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McDonald’s Raises Franchise Royalty Fees for New Operators in 2024



In a significant move that marks the first increase in nearly three decades, McDonald’s Corporation has announced an adjustment to its franchise royalty fees. Starting on January 1, 2024, new franchisees in the United States and Canada will be required to pay a higher royalty fee, which will rise from the longstanding 4% to 5% of their gross sales. This announcement comes as part of McDonald’s ongoing efforts to adapt to changing market dynamics and invest in its brand’s future.

The decision to increase the franchise royalty fees reflects McDonald’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing the quality and consistency of its operations, even as the fast-food giant faces evolving challenges and opportunities in the competitive restaurant industry.

It is essential to note that the increased royalty fee will not affect existing franchisees who are currently operating their restaurants, those purchasing franchised locations from other operators, restaurants that undergo rebuilding processes, or restaurants transferred within family members. These exceptions underline McDonald’s dedication to supporting its loyal and long-standing franchisees.

The higher royalty rate will primarily apply to new franchisees, buyers of company-owned restaurants, relocated establishments, and other scenarios involving the franchisor. Let’s explore the implications of this change:

  1. New Franchisees: New entrepreneurs looking to embark on a McDonald’s franchise journey in 2024 will be met with the slightly increased royalty fee. While this adjustment may make the initial investment slightly more expensive, it’s important to note that McDonald’s offers substantial training and support to ensure franchisees’ success, potentially offsetting the increased costs in the long run.
  2. Buyers of Company-Owned Restaurants: Individuals or groups interested in purchasing company-owned McDonald’s restaurants will also face the 5% royalty fee. This move is in line with McDonald’s strategy to expand its network of franchisees and reduce its ownership of company-operated locations.
  3. Relocated Establishments: In the case of relocated establishments, where a McDonald’s restaurant moves to a new location, the higher royalty fee will apply. This situation reflects the brand’s dedication to modernizing and optimizing its restaurant footprint.
  4. Franchisor Support: Despite the increase in royalty fees, McDonald’s continues to offer extensive support to its franchisees. This support includes training programs, marketing initiatives, and access to the brand’s iconic menu items and global supply chain.

It’s worth noting that owning a McDonald’s franchise remains an attractive business opportunity due to the brand’s global recognition, strong marketing, and proven business model. The increase in royalty fees is unlikely to deter prospective franchisees who see the long-term potential and stability associated with the Golden Arches.

In conclusion, McDonald’s decision to raise its franchise royalty fees for new operators in 2024 is a strategic move aimed at ensuring the continued success and growth of the brand. By investing in its franchisee network and modernizing its operations, McDonald’s remains a prominent player in the ever-evolving fast-food industry while continuing to offer entrepreneurial opportunities to individuals eager to become a part of the McDonald’s family.

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