McDonald's exemplifies the role of small businesses in Americans' upward mobility. The company is largely a confederation of small businesses: 85 percent of its U.S. restaurants -- average annual sales, $2.2 million -- are owned by franchisees. McDonald's has made more millionaires, and especially black and Hispanic millionaires, than any other economic entity ever, anywhere.It is hard to imagine that kind of impact from any other company. Keep in mind that many Franchisees own more than one McDonald's.
McDonald's has 14,000 restaurants in America and an additional 17,000 in 117 other countries. The company will add 1,000 others in 2008, more than 90 percent of them abroad. Such is the power of the McDonald's brand, 48 percent of the people of India were aware of McDonald's before it opened its first restaurant on the subcontinent.
I will admit to my disgust at too many McDonald's employees in my area of the country not being able to speak or even understand English. But that is a service problem and a function more of what has become the norm as far as entry level work is concerned.
As a child my first paying job was as a soccer referee at age 10 (at the time I was the youngest referee in the state of Florida). When I was fifteen, I got a summer job at the local supermarket and later with Little Ceasar's Pizza. I was not above working at McDonald's but the supermarket and Little Ceasars did not involve me having my parents drive me to work since I could walk.
I wonder how many of today's millenial kids had their first job at McDonald's or some other minimum wage, low-skilled, no-skilled job? I fear that too many will arrive in the workforce for the first time after graduating college, complete without any concept of their true worth and lacking in any job maintenance skills, like how to be on time, follow directions and orders or how to serve customers. Make no mistake about it, no matter what job you are in, you have customers and customer relations is at the heart of any enterprise.
The reason why there are so many minority millionaires thanks to McDonalds is that many minorities take "the jobs Americans won't do" and then make something of themselves as a result. McDonald's is constantly hiring and if you work hard for them, they work hard for you. Other phenonmenally successful companies are the same--Wal-Mart, Disney and others.
I have no interest in running a food service establishment, it simply is not something I think I would enjoy. However, because I am not inclined to do it doesnt' mean someone else is not interested in that path to fincial freedom.