Coalition of Franchisee Associations

December 4, 2020

Latest Editorial From Anonymous Owner/Operator

Great read, heartfelt and timely. Grab a cup of coffee, it's a long one.

Find it HERE



Anonymous said...

Ok. Fine. Happy Meals pricing goes up .75 to ,95 cents to offset lack of credits.

Anonymous said...

This isn't about Happy Meal pricing its about how it was handled and what it portends for the future.

Anonymous said...

Further proof (as if we needed it) that MCD could not care less about owners.

Anonymous said...

We raise happy meal prices and the Corp gets the rent and service fees , they win again. I also agree its the way they handled it. We as operators really need to DO SOMETHING, the problem is whats that something?

Anonymous said...

I dont care what you think about the effectiveness or the need of either the NFLA or the NOA, this is a struggle where EVERY owner, regardless of opinions , MUST stick TOGETHER. If we do not have a strong and widely accepted response to the totalitarian nature of MCDs latest moves, we will regret it for years to come as the company imposes more and more ominous decisions on us all. Fight the dictatorial moves by top management. MMGA

Our future depends on it!

Anonymous said...

I sure hope Chris K and Joe E read this.

Anonymous said...

Do you think they care? They don't care.

Anonymous said...

The telling event here is this. NO ONE HAD THE GUTS TO SIGN THE EMAIL. Not Chris , Not Joe. Were are being lead by COWARDS.

Anonymous said...

We need to figure out how we can hurt the corp without violating franchise agreement

Richard Adams said...

Is OPNAD in your franchise agreement? Dig your contract out of that bottom desk drawer, dust it off, read it.

Anonymous said...

PART 1: OPNAD is one method - but demanding the simple SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS for these cost being thrown at operators is another. For example, every operator pays TECHNOLOGY FEES. I'll bet no one has a itemized list, or any idea WHAT these fees are for!

The restaurants uses NEWPOS, which every operator had to previously pay a licensing fee to use. Like MICROSOFT WINDOWS, once its paid you own that version. Now ask yourself - the version keeps changing, but what real enhancements to the software have been made?

Beyond normal SERVICE PACKS to fix bugs in the software, there has been no major service change since the combination of the drink under the EVM - a process with the overall loss of the EVM is no longer needed. Your BIG MAC button today, is the same button 18-years ago.

The APP for mobile ordering, you'd say - but I challenge how a PIZZA company can order delivery with an EMOJI (5 years ago). While 5 years into the GMA, restaurants barely gotten TABLE SERVICE added to the DINE IN option. Burger King could issue a coupon to patrons, as the pulled into MCD location - and our best use is a FREE FRY FRIDAY announcement.

18+ years of NewPOS and a operator still cannot change a price of an item on the fly. While sites like RFM and ATMCD have been updated to new Graphic User Interfaces (GUI), its functionality remains the same - some even say is more restrictive. ACCESSMCD.COM was a tool for restaurants, ATMCD is a tool for the COMPANY - I thought that was what MCD.COM was for?

Digital menus have essentially destroyed the Local Store Marketing (LSM) that once made McDonald's a phenomenal marketing force. Even then, there's providers that provide similar service at a FRACTION of the cost operators pay today.

Anonymous said...

PART 2: Operators still work under the same SOA for First Data for credit card processing, they originally signed 18-years ago. How many offers for better credit card rates exist? Bet you can find a better rate at the local COSTCO. Credit cards started at 7% of the business, today the fees stack u against nearly 70% of the business conducted thru credit cards.

Then there's the MONITORING fees each store pays AWS - to monitor what exactly? A network goes down, you never hear from anyone - other than the restaurant personnel that its broken. Operators pay for the broadband, equipment, service calls, etc - so what is this fee exactly.

OTPs are now a requirement in every organization at a staffing and training cost to operators. I don't remember us needing OTPs when we PAN2 systems with a CMU, and ISP to sell a BIG MAC back then...

Why doesn't QSRSOFT offer a bundled pricing for these added services?

I asked several times why are we making it harder for restaurants, and in doing so found it will make you ineligible for rewrite - asking too many questions. Quite frankly, the operator technology board is lacking too. Has to be staffed with TECHNOLOGY knowledgeable folks. Just not the guy or gal in the COOP that walks with the latest IPHONE.

Operators will now be asked to cover the debt of McDonald's purchasing a technology company. It made big news, but nearly a year later has not transitioned into any service benefit for the brand. Any technology that would of been beneficial is typically absorbed into a company within 90-days. Otherwise, why the purchase? So operators will have to pick up these poor leadership decision cost.

What other poor leadership cost will operators suffer? The law suit from the EASTERBROOK law suit? Todays OPNAD call will be interesting, as the board should call for its dissolution and a immediate field vote. Its doubtful those cowards will make such a bold move, but will the NOA?

Every crisis breeds opportunity - and this is a key opportune time for operators. To get redress at every level, with every item. We sit in a pandemic financial and operational crisis, and the only guidance coming to restaurants is how next years FOOD SAFETY inspections will come to harrass them.

Bigger, Bolder Vison has turned into Bampots, Bullshit and Virulent. Operators better pull together to address these malfeasances and do it quickly. 95% of the restaurants. Operators don't need to send a message that CHRIS K. understands, they need to send one that the SHAREHOLDERS understand.

Anonymous said...

How many are on 24-hours? Not a franchise Requirement.
How many are open for CHRISTMAS? Not a franchise requirement.

You want a real kicker - McDonald's gave over $1 MILIION dollars to Black Lives Matter. How supportive of that effort (sarcasm), if every restaurant closed to observe MARTIN LUTHER KING day?

You getting the point? It starts in the individual COOP, but it has to have a NATIONAL backing with the NOA. No one likes a thrashing, but if you don't show your teeth once in a while, you're ineffective.

Another Archways Program. Not a Franchise Requirement. Does MCD CORP really care about employer image? Look at their current lawsuits. With the upcoming changes to the National Labor Relations Board, and what's bound to be the resurrections of the JOINT EMPLOYER responsibilities - do operators really want to be tied to the poor employee practices of the franchisor? (Racial Discrimination, Sexual Harrassment, Harrassment)

Understand, there will be those OPERATORS that will stand in your way. They drank the Kool-Aid, they have those visions of promised grandeur. They honest believe they will outlast you in a battle of GROWTH.

Since when has any successful company allowed GROWTH based on their individual preferences, and not the operational measures? Good Operators been asleep at the switch way too long.

Time to wake up.

Anonymous said...

McDonald's will benefit from raised Happy Meal prices?

How many $6 Happy Meals do you project you'll sell?

Seems we can offer a Hamburger or 4PC Nugget ALL AMERICAN MEAL (remember those) - without the added toy cost, cheaper - and at higher profit for the operator. Guess what, will compete similar to other brands.

Guess restaurants just found a new use for those FUN TIMES items after all!

I wonder what MCD's cost (loss) to the toy sponsorship will cost?


Anonymous said...


Im closed Christmas and Thanksgiving and I cancelled all my 24 hour operations.

Anonymous said...

Me too! It's a movement!

I also like the idea of closing January 1, 2021, to deep clean and sanitize the US restaurants as an overall COVID-19 response to growing infection rates nationwide!

Hoping the NOA has a act of solidarity, as curre t McDonald's leadership lives by the stock price, they will die by the stock price.

Shareholders beware, you best in for the long haul.

Anonymous said...

If after all the negative publicity, the MCD BOARD should immediately fire Chris K and Joe E. If the board doesn’t act, the BOD itself should be replaced. And Im a shareholder.

Anonymous said...

NOA Call today.....
We want to hear what you all think? The corporation is much smarter then the owners. They have all of us scared to challenge their tactics. Listening to individuals say lets wait and listen to their reasoning? Let's not do anything to change our momentum and take our time to digest the situation? Is a bunch of bull !
Letter signed buy all owners needs to go to the Board of Directors stating that we have no confidence in the Senior Leadership Team of McDonald's.
NOA needs to demand an audit of all finances and changes to structure of the corporation that has led to changes in owner fees and costs. This goes back to advertising, supply chain (HAVI), development (constant back billing of projects without proof) and technology (that does not function). Owners should not be forced to give more funds to McDonald's as a split of profit. Demand a stop to the announced changes and if not accepted. Change the entire plan for 2021 and get rid of all the bull projects and discounts that the corporation pressured acceptance of. Ironic how the sneak attack of 2020 falls on Pearl Harbour Day. Hopefully owners decide to awaken and fight the attack of the corporation.

Anonymous said...

Nowhere in my license agreement does it say I am mandated to allow them to auto draft my checking account. I say stop the drafts and send your fees by check at the last possible time. Hit their cash flow where it hurts.

Anonymous said...

The Calls are always disappointing when the call by Operator Leadership is constantly to have patience. All the while, our Corporate Partner is more and more brazen. Someone said, the hardest enemy Operators will face is another Operator whom is drinking the kool-aid. A simple solution, is the systemwide dissolution of the OPNAD advertising - and the national unity under CORPORATE driven items like the DOLLAR DRINK and the $2 Small McCafe. COOPS can address their individual market advertising needs - as most only copycat existing NATIONAL program advertising anyways. If Corporate needs to be driven by profit alone - so should the Operators. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Hitting them in their cashflow is where it HAS to happen. Especially, when our corporate partner now thrives off of the short gain stock price.

Anonymous said...

Operators don't need to send any letter, that's why they joined the NOA, NFLA and OPNAD. A Operator driven letter is meaningless. If corporates planned to negotiate the overall process would have been different. A rabid dog cant be negotiated with. While most operators are just learning of this, it is clear that some form of messaging with our Operator leadership was occurring. However, our leadership believed they were gonna negotiate a 3 month extension. Like that was some sort of winning compromise?

The message should of been SCREW ANY EXTENTION - if our corporate partner bows out of THIS, changing the historical structure the system it has been operating under, than operators will no longer support THAT. Seems operators need leaders that have the ART OF THE DEAL and not simply the ART OF CONSTANT COMPROMISE.

Remember, Chris K. didn't lie to you when he said, "Its not Ray Krocs McDonald's any longer."

Remove Dollar Drink and all National driven discounting. A immediate dissolution of OPNAD, NFLA and any other Operator-Driven PARTNERSHIP organizations - these are partnerships of the PAST. Corporate doesn't recognize the NOA, tough. That is the new operator driven platform if they wish to return to the 'partnership' discussion. ANY Operator in those "Leadership positions" participating in any further scripted corporate PROPGANDA CALLS should resign.

If McDonald's wants to discuss a meeting to the operators, they can do it ALONE and DIRECT. Any Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration will come from the NOA; and only after through debate with its members and a properly registered vote.

Operators need a dissolution of the technology fee profit-center driven business. Operators sold BIG MACS very well in the past with a REGISTER, CMU and simple ISP. With very little overhead, and less headaches for our people. We are a HAMBURGER Company, not a TECHNOLOGY Company. I'm sure operators can outsource for far cheaper, and receive a better service on any technology project it wants to lead.

Anonymous said...

In most business agreements it is the contract that both parties have agreed to that sets the boundaries of what each party can do. However, it has been common that MCD exceeded their authority granted in our license agreement. The list is long but operators agreed in most cases because it seemed in the best interests of the system to do so. Forced reinvestments, impact, are just a few. At the NOA meeting in Dallas we were advised by Mr. Caruso that the ranking they were using to control operators was not permitted. The company knew it but went ahead and did it anyway. They will do anything they want to unless we get sound advice to protect our own interests. It is very clear that the company does not view its operators as partners at all. Thus, it is clear that if it is not specifically allowed in the license we are not obligated to do it. However, history tells us if we stick to the license agreement they will use operational grades and other forms of harassments to force compliance to their wishes regardless of its impact on the operators. My plan is to get experienced legal advice before doing anything.

Anonymous said...

What I believe is most interesting with this announcement is what it says about what MCD thinks about our elected leadership and the NOA. It obviously does not fear them, and I can see their point. What will operators do, hold more meetings, maybe get a few small wins that are immaterial and then everyone will get lost in cash flow growth comping over the shutdown. While I do not doubt not one elected leader would support what the company did, it has to be viewed as a failure on their part. If elected leaders want to be recognized they must act strongly, swiftly, and together. Couple of thoughts on this:

OPNAD could begin paying for all ongoing and development fees of tech cost relating to wifi, menu board and MOP costs. These costs are related to advertising or promoting our menu and therefore should be part of our advertising percentage used to then reduce dollars spent on other advertising mediums. MCD would not want a reduction of ad dollars and while they may want to revert to the old percentage one would only have move the discount line in food over base to advertising/promo line to get where we need to be.

Operators could boycott national or bu webcasts until an adequate resolution was determined. The one thing MCD does fear is bad press, even though they seem to getting more of it lately. While franchisee leadership could continue to engage in talks, if the franchise community as a whole were to discontinue communication with mcd through that one medium, the pressure and bad press would certainly provide our leadership a kind of leverage never seen before.

The voice offer of buy a quarter get one for free should be removed from all receipts. How we ever got talked into funding a mechanism that provides the company a data point that they have used to make growth decisions and to continue to beat us over the head is insane.

These are just a few ideas, unfortunately I have little hope elected leadership with accomplish anything of significance, so I will be watching the NOA closely in their biggest test yet. If they cant provide the leadership to act boldly and move the operator community together, It will be my last year as a member.

Anonymous said...

NOA or NFLA should produce a 1 pager that updates all coop bi-laws. This update would allow for ALL voting items to occur in an owner operator ONLy session by closed ballot. The current open voting system with our corporate partners in the room is simply not appropriate. Operators need to be able to vote with their own opinion without fear of retribution for not voting with the company...this should be step 1 for Operators to start standing alone and separating themselves from our “non” joint employer.

Second, is it possible to receive a detailed expense report of all of the technology fees?

Third, is there an update to the rent chart as the NFLA economic team discussed?

Anonymous said...

What's clear, the operators no longer have the true faith and trust of the existing McDonald's leadership and Board of Directors, to honestly, openly, and most important compliantly engage with the franchisees and their signed franchise agreements. This includes the obvious ineffective NFLA and OPNAD, which were conveniently thrown under the bus on the current ongoing McDonald's conference call.

It is evident, the driver in McDonald's Corporation today is the current stock drivers. Not building, maintaining, and nurturing the long-term relationship that built the Golden Arches into a worldwide powerhouse brand. Today, this powerhouse is being steered with leaders that little to no history, bear minimum investment, and having absolutely no skin in the operational gain.

McDonald's has lost ZERO in this national COVID crisis. Operators have taken the brunt of added cost in trying to keep stores open; with plexiglass, sanitizing equipment, and other needs to address BOTH McDonald's and Government COVID-19 concerns. They have done this many times with only 50% of a facility; even when the government allowed 100% of the dining room is open. However, operators paid FULL RENT. They also paid full service fees, when most of McDonald's Corp sat at home, on the beach, or offsite - sending dictates to the restaurants. A $5000 per restaurant technology fee is a drop in the corporate bucket they drenched operators with during this pandemic. The $5000 is a fraction of Operator cost owners paid to keep their businesses open during this pandemic. Where's the partnership? There was none, and the rent and service deferments were a joke (if not in some states illegal) - so I won't even acknowledge them.

Restaurants are buckling down for ANOTHER round of lobby or restaurant closures, lost service areas, and other obstructions - where's our "partners" head in these matters? Sending FOOD SAFETY inspections warning that these will commence in full force on January 1, 2020. Guess it's their way of saying we know your down - here, here's a kick in the teeth while you're there. And we will zap you with these other financial struggles.

Questions will only make it easy to identify the weakly positioned operators. Be leery my friends, there are those in the bushes wanting to reduce the operator number.

Anonymous said...

McDonald's Corporation, a complete lack of benevolence during this pandemic. Screw the 2017 BBV agreement. A real corporate leader seeing this surface should of said STOP - we got this - its the least corporation could do as a partner in this pandemic.

They had the opportunity to be a hero. They willfully chose a different path. Did they have a right, absolutely. Do operators have the right to be as responsive. You can bet your life.

I chuckle when they discuss a 2021 PEOPLE PLAN. We don't need any more directives. Corporation lost that collaboration. Operators are a independent franchise; not a joint employer. McOpCo can figure out what they want to do and advertise - operators will now go their own way.

Anonymous said...

MCD seems to be bent on making themselves a joint employer with their dictatorial mandates, Great, I'm happy to pass my employee bills and paid leave mandates on instead of paying them.

If I'm going to have to be an employee manager, at least I have rights, unlike a franchise "owner"

BTW-who will pay my loans and personal guarantees now that I'm an employee? Bernie Sander? He's rich. He can afford it to stand up for his principals that franchisees aren't the real owners.

Bernie, when can I expect my check?

Anonymous said...

NOA has to have a plan and a course of action and needs to enact it. NFLA is clearly not even a speed bump to Corporate.

Why are other franchise owners in other systems taking control of their brands and eliminating bad management that sucks the equity out of their stores?

Jack in the Box and Dunkin and Burger King before them seem to have figured it our and they are all in the CFA. And their franchisees are happy and making money. Do you see them competing against their own franchisor with things like McCafe and being forced to discount through an app?

Just wait until Corporate gets more on the ball with the App. Forced discounting and giveaways will be rampant and uncontrolled. Read stock analysts nots and you'll find out Corporate's plan. They dance to the tune of those analysts and the analysts all are in the choir of Discount, Delivery and Digital. They never mention that any of them need to be profitable at the operator level because it doesn't matter to the stock price. If you fail, there will be someone else to take your place, PAYING Corporate to buy your restaurant (you won't be seeing any of that purrchase price so don't get excited like its an escape hatch).

This is a business, not a kids's soccer team. We don't have to rally around a "team" that is led by someone trying to take all of the balls and go home with them.

Why aren't we acting on a plan to return control to the real owners of the system?