MUFSO Must-See Movie

Minutes after leaving a screening of “The Founder,” the new film telling the story of how Ray Kroc grew the McDonald’s fast-food empire and accelerated the modern-day franchise landscape,  I jokingly texted MRM’s publisher that we should purchase the rights to run the movie on our site because it touches on every aspect of modern restaurant management. Peppered throughout the film are scenes fitting each MRM category-Management, Operations, Design, Equipment, Finance and Law.

‘The Founder’ is a must-see movie for MUFSOs.

It even explores the same questions:

How do you effectively balance quality control as you grow and establish a brand?

What are products and services that can help you run a business in a more efficient manner?

“The Founder,” a must-see movie for MUFSOs, chefs, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs and anyone interested in the franchise environment, also delves into the nature of the American Dream. For some,  it’s the actual achievement of success or esteem. For others, it’s never giving up the hope something will be successful. And for others it’s holding fast to your convictions and being true to yourself. 

Kroc, portrayed by Michael Keaton, was a struggling salesman with great instincts who recognized the secret ingredient Mac and Dick McDonald had in a Southern California burger joint. The non-traditional biopic with old-fashioned solid storytelling is a less-frenetic companion to another ode to America’s capitalistic nature, “The Big Short.”

John Carroll Lynch as Mac McDonald and Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald.

“The Founder” features stellar nuanced performances all around from a top-notch ensemble. The engagingly natural interplay between John Carroll Lynch and Nick Offerman as the hardworking and sincere McDonald Brothers provides the film’s heart and soul. Though Michael Keaton’s Kroc isn’t exactly on a hero’s journey, you do find yourself rooting for him to have a pay off for all his effort and enthusiasm. It’s a testament to Keaton’s talent that the audience doesn’t view him as the villain of the piece, but something more akin to an American anti-hero. 

We are all well aware that Kroc’s persistence did pay off as there are now more than 35,000 McDonald’s worldwide. And one can imagine Dick McDonald would be proud of his legacy as the brand’s recent evolution appears to be steering it back to its roots.

The entrepreneurial spirit shared by the McDonald brothers and Kroc remains alive and well today. Walking down a New York City street after the screening, I noticed a long line at a food truck that reminded me of an early scene in “The Founder” where Kroc visits the first McDonald’s. It struck me how brands such as The Halal Guys and Duck Donuts are following along the same “Golden Arch” footprints and others will walk the same path in years to come.


“The Founder” opens nationwide on Friday, Jan. 20.

Screenplay by Robert Siegel

Produced by Don Handfield, Jeremy Renner and Aaron Ryder

Directed by John Lee Hancock 

Edited by Robert Frazen

Music by Carter Burwell

Starring Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, B.J. Novak, and Laura Dern

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 115 minutes

For additional information, click here.