Hundreds of McDonald’s franchisees reportedly want to hold a “no confidence” vote for the fast-food giant’s top bosses due to recent changes to ownership terms.
In a survey conducted by National Owners Association, a key McDonald’s franchisee advocacy group, a 87% of respondents backed a “no confidence” vote for both CEO Chris Kempczinski and McDonald’s US president Joe Erlinger, according to a report Monday.
A whopping 95% of franchisees who responded to the poll said they felt McDonald’s corporate leaders were no longer acting in their best interest while crafting the store ownership model, CNBC reported.
The damning responses from the NOA’s membership came after McDonald’s corporate branch said the company would no longer give preferential treatment to close family members of current franchisees when considering approval of new store owners.
The change, which takes effect in 2023, comes as McDonald’s pushes for more diversity among its franchise owners following allegations of racial discrimination. Last year, the company said it has earmarked $250 million over the next five years to increase its number of minority-owned stores around the US.
Franchisees have also expressed concerns about other changes – including a new grade-based system to assess store performance and updates to McDonald’s process for renewing 20-year store leases, according to CNBC.
In a June message to franchisees, Erlinger billed the changes as critical to the long-term health of McDonald’s franchising operations.
“We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how we continue to attract and retain the industry’s best owner/operators – individuals who represent the diverse communities we serve, bring a growth mindset and focus on executional excellence, while cultivating a positive work environment for restaurant teams,” Erlinger said.
The survey polled nearly 700 franchisees within the NOA’s membership of about 1,000. Through the end of last year, McDonald’s had more than 2,400 store owners.
The NOA’s survey also found that 83% of franchisees thought the ownership rules changes were merely a “veiled attempt to raise rents” at stores. Meanwhile, 95% of respondents said they felt McDonald’s did not value their contributions.
McDonald’s declined to comment.
The Post has reached out to National Owners Association for comment on the survey.
Another franchisee group, the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association, backed a no-confidence vote in June, according to Restaurant Business Online.
The turmoil among McDonald’s franchisees surfaced as the fast-food giant adjusts its operations to account for decades-high inflation. Franchisee profits have soared as the chain implements price hikes across its menu.
A number of McDonald’s franchisees have reportedly opted to ditch the company’s famous “dollar drink” special due to rising costs – a move made against the recommendations of the fast-food giant’s corporate wing.