In 1974, Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, was asked to speak to the MBA class at university of Texas at Austin. A dear friend of mine, Keith Cunningham, was a student in that MBA class. After a powerful and inspiring talk, the class adjourned and the students asked Ray if he would join them at their favourite hangout to have a few beers. Ray graciously accepted.
“What business am I in?” Ray asked, once the group all had their beers in hand. No one answered, so Ray asked the question again.”What business do you think I am in?”
The students laughed again, and finally one brave soul yelled out, “Ray, who in the world does not know that you’re in the hamburger business.”
Ray chuckled. “That is what I thought you would say.” He paused and then quickly said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m not in the hamburger business. My business is real estate.”
Keith said that Ray spent a good amount of time explaining his viewpoint. I their business plan, Ray knew that the primary business focus was to sell hamburger franchises, but what he never lost sight of was the location of each franchise. He knew that the real estate and its location was the most significant factor in the success of each franchise. Basically, the person that bought the franchise was also paying for, buying the land under the franchise for Ray Kroc’s organization.
McDonald’s today is the largest single owner of real estate in the world, owning even more than Catholic Church. Today McDonald’s owns some of the most valuable intersections and street corners in America as well as in other parts of the world.
Robert Kiyosaki, Sharon L. Lechter, Rich dad Poor dad, Hachette Book G, 2009