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Melbourne, Australia

From working in McDonald’s to owning a McDonald’s franchise

An Australian Franchisee Case Study

Name: Ken TurnerFrom working in McDonald's to owning a McDonald's franchise
Location: Northern Melbourne Suburbs
Franchise – owns five McDonald’s Restaurants

Why I chose franchising

Franchising gives me the flexibility and freedom me to run my own business yet with the safe knowledge that I have the support of a larger business behind me.

What I did before taking up a McDonald’s franchise

I have been in the McDonald’s Franchise business for over 30 years but previously I was the field officer for the Dept of Primary Industry – DPI. Following a friend’s suggestion, I applied for a McDonald’s franchise opportunity and discovered I was successful following a range of interviews.

How I raised the finance to buy my McDonald’s franchise

I invested everything I had, all my savings but felt secure that with a robust business plan and the support of McDonalds guidance it would be worth the risk, and it proved to be.

The training and support I receive from McDonald’s

After I was accepted by the system I was put on the training programme which covered all aspects of the restaurant business. McDonald’s training programme is fully comprehensive and covers everything from in-store, to marketing disciplines, inventory support and mentoring from other franchisees, all of which I found invaluable.

The challenges I have faced

The main challenge for McDonalds, when I came on board, was growing their market share and generating awareness of their brand. Nowadays it is more sophisticated and has less risk association.
One of the other biggest challenges is dealing with staff in my business. The usual issues such as helping them grow, understand the business or handle more responsibility.
There is also an education process I had to learn about recognising the balance of what is an acceptable profit and expenditure required for a long term business model of a 20 year business plan.
We are also very affected by public opinion and changing market trends such as childhood obesity, which can have a big affect on our business.
My advice to someone thinking of buying their first franchise
First and foremost I would make sure you are totally committed to the decision. Look at the length and strength of your franchise agreement. Make sure your franchisor is reputable and operates in a legal and moral way.
Ensure you have an equity margin. Don’t spend all your month profits– be prepared for downsides to the business
Look at your peer group. How strong are those people who surround you, what level of support is offered?
My plans for the future with McDonald’s
30 years into the business and I am still enjoying it. I’m lucky enough that my children are also interested in what I do and McDonalds offers a great second generation policy, subject to established criteria, where I am in a position to encourage my children to try out for a franchise or sell them my own.
I want to keep growing the success of my current stores and enjoy the relationships I have built.

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