Topic: BusinessBusiness Ethics

Last updated: February 21, 2019

Brief SummaryThe movie The Founder is a biographical drama film about how the fast food restaurant McDonalds started out. The movie is about how a traveling salesman (Ray Kroc) sells Prince Castle brand milkshake mixes to restaurants. Ray Kroc has the opportunity to live a simple, comfortable life with his wife (Ethel) in Arlington Heights, Illinois but instead he craves more.

Ray Kroc observes that many places he tries to sell his product to are inefficiently run, with wrong orders and waiters that are more concerned with avoiding the groping from greasers than getting the order right. Ray Kroc decides to drive to San Bernardino to investigate an unusual large order of milkshake mixers. Upon arriving in California, he finds a popular walk-up restaurant with a friendly family atmosphere, high quality food and a fast service called McDonalds.

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Ray Kroc meets the two owners Mac and Dick McDonald who offers him a tour of the restaurant. Ray Kroc observes the employees strong work ethics and how fast it takes to create a burger. Ray invites the two brothers to dinner and is told the origin story of McDonalds. The next day Ray Kroc shows up and suggests franchising the restaurant, the brothers explained that when they tried it failed but Ray convinced them to try again with him leading their franchising efforts. Ray signed a contract that requires all changes to be received and approved by the brothers in writing. Ray begins building a restaurant in Des Plaines while attempting to attract new investors.

Ray started to attract the middle-class investors as they prove more worthy and eager to uphold and follow the McDonalds formula. Ray represents himself as the creator as more and more restaurants start up. Ray meets Rollie Smith and his wife Joan who he is immediately attracted to. Ray has financial difficulties due to his contract.

Joan suggests a powdered milkshake to Ray to cut down on cost. Ray loves the idea but the brothers consider it degrading to their food quality. Ray meets Harry Sonneborn who request to look at his books. Harry tells Ray that the real profits are in providing real estate to the franchises and by doing this he has leverage over the brothers. Ray creates a new company and attracts new investors. Ray demands to be released from his contract with the brothers and offers them a check to be bought out.

The brothers with no other option accepts 2.7 million dollars from Ray Kroc and the San Bernardino restaurant. EthicsEthics is defined as “the moral principles that guide choices between right and wrong” while Business Ethics are the ethics of managers and executives as they set the tone in an organization. Throughout the movie The Founder you are consistently presented with unethical scenes and practices some may include.Irresponsible- Ray Kroc finds that his new partners from the country club lacks the responsibility to become franchise owners as they do not care about their food quality and the standards that the franchise has to uphold. Ray Kroc finds their restaurant being neglected as there is garbage all over the floor, there is not enough lettuce and pickles in their overcooked burgers and he finds fried chicken on the menu. Jacks restaurant has a lack of management therefore the staff does what they feel is right and by doing this he neglects and shames what the restaurant stands for.

Rays county club partners has betrayed the trust Ray has given to them. Plagiarism- McDonalds was running smoothly in San Bernardino until Ray Kroc showed up and learnt everything there is to the restaurant. Ray opened up his restaurant calling himself number 1 but that’s not true as the restaurant was not his idea but Dick and Macs idea. The first restaurant opened in San Bernardino by the two brothers and not by Ray Kroc.Quality control- When Mac and Dick tried to franchise their company they had issues as most of the franchises were hard to control.

They learnt that workers did not care about the state the kitchens were in, the hamburgers did not meet the standards of McDonalds and every outlet sold different products.Violating agreement- Ray Kroc violated the agreement when he stole the brother’s idea and when he sold powder milkshake after being told that he cannot.Harming the environment- Ray Kroc’s partners from the country club encourage pollution as their outlet had garbage all over the floor. Market EnvironmentThe market environment is the environment that surrounds the business and has a direct influence on the business. Business are faced with various challenges from the market environment and need to identify them as early as possible, as a business can only partially control these challenges.

CustomersThe atmosphere that the restaurant McDonalds creates is friendly and safe. McDonalds targets families, from children to adults, they appeal to all. As you saw in The Founder the area was safe enough for a young child to walk up to the till alone and purchase a burger. It’s a teenage hangout as well.

In the Founder you saw a mother and her children consuming burgers together. Competitors McDonalds is a unique fast food restaurant with there main goal being food quality with fast service thus making it more difficult for competitors to arise. It is shown that Ray Kroc ordered a meal from a food joint were the service was poor as customers had to wait for a long period of time just to get their order mixed up thus resulting in unhappy customers receiving poor service. SuppliersSuppliers are manufactures, wholesalers and retailers or their agents who provide a business with the resources to produce products and provide services. A business has limited control but can influence this variable. In the Founder it is shown that Ray Kroc has no problem with changing his supplier when he moves from refrigerated ice cream to powder milkshake.

There are many more variables such as Regulators, Strategic alliances and Trade Unions. Managerial Competencies A competent manager has the ability to meet an organizations objective, use available resources efficiently, maintain high levels of employee performance and professionalism, and provide excellent service to customers. Ray Kroc was shown as a dedicated and as an inspiration role model to young aspiring entrepreneurs by having the following.VisionWhile the brothers vision of the restaurant was small, Ray Kroc had the ability to see the potential the restaurant had. He followed his vision and by doing this he took the restaurant from local to global.Commitment to ExcellenceRay Kroc’s obsession over cleanliness and the standards of the restaurant, motivated employees to be as committed as he was.

In the Founder, Ray Kroc visited his friend’s restaurant and found garbage on the floor and instead of leaving it, he picked up the garbage and through it away. This shows how much he cared about the standards the restaurant has.Optimism Great leaders have a positive mindset.

Ray Kroc started off by selling milkshakes, almost every restaurant he went to rejected his idea but with his optimistic attitude and his never give up mindset he managed to become a successful business man who owns McDonalds. Ray Kroc comes across as being an autocratic leader as he did what he saw fit with out consulting many parties. Ray Kroc distributed powder milkshake without taking what the brothers said in account this shows he acts on what he feels will be successful. ConclusionRay Kroc is an inspiration to most people. He was able to make a transition from being a salesman to marketing, he was dedicated to becoming successful that he was able to create opportunities for himself. Ray Kroc’s intentions was not to grow the brother’s business but to take advantage of it and make it his own. Ray Kroc was not afraid to flood the market with his products, he was able to take a small business and make it a global franchise.

Ray Kroc had consistence, persistence, an optimistic attitude and the ability to seize every opportunity that came his way in order to benefit. He was not afraid to cut corners and overcome his obstacles. Ray Krocs general atttituse and dedication allowed him to become the man he is today


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