McDonald’s secret sauce isn’t in the Big Mac, but the way it runs its business. More than 90% of all McDonald’s restaurants are run by independent franchisees. Typically McDonald’s will own the land or building and lease them to franchisees who will retain control over employees, marketing and pricing decisions.
That franchise model has been wildly successful as each franchise benefits from the global brand and operating system of the wider entity. Additionally, McDonald’s does run some of the restaurants themselves, which helps them pass on best practices to their franchisees.
Viz Tool: SANKEY MATIC.
Data Source: McDonald’s Corp SEC Filing for 2018 (10-k).