“As McDonald’s goes, so to does franchising.” This might be an extreme overstatement, but nonetheless, the Golden Arches has had such a defining role in the evolution of franchising that many entrepreneurs and analysts will use it as a bellwether for how the industry is faring as a whole.
Those insiders will be have taken positive news from the McDonald’s recent gathering for analysts and journalists at its corporate headquarters in Illinois last week. According to the Wall Street Journal, the attitude of the McDonald’s corporate executive was typically bullish, with the company extremely optimistic about the way it has positioned itself for the time beyond the recession.
"This is also as much about changing the perception of our brand in the consumer's mind that allows us to stretch both the price and products you can serve in a re-imaged restaurant," McDonald's Chief Financial Officer Peter Bensen said.
The confidence is a direct result of the investment in new stores and technology, as well as the unveiling of popular new products.
Restaurant profits are down in the last year across the industry, but McDonald’s market share has remained steady. The WSJ reports that some of the products coming down the pipeline are new wraps, smoothies and frappes and possibly a $1 breakfast menu. Clearly the challenge for McDonald’s, and indeed everyone in the QSR sector, is balancing the surge in consumer frugality brought on by the recession with the constant demand for a high-quality product.
As the year goes on, McDonald’s seem like they’re in a great position to retain the top ranking in Franchise Direct second Top 100 Global Franchises.