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Franchise Guide

Investing in a McDonald’s Franchise

Do you want to invest in a franchise business but don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you’ve heard about the benefits of owning a McDonald’s franchise and are interested in learning more? Regardless of your motivation, if you’re looking into franchising with the world’s most recognizable brand, you’ll be pleased to know that McDonald’s is one of the best opportunities on the market right now.

As one of the most lucrative franchise businesses, McDonald’s offers a number of benefits that extend beyond the opportunity to become your own boss and establish your own business. In this article, we will explore the frequently asked questions that potential franchisees have about investing in a McDonald’s franchise—so that you can decide if this option is right for you and your family.

A McDonald’s franchise can be a rewarding investment for anyone who is ready to work hard for financial success. Before you get started, however, you will want to familiarize yourself with the McDonald’s brand, its operations, and the process of becoming a franchisee. Read on to get answers to your burning questions about McDonald’s franchising.

Overview of McDonald’s Franchising

McDonald’s is a global brand that has been around since 1940. With nearly 40,000 locations in over 100 countries, it is the most recognizable quick-service restaurant franchise in the world. McDonald’s provides customers with classic fast-food like hamburgers, fries, shakes, and desserts, but is also known for its innovative menu items, such as wraps, skillfully developed breakfast items, and healthy alternatives like salads and fruit options.

When you choose to become a McDonald’s franchisee, you will be joining an exclusive and extremely successful franchising network. The brand is known for offering franchise opportunities in both traditional locations, such as standalone locations, and new, innovative settings, such as smoothie stands. As a franchisee of a well-known, well-respected brand, you’re also likely to appreciate the assistance and resources available to you—from location selection to ongoing training and operational consulting.

What Are the Initial Investment Requirements?

Potential franchisees should expect to make a considerable investment in order to become a McDonald’s franchisee. The McDonald’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) estimates that the initial investment to open a new McDonald’s franchise will cost anywhere from $1,008,000 to $2,214,000.

McDonald’s estimates that the typical franchisee that will open a new restaurant will spend around $1,557,000 before the restaurant even opens. This includes the franchise fee, construction, renting the space, and working capital, among other fees and expenses.

What Are the Franchise Fees?

Franchise fees for a traditional McDonald’s restaurant are around $45,000; additionally, franchisees are charged a royalty fee based on sales. The royalty fee varies depending on how well your franchise is performing and is typically charged at around 4.5%.

Fees cover the use of the McDonald’s name and brand as well as other resources and services offered to franchisees. McDonald’s provides franchisees with detailed, comprehensive training programs, ongoing business support from the franchisor, access to POS systems and supply chain management, and more.

What Are the Ongoing Fees?

In addition to franchise fees, ongoing fees include advertising fees and rent payments to McDonald’s. Advertising fees cover the costs associated with promoting your franchise, such as television, print, and web-based ads. Franchise agreements typically include a 3.5% co-op advertising fee, which is used for local advertising, and a 0.5% national advertising fee, which is used to cover franchisees’ contribution to the national advertising campaign.

What Are the Benefits of Owning a McDonald’s Franchise?

There are many benefits to owning a McDonald’s franchise. To begin with, you will be joining a highly sought-after brand that customers trust and count on. Additionally, assuming you are able to select the right location and manage operations effectively, your McDonald’s franchise can be highly lucrative. McDonald’s restaurants have some of the highest annual gross sales of any franchise opportunity.

When you become a franchisee, you will get exclusive access to McDonald’s training and resources. McDonald’s prides itself in providing comprehensive food preparation and general restaurant management training programs to its franchisees. Franchisees also have access to an extensive network of suppliers and wholesalers, enabling them to purchase safe and quality ingredients and other products to keep their restaurants running efficiently.

Finally, McDonald’s is well known for its loyalty-building practices like its Monopoly and McCafé rewards programs. As a franchisee, you can capitalize on these programs to reward customers and build brand loyalty.

How Do I Become a McDonald’s Franchisee?

The process of becoming a McDonald’s franchisee is comprehensive and involved. First, you will need to meet a number of simple requirements: you must be at least 21 years old, have a minimum net worth of $750,000, and have access to at least $500,000 in liquid capital.

The next step is to complete an application and submit a thorough business plan. As part of the vetting process, McDonald’s uses the Franchise Selection Model to evaluate potential franchisees. The model assesses the financial and operational fitness of prospective franchisees and helps McDonald’s decide which applicants will make the best business partners.

This evaluation can take several weeks or longer, so have patience. Finally, if approved, you will need to sign a franchise agreement with McDonald’s.

Are There Any Alternatives to Investing in a McDonald’s Franchise?

If you’re not quite ready to make the substantial investment required for a traditional McDonald’s restaurant franchise, you may want to consider the company’s partner-brand restaurants. These partner-brand restaurants, which include Chipotle, Boston Market, and Donatos, are an alternative way to franchise restaurants in a less expensive way.

When you become a partner-brand franchisee, you will own the individual locations of the partner-brand restaurants but they will operate under the McDonald’s franchise agreement. You’ll be able to benefit from the brand’s business model, ongoing training and services, and access to suppliers and wholesalers—all of which will help make your restaurants profitable and successful.

Closing considerations

Becoming a McDonald’s franchisee is a major undertaking that requires a significant financial investment. That said, if you have the time, resources, and dedication to make this investment, McDonald’s can be a very rewarding franchising opportunity that can lead to a stable income and the ability to spend more time with your family. If you’re looking for an opportunity to become your own boss while investing in a globally recognized brand, McDonald’s franchising may be a great fit for you.


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