In 1952, Raymond Kroc was a 52-year-old milkshake machine salesman in San Bernardino, California. Walking along his route one day, he noticed a hamburger stand. It was then that a new industry was created from a single restaurant.


There’s more to the fast food business than quick service

In 1952, Raymond Kroc was a 52-year-old milkshake machine salesman in San Bernardino, California. Walking along his route one day, he noticed a hamburger stand. It was then that a new industry was created from a single restaurant. 

The industry was fast food and the restaurant was McDonald’s®. 

Raymond Kroc proved himself as an industrial pioneer as revolutionary as Henry Ford. He managed to transform these new services by implementing precise and organized discipline to the production of the Big Mac, French fries and the McFlurry. This operating “system” was designed to create consistency—consistency in the product, message and service. The system was designed so he could ensure that the Big Mac customers bought in Orlando would be the same as the ones bought in Los Angeles! 

This type of consistency is what made McDonald’s® the brand name for American fast food. It wasn’t as much the evolution of the hamburger, but the branding of the service and its operating system that could be replicated throughout other industries that made the brand so powerful. This dependability is just one of the few takeaways about the fast food industry that we can translate into our own businesses. 

They listen to their customers

Chipotle® built its brand on the philosophy of making “food with integrity,” an approach to business that focuses on quality ingredients—unprocessed, naturally raised, organic and artisanal. This focus is something that is not commonly found in the fast food industry. 

Chipotle® chose to focus on quality ingredients because they were listening to what their customers wanted. And they continue listening each day as they make your burrito in front of you. You witness the ingredients be prepared, grilled, mixed and served. 

Chipotle® encourages customer engagement with the preparation of every meal. By involving your customers in the process and listening to what they’re asking for, your customers trust they’re getting exactly what they wanted.

They’re transparent

Five Guys® could have easily been considered another standard American diner. However, understanding America is in a digital age, Five Guys® took the American diner one step further. Customers are able to see their food being made and know that their order is fresh with each topping they asked for. This serves a message to businesses that customers want to see under the hood of what it takes to deliver on their order. In an age where a plethora of information is at a customer’s fingertips, transparent marketing is the best way to earn a user’s trust.  

It’s about more than buying food

Whole Foods® managed to reach a niche that was untapped in the industry—millennials. This grocery chain succeeded in reaching millennials in two ways: engaging with their customers and providing them with high-quality ingredients while also giving customers a sense of community by promoting authenticity and inclusion through workshops and tastings. 

Whole Foods® is able to justify its high prices with its multiple value channels—organic products, well-educated staff whose focus is on healthy living and a humanized shopping experience. Grocery shopping has never been as hip or as healthy as it is when you go to Whole Foods. 

Getting Whole Foods® to be considered “trendy” can be largely attributed to successfully targeting millennials, a generation largely focused on documenting their experiences through social media and word-of-mouth. 

Overall, what each of these chains did successfully was find an untapped need or market and focus in on being really good at that one thing. With McDonald’s®, it was a consistent product across the globe. With Chipotle®, it was listening to customer’s need for quality ingredients. Five Guys® provided transparency and Whole Foods® created a brand honed on one generation and creating a community around their product. Each of these chains achieved a unique and defined customer experience. In today’s world, without a distinctive customer experience you don’t have customers. 


Having trouble figuring out your company’s “recipe for success?” All Systems Grow focuses on aligning your company’s strategy with its operational processes to offer a unique experience to your customers. Contact us today to start building the framework for company growth!

About All Systems Grow

We understand the importance of systems and processes in a successful business. Systems and processes provide a foundation for the company to operate and for its employees to properly function and execute the company’s plans effectively. Sounds boring and incredibly tedious we know, however, we also know the most successful companies operate from systems first. As a matter of fact, effective systems provide the framework for growth! Learn More

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