Franchisees Say McDonald’s May Be Facing Final Days

Restaurant owners say unprecedented lack of leadership and dwindling relevance have the company in a downward spiral.


According to a recent survey of US franchise owners, McDonald’s may be “facing its final days.” After announcing plans to close more stores than it’s opening—something the company hasn’t had to do since 1970—and with continued downward profits, the fast-food giant has been desperate to recapture consumer interest in a time when many are moving toward more healthful options (including vegan alternatives). “We are in the throes of a deep depression, and nothing is changing,” one franchisee responded. “Probably 30 percent of operators are [bankrupt].” The chain’s efforts have included introducing all-day breakfast, digital ordering kiosks, a customizable “Create Your Taste” promotion, and the addition of kale to its menu (which it notoriously declared it would never do just months prior). However, franchise owners have lambasted these very efforts, saying they bloat the menu and that the restaurant is trying to be too many things to too many people.“The CEO is sowing the seeds of our demise,” said another respondent. “We are a quick-serve fast-food restaurant, not a fast-casual like Five Guys or Chipotle. The system may be facing its final days.”

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