Franchisees improve consumer satisfaction


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By all accounts, McDonald’s, which went through a sticky patch around 2002/3, has regrouped, leading to a dramatic improvement in their financial performance. As a result, they are back in favour with fast food lovers and Wall Street analysts alike.

Given the fact that the company serves hundreds of millions of meals per annum, it is not surprising that they get it wrong some of the time. An analysis of their latest consumer satisfaction survey makes interesting reading, not because we are into ‘McDonald’s bashing’ but because it confirms once more the power of franchising.

While company-owned stores received 20.1 complaints per 100 000 customers served, franchised stores received 12. In both instances, the number of complaints was up from the year before and McDonald’s are working hard to reverse this trend.

Seen from the perspective of a prospective franchisor, if a fast food chain like McDonald’s, where operations are highly systemised, experiences vastly improved customer service levels in franchised stores, what could franchising do for customer satisfaction levels at companies with more complex operational requirements?

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