"All money means to me is a pride in accomplishment."
"Are you green and growing or ripe and rotting?"
"As long as you’re green, you’re growing. As soon as you’re ripe, you start to rot."
"Creativity is a highfalutin word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday."
"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 McDonald’s in your Disneyland Development."
"I believe in God, family, and McDonald’s. And in the office, that order is reversed."
"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 didn’t invent the hamburger. I just took it more seriously than anyone else…We take the hamburger business more seriously than anyone else."
"I don’t believe in saturation. We’re thinking and talking worldwide."
"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 – of survival of the fittest."
"If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business."
"If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean."
"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."
"I HAVE ALWAYS believed that each man makes his own happiness and is responsible for his own problems."
"In business for yourself, not by yourself."
"I put the hamburger on the assembly line."
"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 takes a certain type of mind to see beauty in a hamburger."
"It’s easy to have principles when you’re rich. The important thing is to have principles when you’re poor."
"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."
"Look after the customers and the business will take care of itself."
"Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get."
"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."
"None of Us is as Good as All of Us."
"Not all that are wandering are lost; just missing at the moment."
"Perfection is very difficult to achieve, and perfection was what I wanted in McDonald’s. Everything else was secondary for me."
"Sometimes Ed MacLuckie would have forgotten to turn the sign on when dusk began to fall, and that made me furious. Or maybe the lot would have some litter on it that Ed said he hadn’t had time to pick up. Those little things didn’t seem to bother some people, but they were gross affronts to me. I’d get screaming mad."
"Take calculated risks. Act boldly and thoughtfully. Be an agile company."
"The definition of salesmanship is the gentle art of letting the customer have it your way."
"There’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish if you set your mind to it."
"The first dollar is the most you will get if you don’t love what you are doing."
"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 more I help other succeed, the more I succeed."
"The quality of the leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves."
"The success of additions such as the Filet-O-Fish, the Big Mac, Hot Apple Pie and Egg McMuffin…each evolved from an idea of one of our operators. So the company has benefited from the ingenuity of its small businessmen."
"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."
"You’re only as good as the people you hire."
"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."
"We provide food that customers love, day after day after day. People just want more of it."
"We’re not in the food industry, we’re in people industry. We just happen to sell hamburgers."
"We’re not in the hamburger business. We’re in show business."
"We take the hamburger business more seriously than anyone else."
"What we have created is a business organization dedicated to rigid principles."
"When I saw it working that day in 1954, I felt like some later-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."
"When you’re green, your growing. When you’re ripe, you rot."
"While formal schooling is an important advantage, it is not a guarantee of success nor is its absence a fatal handicap."