1954. Having worked as a salesman most of his adult life, Ray Kroc has been a hustler in most senses of the word. That hustling has made him the target of derision among certain circles for peddling what have ended up being more novelty or faddish than useful products, but it has also placed more than a comfortable roof in Arlington Heights, Illinois over his and his wife Ethel's heads. Ethel, however, wishes that he placed as much effort into being at home with her than he is in selling, his current job of peddling five-spindle milkshake makers for Prince Castle which has him constantly on the road going from one drive-in restaurant to another. It is because of the beefs he has with the whole drive-in experience (bad food, bad service) in constantly eating at such establishments while on the road that he becomes enthralled with the concept of McDonald's Restaurant in San Bernardino, California, it owned and operated by brothers Richard McDonald and Maurice McDonald - Dick and Mac. Unlike most of Ray's customers who will only require one five-spindle milkshake maker at any given time, the McDonald brothers end up purchasing eight machines for their single restaurant. Primarily on Dick's initiative, the brothers have redesigned the whole concept of the drive-in restaurant to focus on quality food through a smaller menu of only the most popular items (hamburgers, fries, sodas), consistency in product so that customers know what to expect from time to time, change in the target market from lounging teenagers to families, and perhaps most importantly speed in having any order ready within seconds, many of these goals achievable through assembly line styled production. They had tried franchising previously, but failed in that they lost control over many of those aspects which made their San Bernardino restaurant successful. Despite believing Ray a bit off kilter (in other words, crazy), the McDonald brothers somewhat hesitantly enter into a contract with him to be their head of franchising. Ray's experience in the job is not without its problems, especially as his franchisees seem to be making more money than he is, he who is only breaking even. He is not averse to advancing ideas provided to him to get ahead - original ideas which are not his forte - he seeing the brothers as his biggest problem in they thinking small. These differences lead to a standoff between Ray and the brothers, the former who has a different goal for "his" business in profit and stoking his own ego seemingly his main priorities.