I know Seb Lentini. Even at age 80, he is as sharp and spry as operators 30 years younger. Hope he wins.BLATANT AGE DISCRIMINATION !
As a factual matter I believe that MCD would like to have a more youthful franchisee population. However, MCD is too smart to embark on a purge of older franchisee's. They can't win it and it would cost millions. However, there is no question that there is a movement to erase many corporate attributes that link the past to today's desired image. Older operators are in a position of deciding to embrace expensive reinvestments that many likely will never see a return on or selling the business to a new or another that will. These reinvestment requirements can and will be used to push the retirement decision on not only long term operators but on others as well. It is not a level playing field if the company agree's to finance certain franchisee's reinvestments and expansion which they are said to be doing to change the complexion and demographic's of the operator population. This is an area where the company dose show preference. From a purely business perspective it creates its own issues that are not in MCD's long term best interests. But, it can be used to implement other PC goals in the short run. If MCD is going to finance one group of operators they should finance all operators. I believe that a lawsuit against MCD for age discrimination will go nowhere. They really know what they can get away with in these areas. However, MCD does discriminate against many and they know how to get away with it. They are dishonest and insincere and too big for individuals to take on alone and they know it. Older operators, financially weak operators, operators that fall from favor will be forced to take on excessive debt or to leave the system. It is that simple. Where they discriminate is where they finance the one's they favor for whatever reason.
I think that if this case had any merit they would already be in settlement negotiations with non disclosure agreements signed and we would never hear of it again.
While that might happen in the future settlement talks would have been premature since McDonald's thought they could make whole thing to go away but the judge declined to do that. Having watched a lot of these things go down I've found it's impossible to predict what McDonald's Corp will do. They often do the most illogical things in litigation. The only thing we can predict is that one way or the other the Lentini family will be out of McDonald's.
As the other poster said, of course McDonald's discriminates and does favors for the operators that endorse their agenda. Unfortunately, this franchisee has no chance of winning this lawsuit or even a decent settlement with McDonald's. EOTF, required reinvestments and rebuilds are national programs it is all written in black and white for all to read does McDonald's make exceptions, of course they do again for the operators they like, guarantee it won't be this guy has nothing to do with his operational ability. The remodels, reinvestments and rebuild programs were endorsed by "your" operator leadership; look who you elect to these positions if you want to change franchisor requirements, you have to change operator leadership that is leading the masses to slaughter and the poor house. Save your money or you will have nothing to retire with as restaurant equity is a thing of the past.
As a next gen Operator, I don’t know what MOA is. Can someone explain? How it started and why it went away? Just curious how it would have gone away.
To be honest, McD's prefers a more compliant, inclusive, sustainable, progressively active owner/operator community that does not include operators who are older, white men. Would not be surprised to see a "#me two,three,four dollar" menu in the near future.
One problem are the many second and third generation bureaucrats running the zones and regions who have not been in a store for years. They truly believe they know what they are doing. They resent the operators with a passion and it shows. Many are excellent McDonald's administrators but they are not good business people. They talk in platitudes, they have no concept of how to build a strong business organization, they are the worse I've ever seen in MCD in nearly 40 years. It is so disappointing and it's hard to even think about what outcomes are waiting for us.
If MCDonalds corporate actions have a "disparate impact" they can be guilty of discrimination even if the programs were not intended to discriminate on the basis of age, race or any other protected category.If the net result of EOTF, financial assistance or any other program results in primarily age protected operators being pushed out or not receiving financial assistance versus younger operators, they can be found liable. The operator doesn't have to prove intent, just the results. McDonalds will hold that information very closely so it will have to be pried out in discovery.To get it in discovery it is important to know the exact right questions to ask. If operators were united and communicating regularly, they would know what is happening all over the system and know who was pushed out, got money, etc. that is why an independent franchisee association is critical. It allows operators to easily communicate, share and catalogue informations that is helpful to them when they fight for their economic lives.Get outside people to be on the board and run the association so that the franchisor can't target members and leaders. There are companies that run franchisee associations so no operator fingerprints are on anything. Planet Fitness, BK, Buffalo Wild Wings and others use them.
MCD is now using stated policies and requirements in the license agreement that they have rarely enforced, like first right of refusal, to go many years and set the expectation that these policies will not be enforced, the policy really becomes not to enforce them except in highly unusual cases. Today, little used policies are being used to prevent sales to other than minories and younger operators. Of course, they can do it but the pattern is clear and discriminatory.
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