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  (来源:英语学习门户网站EnglishCN.com)

Voice one:

  I’m Phoebe Zimmermann.

  Voice two:

  And I’m Steve Ember with PEOPLE IN AMERICA in VOA Special English. Today, we tell about Ray Kroc, the man who helped make the fast food industry famous. He expanded a small business into an international operation called McDonald’s.

  Voice one:

  You probably know what fast food is. It is cooked food that is ready almost as soon as you enter a public eating place. It does not cost much. It is popular with most Americans and with many people around the world. Some experts say that at least twenty-five percent of American adults eat fast food every day. Most fast food restaurants offer ground beef sandwiches called hamburgers and potatoes cooked in hot oil called French fries. Other fast food places serve fried chicken, pizza or tacos(

墨西哥玉米面豆卷).

  Voice two:

  You see fast food restaurants almost everywhere in the United States. The names and the designs of the buildings are easily recognized — Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and of course, McDonald’s. Most are chain restaurants. That means each one is part of a huge company.

  Each restaurant in the chain has the same large, colorful sign that can be recognized from far away. Each offers its own carefully limited choice of foods. Each kind of hamburger or piece of chicken tastes the same at every restaurant in the chain.

  Voice one:

  The fast food industry began with two brothers in San Bernardino, California in the 1950s. Mac and Dick McDonald owned a small, but very successful restaurant. They sold only a few kinds of simple food, especially hamburgers.

  People stood outside the restaurant at a window. They told the workers inside what they wanted to eat. They received and paid for their food very quickly. The food came in containers that could be thrown away. The system was so successful that the McDonald brothers discovered they could sell a lot of food and lower their prices.

  Voice two:

  Ray Kroc sold restaurant supplies. He recognized the importance of the McDonald brothers’ idea. He saw that food sales could be organized for mass production — almost like a factory. Mister Kroc paid the McDonald brothers for permission to open several restaurants similar to theirs. He opened the first McDonald’s restaurant near Chicago, Illinois, in 1955. Soon, more McDonald’s were opening all across the United States. Other people copied the idea and more fast food restaurants followed.

  Voice one:

  Raymond Albert Kroc was a very wealthy businessman when he died in 1984. But he had not always been successful. Ray was born in Illinois in 1902. His parents were not rich. He attended school in Oak Park, near Chicago. Ray never completed high school, however. He left school to become a driver for the Red Cross in World War One. He lied about his age to be accepted. He was only fifteen. The war ended before he could be sent to Europe.

  Voice two:

  After the war, Ray became a jazz piano player. He played with famous music groups. He got married when he was twenty. Then he began working for the Lily Tulip Cup Company, selling paper cups. He kept trying new things, however. He attempted to sell land in the southern state of Florida. That business failed. Ray Kroc remembered driving to Chicago from Florida after his business failed. He said: “I will never forget that drive as long as I live. The streets were covered with ice, and I did not have winter clothing. When I arrived home I was very cold and had no money.”

  Voice one:

  Ray Kroc went back to being a salesman for the Lily Tulip Cup Company. He was responsible for product sales in the central United States. His life improved when he started a small business that sold restaurant supplies. He sold a machine that could mix five milkshakes(奶昔) at one time.

  In 1954, he discovered a small restaurant that was using eight of his machines. He went there and found that the owners of the restaurant had a good business selling only hamburgers, French fries and drinks.

 
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