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The Founder

  • 2016
  • PG-13
  • 115min
  • 84%
  • 7.2 / 10

Ray Kroc, a traveling salesman selling milkshake mixing machines, notices that the drive-in restaurants that he sells to are poorly and inefficiently run. He learns that a restaurant in California is ordering a huge shipment of milkshake mixers, so he travels to California to learn more. He goes to McDonald's, a popular restaurant with fast service. He meets with the owners, the McDonald brothers Maurice and Richard, and gets a tour of the restaurant. Ray suggests that the brothers create a franchise with their creation, but they balk, saying they had already tried that. Ray convinces the brothers to try again. Ray opens a McDonald's restaurant in Illinois, and he tries to entice rich investors to start their own franchise, but he does poorly. He then decides to sell franchises to middle-class investors, which makes the franchise very successful. However, as the franchise grows, so do the costs. A financial consultant suggests that Ray will make more money by owning the real estate where the franchises are located. He eventually buys the McDonalds brothers out of their business, giving them a lump sum but reneging on a deal to give a percentage of the profits. The McDonald brothers are forced to take their name off their restaurant and Kroc builds a McDonald's across the street from them, putting them out of business. Ray Kroc becomes extremely wealthy.

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movie facts

The original McDonald's that Ray Kroc built is still standing, though it is used as a museum, not as a working restaurant. The milkshake manufacturer that Ray Kroc works for also still exists, and it provides machinery to McDonald's restaurants.


about the movie

The Founder is a biographical drama film which premiered on December 7, 2016. The film is about businessman Ray Kroc, the creator of the McDonald's fast food chain. It stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, Nick Offerman as Richard McDonald, John Carroll Lynch as Maurice McDonald, B.J. Novak as Harry Sonneborn, Laura Dern as Ethel Kroc, and Linda Cardellini as Joan Smith. The screenplay was written by Robert Siegel based on Ray Kroc's autobiography. The film was directed by John Lee Hancock.