Of Kroc and Petersen’s Drive-In

According to John and Evelyn Petersen’s son, they were approached by a salesman at their drive-in, at State Street’s curve uptown, who wanted to be partners in a new ambition of making and serving hamburgers, fries, and shakes. The guy’s name was Ray Kroc. He was peddling shake machines and wanted to get a franchise going across the country.

John did not want a partner. He told Ray to get out and not come back. Their son was not happy!

After World War II, Kroc found employment as a milk-shake mixer salesman for the food-service equipment manufacturer Prince Castle. When Prince Castle Multi-Mixer sales plummeted because of competition from lower-priced Hamilton Beach products, Kroc — impressed by Richard and Maurice McDonald, who had purchased eight of his Multi-Mixers for their San Bernardino, California, store — visited them in 1955. Kroc became convinced that the concept and design of this small chain had the potential to expand across the nation.

Raymond Albert “Ray” Kroc (October 5, 1902 – January 14, 1984) was an American businessman. He joined McDonald’s in 1955 and built it into the most successful fast-food corporation in the world.

Kroc was included in Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and amassed a fortune during his lifetime. He owned the San Diego Padres baseball team from 1974 until his death in 1984.

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