I guess I need to say it again - The comparison between McDonald's and other chains regarding the amount of "royalty" being charged is absolutely meaningless. Most (almost all) franchise chains leave the real estate responsibilities up to the franchisee. Check out their websites. They tell the prospective franchise they will "assist in the location choice," meaning you find the site or the space, and they'll send someone around to look at the location before you sign your lease. Then, they'll send your contractor a set of building plans. The typical franchisor does not charge rent or control the real estate. Royalty is the only % the franchisee pays and is the franchisor's only income stream.