Dick Naugle-Naugles Restaurant Founder
So why begin a blog? Maybe it is time to properly recapture the past, before it is completely lost or distorted.

#Dicknaugle, #remembernaugles, #naugles, #therealnaugle

Without a doubt, there is one saying the founder of Naugles is well-known for–if nothing else. Well, have you heard?

Seems like Naugles management is not able to locate a good photo. And it goes without saying, no one checks the punctuation either—LOL Take a close look, can you notice the error?

The N Effect is a memoir written to highlight the life of a lost founder, Dick Naugle.

So what finally convinces Bill Naugle to write The N Effect; and also start the The Real Naugle Blog, Podcast, and YouTube channel?

Probably in hindsight three things happen simultaneously.

  1. Christian Ziebarth creates a false post in Facebook (Jan. 2017). The Naugle (nagule) name has Mexican heritage. This is completely inaccurate. Naugle family heritage is a topic for a separate blog post.
  2. The release of the movie- The Founder
  3. Lastly Bill Naugle’s wife, Yanira, prodes him to finish the book. As a result from watching the movie she insists, “You need to tell the story! Why did you not share the whole story with me in the past?”

First let’s take a look at the movie- Founder

The Founder Movie- Bill Naugle Review

In January of 2017, I persuade or more accurately treat my lovely bride to a showing of a recent movie release titled The Founder. Before you say anything, I know, I know. I don’t have a life!

My boys find excuses not to go with us- LOL. The main comment the boy’s state, “we never eat there, it is not healthy!” Definitely, Mom influences them.

Even though Founder opens to little fanfare and misses the peak December release timeframe, the cinematic adventure is a great portrayal of the “Fast Food Gold Rush.” As Bill Naugle titles these times from the 1950s and 1960s. And this is when fast-food restaurant businesses begin to explode onto the scene. Moreover, investors rush to find the next big franchise opportunity. McDonald’s is the crème de la crème. In those days, previous McDonald managers and employees are the priority and receive assistance to participate in the craze. Even major companies desire a piece of the action. For the first time in American history, food service entrepreneurs enlist the likes of Allstate Insurance, W.R. Grace, and other large companies from nonaffiliated major corporations to fund fast and extensive growth—seeking the ultimate prize: listing on the NYSE.

Some great concepts are changed, merged, lost, or flat-out destroyed in the rush to grow too fast and expand. Taste buds vary all across the US, and this is why some make it big and others fail. Some of the initial hits expand quickly, but then others shut their doors due to factors beyond their control. Most noteworthy Dick Naugle’s Twin Kitchen concept is one of the losers.

The Founder brings to life the nostalgia and naiveté of those times. And boy The Founder brings back memories of stories Dick Naugle used to preach extensively.

In conclusion, the movie is an inspiration for this project.

Still Old and Proven Concepts can Succeed

Besides Naugles, in which case you may say the author is partial, take the following example:

If there are investors or people seeking to start a proven concept, then watch the movie.

There is no doubt an investor opening the same concept of the original McDonald’s can succeed. If in the right location with the concept displayed in The Founder by Richard “Dick” and Maurice McDonald can easily thrive. I assure you it will be extremely successful even today. Many people can scoff at such an idea, but it would work.

It’s a simple, fresh, fattening, very fast service, and a customer-oriented concept. The current version of McDonald’s has veered so far away from the original concept can bring back memories for some. Also it can create new memories for others. Do not take this as a positive or negative assessment of McDonald’s menu today or how the business has changed. The original McDonald’s concept has all the components of a successful concept. It can even be staffed nowadays in a smaller brick and mortar operation.

If branded and priced right, properly trained and motivated staff, it can take off just like the Good Ol’ Days.

Now is this be an easy feat? Heck no.

The one caveat to the previous paragraph is entrepreneur must be willing to give up 2 to 3 years of their life. This is the bare minimum. It requires working without days off or vacations. And also a minimum of 12-20 hours per days 7 days a week. While all of this work to create a team of dependable staff, knowledgeable about the concept with developing professional work habits and traits. These workers must be properly matched with the current pay scale available.

On top of all of this is the character and resiliency of a true restauranteur. Hence the ability to deliver a stable, fresh, hot/cold, and consistent product each and every single time. These are difficult human traits to instill and it takes a certain knack based on experience. I chuckle every time I state something like this or put it in writing, because it makes me think of Chef Ramsey and his shows. Most of the businesses or entrepreneurs he tries to help do not have this inherent work ethic or ability. Thus, there is something truly admirable about the spirit of a true restauranteur.

The Founder- Movie Errors in Production

In viewing of the movie over the past year, there are some glaring production errors. Someone with a background in ADA compliance issues easily notices production errors. There were NO wheelchair ramps on municipal sidewalks back in the day, let alone detectable warnings.

Watching the movie in Arlington Heights, Illinois stirs some old memories. Bill Naugle delivered presentations to the City concerning the placement and applications for detectable warnings.

Also noticeable, are some of the highway striping as well as a couple of the maps depicted were not 100% accurate. These are items most one-time viewers will never notice.

The clothing, uniforms, and most of the furniture was right on as far as being era-specific. One other point is the building being sawn in half. As a diamond blade specialist, it is more appropriate to state the original McDonald’s store removed the roof, structurally speaking, but this is more a matter of semantics.

Overall, it is a great representation of McDonalds. For the longest times, burgers slide on trays and are wrapped as depicted in the movies. The movie definitely brings back many memories. It is highly recommended for baby boomers to watch, if you have not seen it yet.

Ray Kroc

Lastly, the depiction of Ray Kroc is worth discussion. Whether you care for Ray Kroc as a person or not, the movie is a fair representation of the life of a traveling salesperson.

In the beginning, the Mc Donald brothers let “the fox into the hen house.” Although, Ray Kroc’s initial intentions outlined in the film are initially sincere, ego and pride became a driving factor. One can surmise, there is no McDonald’s today if not for Ray Kroc’s passion, motivation, dedication, and persistence. But of course, this is debatable.

As a salesperson with many hours on the road, Bill Naugle relates to the following:

  • Long hours on the road—simply put: windshield time (not wearing sunglasses affects eyesight).
  • Time away from home and the feeling of not being appreciated upon returning.
  • Driving while dwelling on ways to improve things.
  • Lonely evenings in lowly motel rooms.
  • Tossing and turning in bed honing sales presentations in my mind.
  • Selling various ideas over time while making—and—losing money.
  • Having to live with a willingness to risk it all.
  • Finding a way to get a foot in the door. If the front door is closed or guarded, you go around the back.
  • Learning as you go.
  • Rejection or, worse yet, having a product returned.
  • And the list goes one, but you get the idea by now.

The producers of The Founder show how hard the life of a sales person is. Also how much some individuals risk and/or forfeit to be successful. Of course, it shows Ray Kroc successes, but how many others fail?

Dick Naugle Founder

Purpose of Blog- Discussion

Dick Naugle needs an advocate. Bill Naugle accepts the role. So, if something posts and is not a fair representation of Dick Naugle, the post will receive a response.

As an example, a recent tweet and Facebook post which includs a video of a protest of the St. Louis Naugles location in the 1990s.

By this time, Dick Naugle is completely out of the picture. But back in 1954, St. Louis had “hooligans”—look at the depiction of the drive-in or, as Dick Naugle remarks, “greasy spoons” in the movie. Here is my response to the protestors:

  • Does the business not have the right to operate as they see fit?
  • Where are the parents?
  • What did management have to say? (The N Effect tells you how it might have been handled by Dick Naugle)
  • Where is local law enforcement?
  • How about local church groups?
  • Is the business not providing a much needed opportunity for their employees?
  • Are the protesters trying to gain personal recognition? Tell me they are not!

No, the protesters are thrown completely under the bus. Their feelings are deeply hurt by now and, as my grandfather might say, “Who cares?”

But Bill Naugle cares. They have the right to protest and exhibit their frustration exactly the way it is shown. Therefore, this is what makes America a great country. The right to dissent.

As you can see, Bill Naugle intends to start defending every error, post, tweet, or misprint from this point forward. If anyone desires a Skype interview to discuss, please feel free to kick Bill Naugle an email or leave a voice message.

Back to the Movie

French Fries- The Founder

So let’s get into critiquing the movie. Why not connect some of the dots between the story of Richard and Maurice McDonald and how it relates to Dick Naugle. At the same time, Dick Naugle’s beliefs can pop up in the discussion.

First of all, one of Bill Naugle’s favorite scenes is in the beginning, when everyone stands around the deep fryer. The McDonald brothers were discussing the shoestring deep fried potatoes or French fries. Of course, Ray Kroc piped up with no experience giving his two cents worth. But knowing the temperature, cooking time, type of shortening and additive, and amount of salt are all very important factors. Dick Naugle a true restauranteur does not stop there. He might quip, “What about the recovery time,” which I doubt a lot of employees and franchisees would consider, know, or show concern.

Now let’s go to some recent Facebook posts stating, “Dick Naugle’s favorite fry is the crinkle cut fry!” Hate to disappoint, but that comment is completely incorrect.

French Fries- Dick Naugle

When decisions to change the initial concept are made for things like different types of fries, chili fries, and quesadillas, Dick Naugle is not happy. His concern is speed of service. So with quesadillas as an example, this item takes up valuable grill space (using valuable lunch rush territory), and infuriates Dick Naugle.

Bill and Dick Naugle personally visited potato processing plants in Idaho. More specifically a large plant where the still make frozen French fries. Dick Naugle is hesitant to allow this in his initial operations to run with frozen fries. But he knew as the business grew, fresh fries require extensive expansion of the kitchen. The operation needs more deep fryers and space to prepare the fries. In the end, Dick Naugle is convinced to accept the new method of delivery of the frozen shoestring potatoes.

At one point during this examination process, Dick Naugle brings home some extremely thin fries. Similar to those currently served at Steak and Shake, which he likes. But Dick Naugle opts for the standard shoestring potato French fry. The processor agrees to keep the size and shape consistent with his stringent requirements.

There is a process we used in the restaurant operation to speed up the cooking process. But for many reasons, it is never put into the manual. And this process allows Naugles to serve hot crispy fries on short notice throughout the day. This process remains a closely held family secret.

The N Effect

Dick Naugle- Naugles Founder

In The N Effect, Dick Naugle uses French fry promotions on a consistent basis. Because one of his biggest and most consistent fears was delivering an inferior product. Either having fries sit in a warming bin for too long, where not only would it continue to cook, but overtime continue to deteriorate.

In summary, crinkle cut fries break down much faster. So these are NOT Dick Naugles favorite.

McDonald Brothers Mistake

The McDonald brothers gave tours of their concept and were very open. At some level it was about pride in wanting to show off “their baby”; Dick Naugle feels the same way about “his baby.” However, having seen the end result for both, Bill Naugle would never be so open about the concept or how it was run.

Well, it is easy to see the amount of pride and effort the McDonald brothers put into their operation. Most noteworthy is the similarities between their work ethic and that of Dick Naugle. Dick Naugle effort is quite the same as shown on the home page video of the 14th and Brockton operation.

Dick Naugle never spent much time at the Del Taco corporate offices in Corona, because he was usually solving problems or working to set up Red-E-Food Systems. The customer is always job one. Taking care of the employees is job two.

Another big mistake the McDonald brothers let down their guard with other food service professionals. The movie shows them going to dinner with Ray Kroc. With an unmistakable air of pride in a concept, they let fox in the hen house.

Grill Station Basics

The grill station needed two cooks, being properly trained, and to be manned during busy times. This applies in the initial Mc Donald concept, as well in Naugles.

Dressing the buns in this section is discussed.

In the movie, the first squirt of ketchup came from the stainless steel dispenser. And this is similar to the one used at Naugles. This dispenser is similar to the one Dick Naugle developed for the AAEFS (Army and Air Force Exchange Service). As time progresses the stainless steel was replaced by a lighter plastic model.

In conversations with Dick Naugle still prefers the heavier version. Well any guesses as to why? Please think and answer before reading further. Because there is no way you will answer question correctly!

Most of all, Dick Naugle likes the noise. What you say? When busy, the dispenser creates noise and calls attention to the BUSY burger station. Dick Naugle always pays attention to small things like this. “Sonny, People like to be around activity and feel like they are part of the action!” shouts Dick Naugle.

Dick Naugle finds ways to market his product without paying a dime for the attention.

As far as the production of burgers in the movie, there was a grave error in how condiments squirt onto the buns. The ketchup and mustard would have been spread evenly over the bun and not just piled in the middle. This applies to the fresh cut onions.

The two pickles would not have touched, so as not to have all the condiments piled into one bite, leaving the rest of the burger dry.

The French fries were an integral part of the grill station at Naugles.

Things to Ponder!

At this point, Dick Naugle poses the following questions:

  • Why and how did Dick McDonald come to serve OJ in the original restaurant before moving to San Bernardino?
  • How did the McDonald brothers find out about the multimixer after originally struggling with real ice cream shake production?
  • Why was the orange drink displayed as such in the original San Bernardino McDonald’s?
  • How did the design of the beater for mixing the shakes get defined and tested?
    • Time In Motion Studies

      In the movie it was described as the “SPEEDY SYSTEM.” Dick Naugle loves the tennis court example shown in the movie.

      That’s definitely the way it was done in the old days. Time and motion studies were instituted to eliminate wasted motion and energies.

      Training the Customer

      Most of all, training the customer is not widely used nowadays.

      The McDonald’s walkup window is more of an exercise in “training the customer.” How? Well, the kid at the window tells Ray Kroc what to do with his meal and how the system works.

      This was an exercise Dick Naugle used from Day 1 at the Naugles located in Riverside, California.

      Speed of Service, Quality and Cleanliness

      To this day and after all these decades later, Bill Naugle is yet to find a restaurant serving food fast and fresh. Let alone match the success of the Original Naugles twin kitchen concept.

      Usually when speed is pushed in any specific concept, quality gets sacrificed. The McDonald brothers and Dick Naugle alike refused to accept a mediocre product going out the window to the customer at any time. Believe you me, any consumer still longs for those days.

      Why not have a separate section titled cleanliness? Believe it or not, cleanliness is a great marketing tool and costs nothing. McDonald’s is known for clean restrooms and you saw this point highlighted in the movie.

      Logo Design and Color Schemes

      The McDonald brothers had the idea mapped out with the golden arches. Ray Kroc figured it out, as it was not self-evident in the beginning.

      Naugles had a distinctive design, too. Dick Naugle had a purpose in mind when choosing the colors he did and logos as he did. Can anyone tell me the how, what and why behind the scheme?

      One of the best scenes from the movie is when Gramps had told me about the floodlight scene from years gone by. Again, another question arises. So if anyone wants to discuss how that scene compares to the initial design of Del Taco buildings or Naugles, I will love to hear it! Please comment.


      Dick Naugle like the McDonald brothers knew they needed to get families out of the house. Why you ask? Well, primarily to get them in the habit of eating out regularly.

      Family in those days was a key focus and marketing point—today people seem to focus on the food items. In the age of social media I find this fact ironic—not putting 2 and 2 together is a big mistake. The restaurant is a place where you come together as a unit to break bread. Think about it? Were these pioneers wrong?

      The original McDonald’s showed some simple and easy ways to market “what you have” to build a loyal customer base. The wife handing out lollipops at McDonald’s was another sincere tactic used at one Naugles location.

      Banking Issues

      So, getting the money to operate and grow is always an issue.

      Where are bankers when you need them? Michael Keaton perfectly illustrates the frustrations of a Founder- Ray Kroc.

      And bankers want assets as collateral to loan money. Sometimes entrepreneurs or more specifically restauranteurs do not realize their daily deposits are an asset and have value. These deposits if substantial are leverage and can be used to negotiate.

      Bill Naugle highlights a great story concerning bankers in the N Effect.

      Financing and Franchising

      The original McDonald’s is and easy concept to franchise. But if you notice in the movie you must have some controls in place. Therefore franchisees who want to sit back and think an operation runs itself without proper management and training in place are seriously mistaken. Some make an investment and let others run a restaurant, while thinking it prints cash are seriously mistaken.

      On the other hand, Dick Naugle’s twin kitchen concept is considerably more complex. Del Taco currently franchises, but like here in the Austin, Texas area it can still easily fail. Not everyone is meant to run a fast food restaurant, let alone the twin kitchen concept. Today, Del Taco is morphing into something much more different than Dick Naugle originally designed.

      Franchisees felt that after making an investment they had the right to change the menu on a whim. I will be writing a series and invite others to share experiences concerning some of the newer franchise opportunities. There is a local company my son loves to visit, and every single time we go there I am able to write a section for a manager concerning operating the concept.

      Franchising leads in to the use of other people’s money. Both the McDonald brothers as well as Dick Naugle were not able to understand this part of building a brand. In-N-Out Burger is the exact opposite and their founder knew the importance of owning assets.

      The Founder highlights how important borrowing is to grow a business. And, in order to borrow, you need assets.

      Most operators never realize positive cash flow is an asset. Bankers fight for your business should they see it on your books. And Wall Street entities are willing to loan based on deposits and cash flow. Something to keep in mind.

      Legal Advice

      Most legal advice is only worth what are willing to pay for it. My advice to Dick Naugle is always to get a second opinion. Oops, too late now.

      Bottom line, if you have a successful concept—go slow and keep control. Don’t think for one minute that once you give up control, people will continue to listen.

      Just ask the McDonald brothers what happens with a handshake or, my favorite term to hate:
      “TRUST ME.”

      In review of the movie, are you not wondering why would they agree to sell? Ray Kroc had become larger than life. Yes, I know health was an issue, and believe you me, I understand what it means to be emotionally spent or exhausted.

      What Happens in the End?

      Leaving a Legacy-Ray Kroc

      Well there is no desire to ruin the plot, if you have not seen the movie. Ray Kroc really has no one to leave a legacy.

      After so much effort, a majority of Ray Krocs fortune ended up in the donation bin. For the most part, it is distributed to charity. Was it for a good reason or was it done out of feelings of guilt? Money definitely does not solve all problems. But yeah, I know—a little can’t hurt.

      Leaving a Legacy-Dick Naugle

      Dick Naugle has a soft spot in his heart for the Salvation Army as shown in the N Effect. As a result the movie leaves us wondering if Ray Kroc had similar experiences using the Salvation Army.

      In Dick Naugle’s case, he is pointed to a certain financial advisor, from a business associate. Well, in less than 2 years from his death, the trustee began to change from promises made and discussed with Dick Naugle.

      At the same time, this financial advisor is sued for insider trading. Does any of this matter? Not in the least as the financial advisor company is still managing and growing assets today.

      Top this off with the fact his family trust in the 1990s ended up heavily weighted in telephone stocks like Nortel and MCI. Just think of MCI and you know where the money went—As Dick Naugle says, “Down the rat hole!” In confronting the firm with a phone call to New York, the family connects with a young gun, who simply laughs and hangs up the phone. The company ended up turning the trust over to an attorney, and now the investment unit is owned by a major national bank. So much for personal care and concern!

      So in the end with Dick Naugle and Ray Kroc, there are not so happy endings! Well, if you think this—you are wrong.

      The main difference is Dick Naugle truly has a story of redemption!

      Buy the Book

      The N Effect | The Power of Influence

      Meet the man who put the “fast” in fast food. Despite never finishing fourth grade!
      Buy the Book