McDonald's Heavy Franchised Business Model In A Nutshell

Photo of author
Written By Angelo Sorbello

Tech entrepreneur and passionate about business



In the realm of fast food giants, few have been as successful as McDonald's. Their heavy reliance on a franchising business model has propelled them to new heights of global domination.

With an astounding 93% of their restaurants being franchised, McDonald's aims to further increase this number to 95%. This strategic move allows for rapid expansion, lower costs, and stable revenue.

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of McDonald's heavily franchised business model and the key factors that have contributed to their unparalleled success.

Key Takeaways

  • McDonald's heavily focuses on franchised restaurants, with 93% of its restaurants being franchised in 2020.
  • Franchising is paramount for McDonald's success as it allows for rapid expansion and global focus.
  • Franchisees provide initial capital for equipment, signs, seating, and décor, while McDonald's generally owns the land and buildings.
  • The franchise model provides stable revenue with lower costs and risks, contributing to McDonald's profitability.

Franchising as McDonald's Core Strategy

The franchising strategy is a core component of McDonald's business model, allowing for rapid expansion and providing a stable revenue stream with lower costs and risks.

In the fast food industry, franchising has both pros and cons. One advantage is that it allows for quick growth without the need for significant capital investment from the company. Franchisees bear the initial costs of setting up the restaurant, including equipment and decor.

Additionally, franchising enables McDonald's to enter new markets and benefit from local knowledge and expertise. However, there are also challenges associated with franchising, such as maintaining consistent quality and brand standards across different locations.

Despite these challenges, franchising has played a significant role in McDonald's global expansion. By partnering with franchisees, McDonald's has been able to establish a strong presence in numerous countries, leveraging their local market knowledge and resources to drive growth.

Benefits of a Heavy-Franchised Model

A heavy-franchised model in McDonald's business strategy provides numerous advantages, including rapid expansion, reduced costs, and increased profitability.

See also  Figma Business Model: How Does Figma Make Money?

Franchising allows McDonald's to quickly expand its presence globally by leveraging the investments and efforts of franchisees. This model enables the company to penetrate new markets more efficiently, as franchisees bring local knowledge and resources to the table.

Additionally, by shifting the costs of equipment, signage, and decor to franchisees, McDonald's can reduce its capital expenditures and operational expenses.

Moreover, the franchise model provides a stable revenue stream for the company, as franchisees pay ongoing fees and royalties. This, combined with the lower costs and risks associated with franchised restaurants, contributes to increased profitability for McDonald's.

Key Partners in McDonald's Business Model

Key partners in McDonald's business model include franchisees, suppliers, and employees.

Franchisee collaboration is crucial for McDonald's as it allows for rapid expansion and global focus. Franchisees provide the initial capital for equipment, signage, and décor, while McDonald's generally owns the land and buildings or secures long-term leases. This partnership model benefits both the company and franchisees, as it provides stable revenue with lower costs and risks.

Supplier partnerships ensure operational efficiency and global reach for McDonald's. They play a vital role in maintaining the quality and consistency of ingredients and products across the franchise network.

Additionally, continuous employee training is essential to maintain high performance and uphold McDonald's standards.

The collaboration with these key partners is fundamental to McDonald's success in its heavy-franchised business model.

Revenue and Margins in McDonald's Franchised Model

Revenue and margins play a crucial role in McDonald's franchised business model, contributing to its overall profitability and success. While company-operated restaurants generate higher revenues, franchised restaurants provide stable revenue with lower costs and risks. The franchised model resembles a subscription business model, where franchisees pay ongoing fees in exchange for the right to operate under the McDonald's brand. Let's compare McDonald's with other fast food franchises in terms of profitability:

Fast Food Franchise Profit Margin Operating Margin
McDonald's 42.4% 38.2%
Burger King 38.6% 34.9%
Subway 25.7% 23.1%
Wendy's 18.3% 15.9%
See also  Roblox Business Model: Monetizing The Metaverse

As shown in the table, McDonald's has higher profit and operating margins compared to Burger King, Subway, and Wendy's. This highlights the profitability of McDonald's franchised model and its ability to generate substantial returns for both the company and its franchisees.

The Role of Company-Owned Restaurants

The role of company-owned restaurants within McDonald's franchised business model is crucial for product development and testing, as well as maintaining control over standards and innovation.

These restaurants serve as a platform for McDonald's to introduce and experiment with new menu items, technologies, and operational procedures. By operating their own restaurants, McDonald's can closely monitor and control the quality and consistency of their products and services, ensuring that franchisees adhere to the company's standards.

Additionally, company-owned restaurants allow McDonald's to stay at the forefront of innovation in the fast-food industry, continuously improving their offerings and staying competitive. This control over standards and innovation ultimately benefits both the company and its franchisees, as it helps to maintain the brand's reputation and attract customers.

McDonald's Business Strategy in a Nutshell

To further emphasize its commitment to franchising, McDonald's strategically incorporates a heavy-franchised business model into its overall business strategy. This approach allows the company to achieve its goals of franchising expansion and operational efficiency.

Franchising expansion: McDonald's aims to have 95% of its restaurants franchised in the long term. This model enables rapid global expansion and capitalizes on the expertise and investment of franchisees.

Operational efficiency: By relying on franchisees to provide initial capital for equipment and decor, McDonald's can focus on maintaining long-term occupancy rights and optimizing operational processes. The company also benefits from a partnership model that allows for collaboration with key partners, including franchisees, suppliers, and employees.

With this heavy-franchised model, McDonald's can achieve stable revenue with lower costs and risks, ensuring long-term profitability and success.

See also  How Does IBM Make Money? IBM Business Model In A Nutshell

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Mcdonald's Choose Its Franchisees?

McDonald's selects franchisees based on a comprehensive set of criteria that includes financial stability, business experience, and alignment with the company's values. The selection process ensures that franchisees have the necessary resources and capabilities to successfully operate a McDonald's restaurant.

What Types of Training Do Mcdonald's Employees Receive?

McDonald's employees receive comprehensive on-the-job training and continuous development programs to ensure high performance. The company prioritizes employee development as a key part of its business strategy, emphasizing operational efficiency and maintaining standards across franchised and company-owned restaurants.

How Does Mcdonald's Ensure Consistent Quality Across Its Franchised Restaurants?

To ensure consistent quality across its franchised restaurants, McDonald's implements a comprehensive quality control system. This system includes regular inspections, training programs, standardized operating procedures, and ongoing communication between the company and its franchisees.

What Are the Risks and Challenges of the Franchising Model for Mcdonald's?

Franchising model risks for McDonald's include maintaining quality control across a large network of franchisees, ensuring consistent customer experience, and selecting suitable franchisees. These challenges can impact brand reputation and customer loyalty.

How Does Mcdonald's Handle Disputes or Conflicts With Its Franchisees?

Dispute resolution and conflict management at McDonald's involve a structured process that emphasizes open communication, negotiation, and mediation. The company aims to preserve its relationships with franchisees while finding mutually beneficial solutions to conflicts.


In conclusion, McDonald's heavily franchised business model has proven to be a successful strategy for the company. By relying on franchisees for initial capital investment, the company is able to expand rapidly and maintain a global focus. This partnership model, combined with a small number of company-operated stores, allows McDonald's to maintain control over standards and innovation while reducing costs and risks.

An interesting statistic is that as of 2020, 93% of McDonald's restaurants were franchised, and the company aims to increase this number to 95%.

Leave a Comment