Customers May Love McDonald’s Fresh Beef; Franchisees – Not So Much


The Challenge of Making Business Changes

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) will soon use all fresh beef at the majority of their restaurants. That’s great news for consumers — but maybe not quite so much for franchisees.

The company just announced plans to roll out the use of fresh beef with no fillers, additives or preservatives, instead of the frozen beef it had been using before. The changes should take place by mid-2018.



For franchisees, the change isn’t necessarily all positive though. Using fresh beef instead of frozen could potentially lead to some food safety issues and more food waste due to slow periods or even contamination.

According to a 2016 survey by Nomura, reported by Business Insider, franchisees shared their concerns about using fresh beef.

One franchisee worried, “I have major concerns over food safety and our lack of ability to serve a large number of customers quickly.”

“If we do not handle the meat perfectly, there is the opportunity for bacterial invasion of our product,” said another.

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The Challenge of Making Business Changes

But it’s also important for businesses to consider what consumers want. And sometimes, that means being at odds with your team over some of the details. What’s important, for any business faced with tough decisions, is to keep the lines of communication open and consider all sides carefully when making changes or updating processes.

McDonald’s Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

5 Reactions

  1. I know about an experiment where they left a big mac in the wrapper on the windowsill for a few weeks. It didn’t even go off?

  2. Aira Bongco

    Right. That means that it will be harder to keep up for franchisees. I wonder if that is the right choice for them.

  3. Yes. Changes are always hard to keep up. And it is not like the franchisees have a choice.

  4. The franchisees did not like that announcement for sure. That just means that they need to figure out how to keep the meat fresh.

  5. This will indeed be a challenge for franchisees. What McDonald’s needs to do (which isn’t even discussed in the article) is address the franchisees’ concerns:

    1. What are the current procedures and practices for frozen beef and how will fresh beef be handled differently? Will training be provided?

    2. Will this increase employee workload and take away from other duties? Can this be mitigated? Will more hours be consumed and thus increase payroll?

    3. Will the fresh beef change affect all franchisees at the same level or will this be really a test of how each franchisee management the operation their own locations?

    4. Will there be a price increase at the consumer level and those be able to offset any increase in inventory/operations cost?

    5. Will FIFO (First-in, First-out) inventory practices be more prevalent to avoid pro-longed storage times?

    Too many areas of discussion but hopefully the franchisor will work it out with their franchisees.

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