Kroc, Ray(mond Albert) biographical name
(born Oct. 5, 1902, Chicago, Ill., U.S.died Jan. 14, 1984, San Diego, Calif.) U.S. restaurateur, a pioneer of the fast-food industry. He was working as a blender salesman when he discovered a restaurant in San Bernardino, Calif., owned by Maurice and Richard McDonald, who used an assembly-line format to prepare and sell a large volume of hamburgers, french fries, and milk shakes. Beginning in 1955 Kroc opened his first McDonald's drive-in restaurant in Des Plaines, Ill., paying the brothers a percentage of the receipts. He soon began selling franchises for new restaurants, and he instituted a training program for owner-managers that emphasized automation and standardization. At the time of his death there were some 7,500 McDonald's restaurants worldwide; with more than 25,000 restaurants in the early 21st century, McDonald's was the world's largest food-service retailer.
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