McDonald's relations with franchisees hit new low: survey
By Lisa Baertlein
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp's (MCD.N: Quote) relations with its U.S. franchisees have hit a fresh low as the fast-food giant's new chief executive fights to turn around its domestic business amid fierce competition, according to a survey released Wednesday.
Relations "are the worst I have ever seen!" said one of the 32 franchisees participating in the monthly survey, published by Janney Capital Markets restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski.
"The suits in Oak Brook still don't get it," another franchisee said, referring to the company's top executives.
The respondents represent about 1 percent of McDonald's U.S. franchisees and operate about 215 of the company's more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants.
McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb, who noted the poll size, said the company values franchisee feedback and has a "solid working relationship with them."
Franchisees' survey responses were based on a scale, with 1 being "poor" and 5 being "excellent".
The average rating of the franchisee/corporate relationship came in at 1.48, a historical low and down from the historical average of 2.1.
Franchisees' six-month business outlook rating fell to 1.81, meaningfully below the 2.8 survey's historical average, Kalinowski said. Continued...