McDonald’s franchisees may join together to push for alterations

In a rare step, a group of McDonald’s franchisees met Wednesday to voice concerns about alterations they are being asked to make to improve sales growth at the hamburger chain, according to a media report.

Restaurant owners who attended the meeting told the Wall Street Journal they are pouring money into updating stores, adding touch-screen kiosks as well as refrigerators needed to serve fresh beef burgers, yet those steps are not yielding results quick enough to offset the impact of their investments.

The paper reported about 400 franchisees attended the meeting in Tampa, Florida. The group, which represents a quarter of U.S. franchisees, is usually planning to form an independent operators’ association. The report said no formal vote on This specific action was taken or scheduled.

McDonald’s declined to comment on specifics of the report.

“We always welcome as well as are committed to a constructive, collaborative dialogue with our franchisees,” a McDonald’s spokeswoman told CNBC in an email. “We will continue to work closely with our franchisees so they develop the support they need to run great restaurants as well as provide great quality experiences as well as convenience for guests.”

A McDonald’s spokeswoman told the Journal which renovated stores within the U.S. usually see a pick up in sales in a mid-single-digit percentage within the first year. The addition of self-order kiosks can boost sales by 1 percent to 2 percent, they said.

McDonald’s does share the cost of the upgrades with its restaurant operations.

McDonald’s efforts to revitalize the brand, which began more than a year ago, initially boosted performance, yet sales growth cooled within the second quarter, with U.S. restaurants open at least a year growing 2.6 percent. which was short of the 3 percent growth analysts predicted, according to StreetAccount.

McDonald’s shares are down about 2 percent since the start of the year.

For more on the developments, read the full story within the Wall Street Journal.

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