround, it is worth briefly recapping Ray Kroc’s story. It illustrates how truly unfortunate the state of affairs was in 2002. Ray Kroc was a visionary, a truly passionate dreamer. At an age when most people retire, Ray Kroc’s vision was to create “a happy place.” He envisioned the creation of a convenient, affordable, and pleasant way of eating quality food for a newly mobile, optimistic America. He democratized eating out.
Ray Kroc was relentless about making sure every customer feels special. He said that one of the greatest rewards is the satisfied smile on a customer’s face.18
Unfortunately, the devolution from Ray Kroc’s game-changing vision to a cheap-food-fast strategy generated customer scowls instead of smiles. Ray Kroc’s vision was not just to be convenient and cheap. This would be a brand travesty. Ray knew that to deliver an exceptional McDonald’s eating experience required more than being convenient and cheap. It required a dedication to quality, service, cleanliness (QSC), and a commitment to treating all customers with respect.
McDonald’s leadership had become disconnected from the core values of the brand. The corporate memory turned dull. The connections to the founding principles were disregarded. Not surprisingly, customers became more and more dissatisfied.