Ray Kroc is a name you may not be familiar with, but this American who made his career as a franchise businessman has made a name for himself that’ll go down in history.
While Ray Kroc owned the San Diego Padres MLB team later in his life, his fortune and legacy are synonymous with purchasing McDonald’s.
Can you guess the net worth of the high-profile owner and CEO of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc? Keep reading, we’ll tell you all about his net worth and where his money is today.
Ray Kroc Net Worth In 2023
Ray Kroc was worth $600 million when he died in 1984 of heart failure. When he died, his fortune went to his third wife, Joan, who was estimated to be worth $3 billion when she died back in 2003. Joan put in her will that all of the McDonald’s fortune would be given away to charity when she died.
There is so much to know about Ray Kroc and how he amassed such a fortune, so read below to learn more about one of the men behind McDonald’s.
Where Did the Kroc Fortune Go After Ray Died?
Ray had been married three times and when he died, he was married to his third wife Joan Kroc, so was worth $3 billion.
However, upon her death in 2003, nearly every penny of the McDonald’s fortune was given to various charities since the Kroc family was very into charity and helping the less fortunate.
At the current stock price of McDonald’s, that fortune would now be worth $18 billion!
How Much of McDonald’s is Owned by the Kroc Family Now?
No one in the Kroc family owns McDonald’s at this point and the current president and CEO of McDonald’s is Chris Kempczinski.
Who is Ray Kroc?
Ray Kroc was born October 5, 1902, in Oak Park, Illinois, and started as a Red Cross Ambulance driver during World War 1 at the age of 15.
Once the war was over he held various jobs such as playing the piano, selling paper cups, and even getting into the real estate business in Florida.
Additionally, he eventually landed a job with Prince Castle, a foodservice equipment company, as a milkshake mixer salesman.
However, it was selling milkshake mixers to Maurice and Richard McDonald that piqued his interest.
Ray lost his job when Hamilton Beach came around, but he visited the McDonald brothers in San Bernardino, California, to see what their restaurant was all about in 1954.
It was then that Ray Kroc started a relationship with the brothers and became a partner in their McDonald’s business.
Furthermore, In 1955, the first McDonald’s franchise restaurant was opened by Ray Kroc in Des Plaines, Illinois, and he also served as a franchise agent for the company.
What Initial Plans Did Ray Kroc Have for McDonald’s?
Ray Kroc is credited as the mastermind behind McDonald’s becoming a national and then international fast-food chain restaurant with both his leadership and innovative ideas.
Ray came up with the idea of selling franchises as one single store as opposed to selling a lot of territory for franchises at once, which was new and innovative at the time.
In addition to that, he felt that the development of a chain and the direction of it couldn’t be controlled as easily by the franchisor if large territories were sold at once for development.
Ray also kept up all of his obligations with the McDonald brothers by choosing single-store franchise sales since it allowed him to retain some control over each franchisee.
Further, Ray had a vision that service and quality should be uniform across all of the McDonald’s locations, which is why he wanted some control over the franchisee.
What Policies Did Ray Kroc Implement at McDonald’s?
Since Ray was a businessman he knew that implementing certain policies at McDonald’s would benefit the company and help it expand.
Further, he started by putting McDonald’s restaurants exclusively in suburban locations, with no building allowed in urban or downtown areas due to the socio-economic status of those groups.
Ray believed that poverty-stricken people in the urban areas would steal from the company and break into the business when it was closed.
In addition to that, Ray believed that every restaurant should be regularly sanitized and all staff had to maintain proper hygiene, including being groomed and washed for work.
He also wanted all of the staff to have manners and be specifically nice to children.
However, Ray wasn’t going to put up with bad food anywhere and made a rule that all food would be cooked and served the same way at every McDonald’s location.
Ray did not want any deviations from the ingredients that were used or the way the food was made and wanted everything uniform no matter what it took.
He also hated waste and wanted every single container in the store to be empty and scraped clean.
On top of that, he made a policy that McDonald’s would never have pinball machines or cigarette machines inside of any location regardless of what someone else wanted.
Ray Kroc Furthers His Ideas After McDonald’s Purchase
Ray made even more policies once he owned McDonald’s such as portion sizes of the food, the time for cooking the food items, which food items to serve, and how the food would be made.
Additionally, he also was in charge of the packaging of McDonald’s and didn’t go for any cost-saving measures others tried to persuade him to make.
Ray was all about customer service and even made stores refund customers if they had to wait more than 5 minutes to get their food or if the order was made wrong.
Ray Kroc Retirement & Death
Ray retired from McDonald’s in 1974 and became the owner of the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball Team.
On January 14, 1984, Ray died of heart failure at the age of 81, after battling alcohol issues for several years.
Now that you know about Ray Kroc, you can also see our posts if McDonald’s is a good place to work, McDonald’s target market, and McDonald’s slogan.
Ray Kroc was worth an estimated $600 million when he died back in 1984, and the fortune was passed down to his third wife.
He is thought of as a pioneer in the fast-food industry and helped bring about the franchise model to McDonald’s which is the business model the company still primarily uses to this day.
Additionally, Ray was instrumental in the success of McDonald’s both nationally and internationally and set standards for food operations, customer service, and much more!
On top of owning McDonald’s when he bought out the McDonald brothers, he also was the owner of the San Diego Padres later in his life.
When his third wife died in 2003, she was estimated to be worth $3 billion and the money all went to charity upon her death because the Kroc family was very into helping others.
Chris Kempczinski is now the owner and CEO of McDonald’s and has no relation to Ray Kroc or his family.