Tensions have been building of late between McDonald’s and many of its franchisees over proposed new standards for US contract renewals. Word of the new franchise standards began circulating back in May but the company has been plowing ahead with the revisions. Saying that the right to operate one of its restaurants is “earned, not given”, McDonald’s is instituting a series of significant policy changes. Moving forward, at contract end, franchisees will undergo a more stringent application process that upens the traditional “rewritable and expandable” ratings in place now. “We will no longer use the term rewrite,” said Joe Erlanger, McDonald’s USA President, “but rather ‘new term’, as reported by Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business on June 23. As part of the new terms, it appears a more costly balance sheet and remodeling standards will be in place. This week, Restaurant Business reported that franchisees have not taken well to the revisions as one franchisee called it an “absolute declaration of war on owners”, while another described the company’s action as a “transfer” of assets from franchisees to the company. All of which comes after the McDonalds Black Franchisee Association last week voted “no confidence” in CEO Chris Kempczinski. John Gordon, DDIFO Financial Analyst, noted these contract changes have been in the works for years. We’re sure there’s more to come on this, so stay tuned . . .