Quick… what business is McDonald's in? If you said in selling fast food, you'd be wrong. At least if you asked the man who founded it. In 1974, Ray Kroc, the man who started the golden arch empire asked an MBA class at the University of Texas, Austin this same question. Of course, everyone said hamburgers. Kroc's answer surprised everyone: he said he was in the real estate business.
Here's the way he explained it: his primary business focus was to sell franchises of the restaurant. He knew, however that real estate and location were the most important factors of success for each franchise. A poorly placed restaurant would go broke. McDonald's is now the single largest owner of real estate in the world.