Why McDonald’s won fries

From Phil Edwards.

Fry domination. But how?

More info and sources at bottom.

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This was a super booky one. So here’s some books with little capsule reviews. They’re all affiliate links, which means I will make a fortune from your purchases of fry-based books.

Also, have you ever heard of Burger Chef? I had not — but it was so popular! Crazy.

Behind the Arches: https://amzn.to/47keWyY
The top book – super well reported, at least by appearances. Nails the fry issue (to a degree of complexity I barely covered). It also gets into all the other ways McDonalds optimized stuff, from the McD bros using modified multimixers to mix shakes faster, to beef bargaining. I really should have figured out a way to fit Fred Turner into this video — he’s very much the…I dunno, Jesse to Kroc’s Walter White.

Grinding It Out: https://amzn.to/49fRg0F
Ray Kroc’s opus to Ray Kroc. I guess I could have interrogated more whether Kroc was telling the truth about his fry obsession, but it seemed pretty confirmed by Behind the Arches. It was a fun book. I think The Founder had to sell him short a bit for storytelling purposes, but all this research made me respect Kroc a lot more.

The Burger King: https://amzn.to/3MqbVoQ
Not gonna lie, this memoir is not as good as Kroc’s. McLamore, well, he seems like a more well-rounded human being but a less interesting burger-preneur. It’s kind of a bummer how Pillsbury buys them and they end up in corporate purgatory. Nevertheless, it’s interesting just because you don’t know anything about BK’s origins before it.

JR Simplot: A Billion the Hard way: https://amzn.to/3QOZPIF
Good well done book — bit of a hagiography to be sure, which might be fine. It is very niche in that you have to be a Simplot obsessive to be into this imho.

Dave’s Way: https://amzn.to/45XfPN2
I just searched this one for the fry trivia, and he mentions how his successor was a fry obsessive.

Franchising: The Business Strategy that Changed The World: https://amzn.to/46YTfEV
I just read the McDonald’s chapter, but I read it first and it was a good starting point. I’m probably gonna read the rest of the book to mine for ideas for this series. Some reviewers point out that it’s a bit puffy of a book, but that can be fine if it’s a starting point.