This tale of the history of the fast food industry was quite entertaining and enormously informative.
Among other fascinating facts, I learned that Ray Kroc was quite the tough guy. The McDonalds Brothers got ripped off, though thier name will go down in history.
The Colonel was a true fast food pioneer, but he toiled endlessly to reach the top, then, when the interstate highway system was constructed, the chain’s locations on small town main streets suffered, necessitating a revamp, financially and logistically.
By that time the Colonel was in his sixties, yet he tirelessly took to the road in his own car once more, plugging franchise opportunities to small-time restaurant owners.
When he sold the chain, the man who started it all was taken advantage of in the end.
The overall fast food story follows the course of most American business over the past half century.
Companies pulled to success by the bootstraps of creative, determined, individuals, have been taken advantage of by corporate interests who, today, reap immense profits with only pennies going to those whos dole out bags of hamburgers, cups of Coke or Pepsi, or the new innovative menu variations that cater to the changing culture of fast food consumers.
But what would we do without our fast food in today’s hustle culture? We baby boomers can reminisce all we want about leisurely family dinners prepared by our mothers, where each of the day’s events were discussed in depth, wise advice given us by our parents, as we anticipated the dessert course, served on decorative plates.
The reality is, try as we might, not many families have work schedules that permit formerly common civilized rituals.
So, should we praise Ray Kroc and pass the Big Macs?
I wouldn’t go that far, but I do recommend reading Drive Thru Dreams. It’s a documentary style book but it won’t bore you. Expecting to scan it as I do most non-ficion publications, I drooled over the interesting details on every page.