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McDonald's Franchise Owners Feel 'Doomed'

A new survey shows that many are "pessimistic about their future."


More bad news for McDonald's: Customers aren't the only ones not lovin' the chain — franchise owners are not McHappy, too. According to CNN Money, new survey by research firm Janey Capital says that franchisees are "more pessimistic about their future than at any time over the past dozen years." One franchisee adds that they feel "doomed," while another notes, "At least half of the operators in my region are on [the] verge of collapse."

The survey reveals that franchisees are most frustrated with the chain's menu, namely the corporation's inability to "improve and simplify" the menu. They have been calling for the menu to be streamlined since ex-McDonald's CEO Don Thompson was ousted in January. Franchise owners say they want to rid the menu of "hard-to-make items" like McWraps and focus on top sellers — like burgers and fries — that are speedy to make.

Other franchisees expressed concern that McDonald's menu was boring compared to other chains: "There is nothing on the menu that excites our customers." Franchise owners are also upset that management's focus on the Dollar Menu has made customers think that the chain "sold cheap, not real food."

McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook promised in May that the restaurant would focus on to focus on improving "the perception about the quality of its foods," and has tried to launch items like an artisan chicken sandwich. The problem is, fancier buns have not been able to convince anyone it is actually artisan. Easterbook added that chain's restructuring program would include selling more company-owned stores to franchisees. However, there may not be franchisees left to buy the stores, if they all feel "doomed."

The burger chain doesn't appear to be too bothered by this new survey. A McDonald's spokesperson tells CNBC: "Less than 1% of them were surveyed for this report. We value the feedback from our franchisees and have a solid working relationship with them."