Watching Rensi's demise validates the fact that many of his decisions when with MCD were unwise, in my opinion. Rensi's and Quinlan's heavy handed approach with the operators to aquire debt and grow for growths sake and not for sound business reasons was the beginning of a corporate culture that pitted the company against the operators leading to the many problems we are seeing today. What they didn't and don't understand is that strong operator organizations translates to a strong company. Same for suppliers. When franchisee's, dealers and other business supporting the franchisor or manufacture are strong it makes the entire system strong. MCD took the position that the operators made too much money and they wanted to change that and didn't want the large operators to have much influence on the company decisions. What they then did was to flood the operator ranks with operators with little equity, little business experience and arranged for them to get financing that literally made them company employee's. It continues today. Rensi was apparently trying to do the same thing with "Famous Dave's" and someone was smart enough to put a stop to it. Famous Dave's putting an experienced franchisee on its board of directors is a good move. If they want to build a fine restaurant company they can do that but if the goal is to pump sales and take it public to make money for the investors on their board they will do so at the expense of the franchisee's.
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