McDonald’s riles franchisees with demand to pay for kitchen wall in remodelling plan

McDonald's big push to revamp thousands of U.S. locations has encountered hiccups as franchisees complain about the expensive changes.Mike Stewart/AP Photo files

McDonald’s Corp. has its own wall problems. They’re both literal and metaphorical.

The world’s biggest restaurant company is creating strife with its U.S. franchisees by including a new wall in a remodelling plan. McDonald’s restaurant owners are arguing that adding a barrier between cashiers and kitchens — intended to hide unsightly kitchen equipment — is a waste of money and doesn’t help customer service or operations, according to letters and an email viewed by Bloomberg News.

“We can NOT afford the waste that a ‘one size fits all’ reinvestment program creates,” McDonald’s franchisees said in a letter this month to fellow store operators. “We must allow our owner operators to take back control of the reinvestment that is happening, stop the useless and problematic investing (Sam Walls), and focus our reinvestment in what will actually produce a return on investment (drive thrus and kitchens).”

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