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How Much Does McDonald’s Franchise Cost?

How Much Does McDonald's Franchise Cost

Looking for your next big role in life?

Ready to step out of the ordinary and be part of a world-renowned, incredibly successful corporation that has created a system that works? A powerful brand focussed on innovation, development, keeping ahead of trends, menu innovation, first-class advertising, plus customer satisfaction and care.

Then you might be interested to know more about being a McDonald’s Restaurant Owner/Operator. In this article, I’ll answer questions like – How Much Does McDonald’s Franchise Cost? What skills might you need to be a successful candidate? And are you the right type of person to take on such a role?

So, let’s get started!

Brand Power

McDonald’s, with its iconic golden arches, is one of the most recognized brands in this day and age. With 38,000 restaurant locations in over 100 countries, plus new locations constantly popping up in different towns and cities. You might find yourself curious about the ins and outs of starting the journey of being your very own McDonald’s franchisee

Well, let’s find out how to go about it… 

Read more: Golden Corral Holiday Hours

Do You Remember Your First Visit?

Do You Remember Your First Visit

McDonald’s is synonymous with children’s birthday parties, was that your first taste of the tasty burgers and fries? Was it a weekend breakfast with the famous hash browns, hotcakes, or McMuffins? Perhaps it was a tasty chocolate shake on a hot summer’s day. Or was it a Happy Meal? Maybe your first brush with McDonald’s as one of the many valued employees when you first entered the working world? 

Having been in business for over 70 years, it’s clear that they are doing something right. And McDonald’s restaurants are here to stay for at least another 70 more! So no matter how you discovered the world-famous fast food chain. It is something that can be enjoyed by you and your family for generations to come. 

And maybe, just maybe, it’s going to be as a restaurant franchisee…

McDonald’s Franchising, A Clear Sucess

Out of all the McDonald’s restaurants around the world, only 7% are owned and operated by the McDonald’s corporation. Yup, you read that right! That means that a whopping 93% of all Macca’s restaurants are actually franchise operations. If this percentage doesn’t hit home, then I’m not sure anything will…

Yes, it is going to cost you a bit to get set up to take ownership of an existing location. But 35,340 entrepreneurs can’t be wrong with making the world-famous burger joints business model work for them. Don’t forget, owning a successful store will make money for the McDonald’s Corporation, but also for you.

McDonald's Franchising, A Clear Sucess

All About The Money

If you want to take on running your very own Macca’s branch, you are going to need to be financially sound. It is an expensive undertaking; however, the rewards are proven if you are a hard worker with a good head for business. 

To start your franchisee application, you’ll need to have a minimum of $500,000 available in liquid assets. You’ll also be required to pay a $45,000 franchise fee. 

New or existing franchise…

If you are taking over an existing business, then you can expect to pay upwards of $1 million. However, if you are starting from scratch, then you’ll be looking anywhere between $1.3 – $2.3 million. This all depends on things like location or what buildings already exist on the proposed site.

What Is McDonald’s Looking For In Potential Franchisees?

There are several key factors the golden arches conglomerate is looking for in potential franchisees. Take a look at the list of criteria you will be assessed on. How many categories do you fall into?

  • Ability to invest without other partners or investors.
  • Willingness to potentially relocate based on the availability of restaurants.
  • Your commitment to working full-time (sometimes more) hours.
  • Strong leadership skills, the ability to lead your team, with good communication skills.
  • Your ability to commit to extensive training provided through the McDonald’s corporation, no matter the time of day or week.
  • Proven management skills within the restaurant business.
  • Your openness to embracing McDonald’s core values, visions of the future, and investment levels.

The Step By Step Application Process 

If you have all of your financial ducks in a row and feel you can meet the criteria that Macca’s is looking for in potential candidates. 

Then it’s time to start the seven stage application process! You will need to complete each of these steps with great results before being granted as a “Qualified Candidate,” ready to take on a McDonald’s franchise opportunity.


  • Step 1 – Application – First, you will need to complete the application and send it in.
  • Step 2 – Phone Interview – This is a very important call, as it will be your first interaction with the hiring team.
  • Step 3 – Background/Credit Check – This will happen around the same time as your phone interview. 
  • Step 4 – Panel Interview – You will travel to McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, to interview with a panel of McDonald’s operatives to see if you are the kind of candidate that can hold their own and successfully run a restaurant.
  • Step 5 – Financial/Asset Verification – They will ensure that everything is in order with your finances and that you can afford to take on this once-in-a-lifetime role.
  • Step 6 – Review of Legal Documents – Again, the corporation will check everything to make sure it is legally sound.
  • Final Step – Enter McDonald’s World-Class Franchisee Training Program! – You will travel to various restaurants and places during this 6 – 18 month process. Depending if you choose to complete it in a part or full-time manner. 

World Class Franchise Training

McDonald’s Franchise Training Course can take anywhere from six months to 1.5 years to complete. It is not easy, or for the faint-hearted, and you can choose to terminate your participation from it at any time. That being said, McDonald’s also has the right to conclude the training for you if, for any reason, they don’t feel you have what it takes.

Once you have completed the training, McDonald’s Corporation will reach out in due course to let you know if you have been successful in becoming a qualified Franchise applicant or not. It’s possible you won’t hear from them for a while. It’s normal for there to be a lapse between completing and being allowed to purchase a franchise. 

World Class Franchise Training

Acquiring An Existing Franchise

This is the usual route for new franchisees entering the McFamily Business. After your training success, you’ll be matched with the kind of franchise the corporation feels is right for you. It’s important to note that when considering purchasing a pre-existing franchise, the price of each one will vary greatly. Several factors are considered when determining these costs.

Things Including, But Not Limited To:

  • The Existing Location’s Profitability.
  • Renovation Needs.
  • Sales Volume.
  • Occupancy Costs.
  • Reinvestment or Improvement Requirements.
  • Location.
  • Equity Levels.

Also, playing a huge role in the price is the amount of competition in the store’s area. Not just from competing restaurants and chains, but from other McDonald’s restaurant locations as well. 

You Take Over the Location as is!

When you invest in an existing restaurant, it’s usually fully functioning, and as such, you will inherit the staff along with a well-established customer base. This could be either a positive or, in some cases, a negative. Often, existing franchises are sold on due to poor performance, which usually falls to the culpability of the owner/operator. 

If this is the case, it will usually incur the cost of a major marketing campaign which the new owner must fund upon purchase. When taking on an existing location, McDonald’s requires its prospective buyers to be able to produce a cash payment of at least 25% of the purchase price. So that’s something else to keep in mind. 

The Right Kind Of Grit

Being a restaurant owner/operator is not for everyone. It is fast-paced and loud, with long hours and most definitely hot hot hot in the kitchens. But it’s also amazing to be an integral part of a well-oiled team, delivering quality service and food day in and day out to hungry customers, most of which a rather loyal to their neighborhood locations. 

Potential new franchisees will have to have the ‘right kinda grit” ”like ketchup in their veins” to grow and commit to the high standards this restaurant oozes. 

Key Personal Traits Needed To Reap Success!

Working in the restaurant business is all about the people, whether it be the staff, your suppliers, or the customers. It pays to be competent and have the right kind of drive, as well as possess these kinds of traits:

Key Personal Traits Needed To Reap Success

  • Impeccable interpersonal skills.
  • Be confident in running all operational aspects of a business.
  • The Ability to recruit, train, and manage teams in a high-volume, fast-paced setting.
  • Have the desire to learn and follow McDonald’s operating systems.
  • Have a huge focus on customer satisfaction.
  • Apply keen business sense and create viable business plans and produce good financial results each month.
  • Aspire to give back to your community whilst adapting to various cultures and values.

Demographic Diversity Is Paramount 

On December 8th, 2021, McDonald’s announced huge efforts to bolster representation from restaurant owners from every walk of life. 

They are encouraging this with inclusion programs and assistance with equity through different programs and systems for people from every diversity and demographic. For more information on what this might mean for you, you can read the full article here at McDonald’s Corporate Pages.

The McDonalds Mantra 

Macca stands behind Ray Kroc’s motto, “None of us is as good as all of us.” There’s also a great moniker – QSC&V. Quality. Service. Cleanliness. And Value. 

McDonald’s Believes in Its Core Values Which Include:

  • Serve – Our Customers Come First.
  • Inclusion – Our Doors Are Open To All.
  • Integrity – We Do The Right Thing.
  • Community – We Are Good Neighbors.
  • Family – We Are Better Together.

General Info To Know Before Investing

Whether you’re going to eat at McDonald’s or invest, find out more about the McDonalds Mission and Vision Statement Analysis, as well as our comprehensive comparison of McDonalds vs Wendys, followed by Does McDonalds Have An All Day Breakfast, and When Does McDonalds Serve Lunch?

In addition, we have also covered Does McDonalds Sell Cake or even Does McDonalds Sell Ice? And to accommodate a more healthy clientele, Are McDonald’s Fries Vegetarian, as well as Do McDonald’s Frappes Have Caffeine in 2023?

For payment methods offered at the franchise, take a look at Does McDonalds Take Apple Pay, along with Does McDonalds Take EBT, for your customers working on a budget.

Final Thoughts

McDonald’s is a powerful and world-recognized fast food brand. There is a huge potential for a franchise owner/operator to make more than $2.3 million in revenue each year. 

To become one, you will need to be financially sound with $500 thousand in liquid assets, cover a $45,000 fee, plus can pay at least $1 million to take over an existing restaurant. You will also need to have the right kind of entrepreneurial skills the McDonald’s corporation is looking for.

Good luck with your future investments!

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