American Businessman, Founder of McDonald's
"I considered myself a connoisseur of kitchens. I prided myself on being able to tell which operations would appeal to the public and which would fail."
"I have ALWAYS believed that each man makes his own happiness and is responsible for his own problems."
"I didn't know what we would be selling in the year 2000 but whatever it was we would be selling the most of it."
"If any of my competitors were drowning, I'd stick a hose in their mouth and turn on the water. It is ridiculous to call this an industry. This is not. This is rat eat rat, dog eat dog. I'll kill 'em, and I'm going to kill 'em before they kill me. You're talking about the American way "
"I was 52 years old. I had diabetes and incipient arthritis. I had lost my gall bladder and most of my thyroid gland in earlier campaigns, but I was convinced that the best was ahead of me."
"If you work just for money, you'll never make it, but if you love what you're doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours."
"McDonald's is a people business, and that smile on that counter girl's face when she takes your order is a vital part of our image."
"It was not her sex appeal but the obvious relish with which she devoured the hamburger that made my pulse begin to hammer with excitement."
"It's a matter of having principles. It's easy to have principles when you're rich. The important thing is to have principles when you're poor."
"It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun. Yet, is it any more unusual to find grace in the texture and softly curved silhouette of a bun than to reflect lovingly on the hackles of a favourite fishing fly? Or the arrangement of textures and colours in a butterfly's wing? Not if you're a McDonald's man. Not if you view the bun as an essential material in the art of serving a great many meals fast."
"It's easy to have principles when you're rich. The important thing is to have principles when you're poor."
"Our aim was to insure repeat business based on the system's reputation rather than on the quality of a single store or operator."
"Perfection is very difficult to achieve, and perfection was what I wanted in McDonald's. Everything else was secondary for me."
"Visions of McDonald's restaurants dotting crossroads all over the country paraded through my brain. I don't believe in saturation. We're thinking and talking worldwide."
"We have found out... that we cannot trust some people who are nonconformists... We will make conformists out of them... The organization cannot trust the individual; the individual must trust the organization."
"The McDonald brothers were simply not on my wavelength at all. I was obsessed with the idea of making McDonald's the biggest and the best. They were content with what they had; they didn't want to be bothered with more risks and more demands."
"The success of additions such as the Filet-o-Fish, the Big Mac, Hot Apple Pie and Egg McMuffin"
"The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it."
"We're not in the food industry, we're in people industry. We just happen to sell hamburgers."
"When I saw it working that day in 1954, I felt like some latter-day Newton who'd just had an Idaho potato caromed off his skull. That night in my motel room I did a lot of heavy thinking about what I'd seen during the day. Visions of McDonald's restaurants dotting crossroads all over the country paraded through my brain."
"While formal schooling is an important advantage, it is not a guarantee of success nor is its absence a fatal handicap."
"Dear Walt, I feel somewhat presumptuous addressing you in this way. Yet I am sure you would not want me to address you any other way... I have very recently taken over the national franchise of the McDonald's system. I would like to inquire if there may be an opportunity for a McDonald's in your Disneyland Development."
"I was never much of a reader when I was a boy. Books bored me. I liked action. But I spent a lot of time thinking about things. I'd imagine all kinds of situations and how I would handle them."