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James Darius Moshir

Dustin Hanvey
STACC English 100
Essay 3: Dont judge a book by its cover
Eric Schlosser writes on pg. 97 in chapter 4 of Fast Food Nation that because
McDonalds was very successful, everyone followed their path and this led to Americas retail
economy boosting. All the retail stores like the Gap, dieting companies, and even auto-part
companies were trying to be like them and followed the same method of selling. One of the
reason why the shops became as successful as McDonalds is because they started franchising.
With McDonalds, they would focus on everything being the same and having uniformity around
the entire country so that everything tasted the same and looked the same wherever the restaurant
may be. All around the U.S.A., they were trying to have the identical forms of fast food.
McDonalds was so serious about making everything identical, they even wanted to tear down
the older restaurants to make sure every single one looked the same. They hired a design
consultant, Louis Cheskin, to give them advice about how to build a design that would keep the
customers. McDonalds wanted to get rid of the golden arches but Louis Cheskin advised them
that the arches were what was attracting so many customers. Maybe people were reminded that
the golden arches were like a mothers breasts. He convinced them to keep the golden arches to
keep attracting loyal customers. Now those golden arches have become the holy M for

The success of franchises is questioned by Timothy Bates, a professor of economics at

Wayne State University. In the surveys done by the IFA which is done by large chains, they
showed that 92% of franchises are successful. Professor Bates finds that is an overstatement
when comparing franchises with new independent businesses in the same period. Within 4-5
years of opening, 38% of franchises failed while only 32% of independent businesses failed.
Encroachment, which is restaurants from one chain being close together, has been the causes of
some franchise failures. Another reason for failure has been the high royalties given to
franchisors. As a result, in 1978, congress passed the first federal law to regulate franchising.
That said, once a franchise contract is signed, still the franchisees do not have many rights.
Ray Kroc and McDonalds perfected the franchising techniques by increasing its size
while having a system in place. Becoming a franchisee is an opportunity to have your own
business as well as going to work for someone else. Ray Kroc did not want to get a cheap buck
from his franchisors. He wants them to be loyal to him and for example, he said if you pay 950$
for a franchise that he can guarantee your success. In this means that when he says he guarantees
a franchisees success comes from the original statement that the reason why they have success is
because Americas retail economy is boosting. The franchise puts up money into an already
established business. The franchisor expands its brand name, business plan, expertise, and gives
access to equipment supplies. This model of franchising was followed by retail chains
throughout the United States. The devotion to the franchisor was a character embodied by Ray
Kroc; he ran his system as a dictator, and an inspiring paternalistic figure that looked for people
who are hard workers and are loyal to him and his system.
My third supporting point is that McDonalds to Ray Kroc and employees is almost like a
religion and devotion to the franchise. People are addicted to McDonalds and if they see a long

line somewhere, they go for it because it is second nature for them to revert to McDonalds for a
cheeseburger and fries. McDonalds became a model for other chains. Instead of Americans
going home and getting something off their shelf, they went into a drive through to give cheap
books for a quick meal. People almost reacted to their stomach like a machine without thinking
because they wanted to get a fast meal for their kids. McDonalds generally had the goal of
feeding youth, so they had happy meals prepared like a factory row for the kids. The reason why
franchises were so close to each other like a supermarket was so that when customers attention
was drawn to the choices, they had many different options to decide from. The franchise is being
compared to a faith. Communities are growing and evolving by franchises coming into town
where people are frequently looking to fill their stomach. With the recession, this is another
reason why people need convenient, fast, and cheap food. The last thing the customers are
worrying about is their health. Health is the least of their problems. Pleasure comes first, health
comes last. People dont worry about the long run about how fast food will affect their body.
McDonalds was pretty simple and all they wanted to do is replicate their flavor at each chain.
Most locations were almost identical and had the same uniformity.
Americans have a subconscious mind, and the first thing they are attracted by is the
golden Arches. When they see the gold arches from afar, to them that equals a full stomach and a
content appetite. The chains have follower who are devotees, the people, the consumers. They
see the supermarket from a distance and they settle for one of the joints, each day they are
making a different choice, out of 7 days in a week, 5 of them are consumed at a fast food joint.
Although they spend 5 days a week at a fast food joint, the average American is obese and has
major health problems. When they go for a quick bite they are not worrying about what it is
going to do to their health and what the outcome may be even to their children. Its almost as if

an American is going on a shopping spree when they see an opportunity to eat fast food. The
M in the McDonalds also had a very high appeal to the American nation. They thought about
getting rid of the golden arches. But then Ray Kroc remembered how important those arches
were to the eyes of an American. Without the arches, McDonalds would be looked at differently
and possibly the Americans might not have the sane urge to consume fast food. The M on the
McDonalds was what made the franchise so successful in rural cities where the rows of joints
were almost like 21 choices. The public face would look at the chains differently with the
golden arch above McDonalds, with the golden arch, everything changed in the retail face of
The fact that Americas retail economy was boosting was a reason why McDonalds
became an array of rows of franchises. This section helped us understand the motives and
planning of Ray Kroc that led to his success and the snowball effect it had on other chains.
With McDonalds booming, it led to the opening of success for franchises like
Little Caesars, Subway, KFC, Carls Jr., etc. This is why Americans had rows of choices in each
city because each one of the franchises was booming. It was almost like every city was identical
and like a big factory of choices. In a way, his vision or being a visionary as he was compared to
a religious priest or visionary who sees beyond what his congregation sees. McDonalds has to
purchase all their supplies for their business and this is what makes them such a large franchise.
These franchise owners are like businessmen and their goal is to lure people into their markets
like fish. They only care about the money of the customers and nothing else. Their goal is to
make each person a regular so they come on a daily basis for a quick bite. Some customers even
come to a joint multiple times in a day because thats how addicted America has become. The
significance of fast food is that every single American will one time go to a joint in their life to

grab a quick bite and if not, many time more. This boils down to the opening statement that the
economy is boosting and the reason why this is so is because America is spending a large chunk
of their annual revenue on fast food. This is why Americas nation is one that is connected and
addicted to fast food and is ruled into the fast food supermarket on a daily basis.
In the first three chapters we learned about the evolution of fast food chains and how
theyve changed the culture of Americans to make them want to get a quick bite. Americans are
controlled by their hunger, not by their common sense to realize fast food is unethical. They have
helped families by providing convenient, fast, and inexpensive food. We have become a nation
that is dependent on the automobile and fast delivery. Weve created jobs and fueled the
economy albeit the jobs are low paying jobs, we have created opportunity what have lost is
creativity, innovation that small businesses can provide. It is very small business to thrive among
giants of fast food. This is why I come back to my point that the main restaurants that are in the
nations cities are not mom and pop shops. They have been fast food joints and this is why our
cities are like a supermarket of chains because the franchisors and franchisees know that
Americans will fall for the mighty trap.