How Much Money is Enough? Learn from McDonalds

Brothers Dick and Mac McDonald opened a small drive-in restaurant in San Bernadino, CA, in 1940, which became a surprise hit for the residents. It made a profit right away since it was quick and cheap, making it a location for teens and young households.

Following World War II, the brothers visualized various changes happening in the country, which made them want to focus more of their time building up their client base of families.

There was a growing middle-class intent on making the American Dream become a reality. People were purchasing homes in the residential areas at a fast clip, and families were growing from a post-war baby boom. This suggested that individuals had less time to cook since commutes into the city were longer, and people were tending to their growing families.

Individuals were quickly learning what it was like to be busy.

the mcdonalds siblings
the McDonalds siblings

The McDonald siblings got the message clear and loud. Hence, they did a deep dive into their operation to discover where they could discover effectiveness gains in the cooking area to accelerate the process. The original menu including hotdogs, BBQ, and a range of sandwiches; however, the receipts showed 80% of sales were for hamburgers.1.

Burgers were less labor-intensive, so this permitted them to turn food prep into an assembly line. After closing down for a kitchen area overhaul, the enhanced and new McDonald’s opened for organization in 1948.

Junk food was born.

By the mid-1950s, the organization was flourishing. The siblings were sharing $100,000 a year in revenues, a tidy sum at that time, specifically when you consider the burgers cost just 15 cents apiece.

McDonald’s was doing so well. It was just a matter of time before franchise opportunities presented themselves. The problem is, the McDonald bros had no goals to construct a junk food empire. David Halberstam explains why in his book The Fifties.

In truth, they were already content with their lives and saw no factor to broaden– they were making more money than they had dreamed of, they had beautiful homes with tennis courts, brand-new Cadillacs every year. Neither had kids and therefore, there were no ideas of leaving a monetary empire to their successors. They thought of McDonald’s as a one-shot operation, and they had little interest in a fantastic nationwide network of hamburger stands bearing their name.

Their milkshake salesman, a gentleman named Ray Kroc, did have aspirations to build an empire. After witnessing their operation firsthand, Kroc immediately saw the capacity for growth to take the McDonald’s assembly line nationwide. Kroc was a high school dropout with a chip on his shoulder who was constantly looking for a concept or invention that would make him a fortune.

Kroc understood the brothers desired no part of the consistent travel, sales pitches, and operational headaches involved in the expansion procedure. Hence, he encouraged them to let him take over as their franchising representative.

At age 52, Kroc lastly had a chance to make a fortune and a name for himself. McDonald’s was a terrific concept at the best time.

By 1961, Kroc’s name was more associated with McDonald’s than the brothers whose name was on the sign.

Ultimately, they all butted heads since each had various goals, and Kroc chose to buy them out. The bros asked $1 million each after taxes.

Kroc needed to go into financial obligation to do it, but the price tag ended up being a take. They let him keep the name, and Kroc went on to turn McDonald’s into among the greatest brands on the planet. Before he died in 1984, his net worth was estimated at well over half a billion dollars.


Kroc’s story is more revered in American hustle culture these days, but I’m more pleased with the actions of the McDonald bros in this story. They figured out just how much sufficed for them and didn’t fret about the opportunity cost of their decision to sell.

They remained in an excellent location financially; however, even those who have a lot of cash have a challenging time being content with what they have.

Walt Disney’s granddaughter, Abigail Disney, discussed the issue with utilizing cash as a main step of value in life in an interview last year.

And every single one of them named a number that was approximately twice what they inherited. That’s what you require to know about cash?

When faced with the question of how much is enough cash for you, the response is most likely to be “more” no matter how much you have.

The McDonald’s bros obviously left a bunch of cash on the table. Kroc likely would have pressed them out anyway; however, they definitely could have claimed a higher cost. Imagine just how much they would have deserved had they got shares in the equity of the business?

How much cash does any one person need?

A million dollars was real cash in the 1960s. The McDonald’s bros already had the life they desired and weren’t aiming to work as difficult as Kroc to turn McDonald’s into the leviathan we understand and love today.

Years later on Dick McDonald was asked if he had any remorses about selling out for far less than he could have made had he just kept his ownership stake. No remorses, he stated, “I would have ended up in some skyscraper somewhere with about 4 ulcers and 8 tax lawyers attempting to figure out how to pay all my income tax.”.

Business owners and business books will constantly prefer somebody like Kroc, who sees the world as unlimited.

I agree with Dick and Mac McDonald, who knew their limits and figured out their individual level of “sufficient”.


If you’re asking me if I am already satisfied with what I have right now, the answer is yes, I have enough food and shelter for my family and don’t have to worry about health or anything. But if you’re asking if I am already satisfied with my intellectual achievement, hmm.. that’s far from it. I haven’t gone to the moon or doing something remarkable for humanity. Let’s do it one at a time 🙂


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