Ray Kroc – The brain behind the franchising of McDonald’s and making it the biggest name in the Fast-Food Industry
Ray Kroc was born on October 5, 1902, in Chicago, Illinois. He attended public schools in Oak Park, Illinois. He left school to serve as an ambulance driver during the First World War. After the war, Kroc tried his hand on being a paper-cup salesman. He became a jazz pianist and started playing in various orchestras. He worked in the Chicago radio station for a while as a music director, after which he became a milkshake machine salesman. The milkshake machine was his own invention. In 1941, he chose to serve as a distributor of the milkshake machine.
During the real estate boom in Florida, he began selling real estate. However, he had to retire to his pianist occupation, after the real estate market in Florida went down in 1926. By now, he was a father of one child. During the economic crisis, he had to send his family back to Chicago. He, eventually, started working as a paper-cup salesman again.
In 1954, Ray Kroc came to know about the drive-in restaurant run by Richard and Maurice McDonald, located in San Bernardino, California. He learned that they used his multi-mixer machines and were making good money out of selling hamburgers, milkshakes and french fries. He was struck with an idea of starting a franchise in collaboration with the McDonald brothers. He approached the McDonald brothers with a proposal that he would use their name and standards and start a chain of McDonald’s restaurants. According to the deal, would be getting one-half of the gross income of their business. The McDonald brothers agreed to his proposal and Kroc opened the first chain of McDonald’s restaurants on April 15, 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Six years later, Kroc would buy out the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million, but more importantly he would gain complete control over the business. “The McDonald bothers were simply not on my wavelength at all” said Kroc. “ 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.”
In 1965, McDonald’s went public; 300000 shares were initially sold at $22.50 each, later jumping to $49. Kroc had made $3 million on the sale. But, Kroc wanted more and embarked on an ambitious campaign for foreign markets. First, the U.K., then Europe, kroc began to erect Golden Arches in almost every continent.
In 1974, Kroc stepped down as CEO of the company he single-handedly grew into a global empire, but remained on as Senior Chairman of Mcdonald’s Corporation. He died of heart failure in 1984 at the age of 81.
In one of the greatest success stories of our time, Kroc took a small but successful California based hamburger restaurant and expanded it into what is today a worldwide chain with almost 500000 employees and $20 billion in revenue.
A cozy village atmosphere, which can be very annoying
Une atmosphère de village accueillant, ce qui peut être très ennuyeux
Een gezellige dorpssfeer, die erg vervelend kan zijn
Arms exports to Israel from EU worth €200m
European Union member states authorised the export of €200 million in arms exports to Israel in 2007, the latest figures from Brussels disclose, with France far and away the Jewish state's biggest European weapons supplier.
According to the EU's 2008 report on arms export licences, published in December for the 2007 calendar year and consolidating the accounts that member states must annually submit, 18 member states authorised a total of 1,018 such licences to Israel worth €199,409,348.
France, Germany and Romania were the top three exporters. France issued export licences worth €126 million, Germany authorised €28 million and Romania €17 million, the EUobserver can reveal.
In response to calls from opposition politicians that the UK government halt its arms exports to Israel and push all other EU member states to do the same, a British foreign office spokesperson said: "We do not approve any defence related exports if we judge that there is a risk that they will be used for external aggression or internal repression.
"We routinely refuse export licences where we believe that there is a risk of this. Any application relating to Israel is considered on this basis," the spokesperson continued.
EU arms code of conduct
The EU has maintained an arms export code of conduct since 1998, but it is overseen at the member state level, not in Brussels, so if Mr Brown were to push for such a move, he would have to convince the 26 other member states.
In 2007, €12 million in small arms and ammunition were exported to Israel by Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Romania and the UK.
Another €23.5 million in "light weapons," meaning those that require two to three people to operate them, such as bombs, torpedoes and explosive devices, were supplied by the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania and Slovenia.
Belgium, France and Romania also sent Israel €18.5 million worth of aircraft and related material. Paris is responsible for €10 million of this sum.
In a fourth, very broad category of armaments in the EU's consolidated report, "electronic equipment" - referring to electronics specifically modified for military use, navigation and guidance equipment, and satellite jamming systems, some €94 million was exported by France (€89 million) and Germany (€5 million).
The rest of the €200 million consists of weapons that fall into other minor categories beyond small arms, light weapons, aircraft and electronics.
Italy, traditionally a major arms exporter, only supplied Israel with €0.5 million in weapons in 2007. Spain, also a leading trader in the sector also sold Tel Aviv just €4.5 million worth of armaments.
Sweden, another major European weapons producer, along with eight other EU member states, delivered nothing to the Jewish state.
Across the EU, only 28 export licences were refused as a result of human rights, internal security or regional stability reasons.
Kaye Stearman, of the UK-based Campaign Against Arms Trade, told this website: "The UN and impartial observers have regularly documented how Israeli military actions have violated international humanitarian law.
"Although the UK's own Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria is supposed to assess the impact of arms sales on regional peace, security and stability, and the country's human rights record, it seems that this is ignored in the case of Israel."
"Britain must immediately stop selling arms, including arms components, to Israel and also stop buying arms from Israeli companies - arms that have been 'tested' in the laboratories of the occupied territories."
Photo: Nato-buildings Brussels
Le formidable succès de Stromae
La simplicité est parfois la meilleure des vertus commerciales. Intituler leur chanson Get Lucky ! était déjà un gage de bonheur dans les classements des ventes pour les Daft Punk et leur complice Pharrell Williams. Ils sont numéro 1 partout, y compris aux Etats-Unis, battent des records en centaines de milliers de disques et de téléchargements.
Pour sa part, le jeune Belge Stromae approche des trois millions de vidéos vues sur le Net de sa nouvelle chanson, Formidable. Le refrain traînant comme un slam de fin de nuit ("Formidable, fooormidable/Tu étais formidable, j'étais fort minable/Nous étions formidables/Formidable/Tu étais formidable, j'étais fort minable/Nous étions formidables") nous entêtera tout l'été, surtout par temps maussade, avant que l'album ne paraisse fin août pour la rentrée des classes.
Paul Van Haver (Stromae, maestro en verlan) est un grand type dégingandé, un métis belgo-rwandais portant éventuellement costard crème et nœud papillon assorti, né à Bruxelles il y a vingt-huit ans. En 2010, sa chanson Alors on danse fait le tour de la planète. C'est un constat amer de l'inconfortable condition européenne, livrée avec une lucidité à vous couper l'envie de passer le bac ("Qui dit étude dit travail,/Qui dit taf te dit les thunes,/Qui dit argent dit dépenses,/Qui dit crédit dit créance,/Qui dit dette te dit huissier, alors on danse").
Sur un air électro et dansant, déclamé par un être gracieux et souriant, on y retrouve la tristesse ambiante et la désespérance d'une jeunesse telle que décrite par le rappeur Orelsan – les deux compères viennent d'ailleurs d'enregistrer un duo très dance intitulé Papaoutai ("Tout le monde sait comment on fait les bébés/Mais personne sait comment on fait des papas"), un tube à venir à coup sûr, tant les géniteurs (ou "génies") ont tendance à disparaître des écrans radar.
Stromae a aussi intégré que la jeunesse européenne était portée sur la bouteille, que pour noyer ses brouillards ou fêter une séparation, le "binge drinking" est en vogue. Cette "Génération "biture express"" ("Le Monde Science&Médecine" du mercredi 29 mai) se sera reconnue dans la vidéo amateur filmée sur un iPhone que Stromae a laissée filtrer à la mi-mai : lui, ivre, débraillé, sauvé de justesse par des passantes de l'écrasement par un tram au cœur d'un petit matin pluvieux.
Le 24 mai, Stromae chante en direct sa nouvelle chanson, Formidable, en titubant et avec des accents exagérément copiés sur le Jacques Brel du Port d'Amsterdam, de Jeff, dans l'émission de Frédéric Taddei, "Ce soir ou jamais". Il fait sensation. On le soupçonne d'avoir forcé sur la bière et les substances. Pas du tout, trois jours plus tard, il donne la réponse par le clip.
Formidable est une histoire de rupture, un jeune homme s'est fait larguer, il n'a pas été bon, il s'est mis minable. Piano, instruments à vent, chœur masculin, batterie électronique, guitare sonnant comme les grincements des rails de tramway, le nouveau célibataire au cœur brisé est "un peu fort bourré". Amer, vouant tout mariage, toute descendance à l'insuccès, Stromae fait la guerre aux optimistes. Ce qui n'empêche pas de croire en soi, et de partir en promotion comme on part en guerre contre la poisse.
Paul Van Haver, better known as Stromae
Paul Van Haver, better known as Stromae is a Belgian singer-songwriter. He has distinguished himself in both hip hop and electronic music. He first became famous with the song "Alors on danse" which remained at number one for several weeks in numerous countries throughout Europe.
He was born in Brussels to a Rwandan father, whom he only got to see three times in his life, and a Belgian mother. At the age of eleven Paul Van Haver already showed an interest in music and attended 'l'Académie Musicale de Jette', where he studied music history and learned to play the drums, this was his first experience with music theory.
In 2000 he appeared as a rapper called Opsmaestro, though he later changed his stage name to Stromae (a syllablic inversion of "Maestro", a practice called verlan). It was with this name that Van Haver became successful.
At the age of 18, he founded a rap group called "Suspicion", along with rapper "J.E.D.I." in Eichof. They produced the song and music video "Faut que t'arrête le Rap...", though later, J.E.D.I. decided to leave the rap duo. In order to finance his private school education, Van Haver worked part-time in the hospitality industry, but his school performance wasn't up to standard. It was only later, when he registered at Institut national de radioélectricité et cinématographie, that he released his first album "Juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic...".
During his study at the film school of Brussels, Stromae decided in 2007 to concentrate fully on his musical career. This resulted in his debut-EP "Juste un cerveau, un flow, un fond et un mic…". In 2008 he signed a 4-year record deal with "Because Music" and "Kilomaître".
In 2009 Paul worked as a young trainee at the musical radio station NRJ in Brussels. Vincent Verbelen, Music Manager, was impressed by the talent of Stromae's first single 'Alors on danse' and decided to air it for the first time on NRJ. The response from listeners (including important personalities ranging from Anna Wintour, Jean-Claude Vandamme, to French president Nicolas Sarkozy) was one of extreme enthusiasm and Stromae's career was launched. Sales quickly rose to number one in Belgium in just a matter of weeks.
Vertigo Records, a label of Mercury Records France (Universal Music Group) signed him for a worldwide licensing deal soon after this.
By May 2010 the track Alors on danse had reached number one in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Romania and the Czech Republic.
On September 2, Stromae collaborated with Kanye West in a remix of his hit Alors on danse. In 2010, he was nominated for "Best Dutch and Belgian Act" at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Of his music and its influences he has said : " I was in a little group doing rap music. I thought that rather than copying the French sound, I'd focus on a more American style but give it a European spin. And then I rediscovered 90s Eurodance. For a long time we were ashamed of that sound but in fact there's a lot to discover, it has its roots in everything from house to salsa. I also really admire Jacques Brel – he has been a huge influence on me – but also all sorts of other stuff, Cuban son, and the Congolese rumba which I heard as a child; that music rocked the whole of Africa." Also, Stromae insists he wanted to collaborate with up and coming rap group Swag+5 featuring rapper T-Jay. Finally, the collaboration did not take place but Stromae is a big fan of the American based group. The critic Molloy Woodcraft : " He combines 90s electro synths and beats with a laidback delivery to mesmeric effect".
He is one of the ten winners of the European Border Breakers Award 2011. On February 9, 2011, his debut album 'Cheese' (with hit single "Alors on danse") won the award for Best Dance Album at the Victoires de la Musique.
On May 23, during the recording of the French TV show Taratata, Stromae did a mashup of Alors on danse and Don't Stop the Party with the Black Eyed Peas. Stromae also announced he would perform for the first act of two concerts of the band on June 24 and 25, 2011 at Stade De France. Stromae had previously met will.i.am at the NRJ Music Awards in January. will.i.am told him that he liked "Alors on danse" and said he wanted to collaborate with Stromae.
In 2011, he received one nomination for "Best Belgian Act" at the MTV Europe Music Awards. The first single "Papaoutai" from his upcoming second album was digitally released on 13 May 2013.