Excerpts From "Standing Up & Standing Out"

A CRISIS AND UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITIES

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on April 4, 1968, setting off a wave of violence in D.C. The anger unleashed in those chaotic few days brought a major problem to a head for McDonald's corporate management. Most of their high-volume restaurants in the riot areas of Washington were then managed by whites, and it suddenly became truly dangerous for white men to enter black neighborhoods. A national tragedy had created a crisis for McDonald's in D.C.

The first corporate opening came in the fall of 1968. McDonald's decided to hire an African American as a regional field consultant in Chicago, a position somewhat similar to a supervisor's but with a constituency of store owners rather than managers. Outside of Washington, there were no black supervisors in the system and never had been. But the winds of change were picking up strength. In the inner sanctums at McDonald's corporate headquarters on LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago and in the regional headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, white executives were making decisions that were, in the context of most of corporate America at the time, radical. If McDonald's was to move forward with its expansion into urban centers, the company needed the expertise of people who understood urban markets—racially and ethnically complex populations that were entirely unlike the homogeneous white suburbs where the company had flourished since Ray Kroc founded McDonald's System Inc. in 1955. It wasn't altruism that integrated the company. It was a hard-nosed business decision.

TABLE OF CONTENTS  
Acknowledgements i
Foreword by R. Lee Dunham vi
Introduction ix
Chapter 1 Almost Everything You Need to Know 1
Chapter 2 The Business of Learning 23
Chapter 3 Mapping Out a New Course 39
Chapter 4 The Bottom Line Is Service 56
Chapter 5 Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire 80
Chapter 6 Moving Up the Ladder 105
Chapter 7 Turning New Corners 154
Chapter 8 Keeping Good Company 181
Chapter 9 Step Up, Step Back, Step Aside? 219
Chapter 10 Taking It Nationwide 249
Chapter 11 Bringing the Lessons Home 287
Chapter 12 Expansion on the Front Burner 334
Chapter 13 Still Making Waves 355
Epilogue   380

Read excerpts

  1. Introduction
  2. A Crisis and Unexpected Opportunities
  3. My First Speech to Franchisees
  4. Was Ray Kroc a Racist?
  5. Judgements
  6. My Principles of Standing Up
    And Standing Out

 

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