McDonald’s is growing and introducing its operations to new franchisees.
Because of the pandemic, the current deteriorating situation in the gastronomy sector is perhaps the most significant in recent months for restaurants and public catering establishments, which are once again going through a period of crisis and are looking for solutions to survive. Those who have not turned quickly in recent months to distribute food with them, through the window, or for delivery, cannot cope with the anti-epidemic measures. This is one of the reasons why many entrepreneurs consider the idea of starting a business in the gastric sector a mortal at this time! However, what is the case with a strong brand that has been building its business for nearly half a century on a stable and solid foundation, having the strong support of the parent company in the franchise, and even opening new operations throughout Slovakia? We spoke to Matos Hrabec, McDonald’s Field Service Manager in Slovakia, whether obtaining a McDonald’s license is in these times and whether it brings benefits to all parties.
Many people see McDonald’s mainly by offering delicious burgers and typical fries. The business community, on the other hand, considers McDonald’s For the world’s most successful franchise concept, which has a strong business history and roots. Does this also apply today, when many economic or crisis factors complicate business in gastronomy in particular?
Yes, McDonald’s menu is definitely legendary, and since the opening of the first restaurant in Slovakia in 1995, the chain of restaurants has grown to the current number of 36 (38) and has undergone many important innovations and changes. For many years, the core of operations was owned by McDonald’s Slovakia and three stable licensing partners that do business with us to this day. The main factors for success have always been and remain the strength of the brand, the high level of support from the parent company, the proven business model and the possibility of self-realization in the business sphere. I mean the new franchisees who have joined us in recent years. We currently have 8 authorized partners, including 2 businesswomen, which means that 64% of the operations are in their hands. For other potential applicants, there are still remaining restaurants that are currently bidding. It should be noted here that doing business with McDonald’s is mainly for those who have ambitions, determination, talent and have no problem investing not only their investments, but also themselves. At the same time, it’s a great way to set a clear business goal and a way to avoid the risks of creating an entirely new business model in these turbulent times.
A lot of startups, not just startups, are seriously concerned right now about an unpredictable pandemic and more investment. What are the benefits of obtaining a license to operate your own McDonald’s A restaurant for a successful applicant and what is the guarantee that the business will thrive even in times of crisis?
It is important to note that the entire selection process for each new applicant is also about showing and discovering strength of character, motivation to do business even in difficult times and especially openness to new challenges. No one who sends us a completed form from our website can become a franchisee. When choosing, we must always keep in mind that each of our franchisees must be a leader who can motivate and lead their employees. He must be contact oriented, customer oriented and ready to engage in the region as a brand ambassador. Financial thinking and a sense of planning are equally important qualities that you must satisfy. Being able to go through all the situations on the restaurant floor, gain the necessary skills, such as frying pans, grills or drinks, and get to know the members of the entire McDonald’s team, helps us make the final choice, which can take a year. The benefits that every new licensing partner eventually realizes are many. From precisely defined runs, health standards, sophisticated training exercises, motivational tools and the like. McDonald’s restaurants are a showcase of many other gastronomic establishments beyond all hygienic and operational processes or other functional guidelines to be followed. Also, the entire food preparation system is based on strict quality control of ingredients and working procedures. Other positive attributes are the prompt and friendly service, clean and unobstructed environment and a pleasant working atmosphere. The whole success is simply due to the concept of excellence. Last but not least, McDonald’s has always been a pioneer in the gastronomic field, which is constantly evolving and innovating.
You run most of the restaurants in Bratislava and many of them actually belong to franchisees. He was interested in McDonald’s Restaurants even in small towns? In which areas is it still possible to get your own business?
We currently have 17 restaurants in Bratislava, 9 of which are in the hands of franchisees. We are pleased that despite the restrictions that are closing inside restaurants and restricting customer movement, they are doing well. In addition to challenging operations, they even help provide food for health professionals in hospitals in the communities in which they work. We are pleased that the same responsible and especially humane approach is shown by franchisees in Central and Eastern Slovakia.
As for the interest in our operations in small cities, this is enough – I will mention such restaurants as Liptovský Mikuláš, Martin or ilina, which are already in the hands of licensed partners. However, we still offer restaurants in Trenčín, Prievidza or Banská Bystrica and believe that the uniqueness, large presence and profitability of restaurants in these small towns will attract potential license candidates from other parts of Slovakia.
It should be noted that, although we are also expanding in the construction of new restaurants, the “stock” of establishments offered for a license is rapidly depleting. Therefore, now is the best time to show interest and communicate with us from the regions of Central and Northern Slovakia. Just fill out the application form on our website website. Finally, we all see that customer behavior has changed in recent months. They demand especially advantageous offers, availability, the so-called value for money, and McDonald’s for a long time meets in cities and towns, where it has its own restaurant. Our customers have shown great confidence in recent months and have shown that we are a great tasting destination for them in all circumstances.
What are McDonald’s plans? In Slovakia in the coming months and years? Will new facilities open along highways or in cities where residents haven’t yet had a chance to visit your restaurant?
I don’t think we have to hide our brand’s progress. We plan and prepare to open new restaurants in the coming years at a rate of five establishments per year in the concept of new generation restaurants. This not only increases the convenience of our customers, but also speeds up the service. In addition, working on this concept is more environmentally friendly. We are constantly improving our menu, improving our services, not hindering technological innovation, and thus improving the customer experience. Our goal is to open new restaurants already owned by licensed partners, and at the same time we want to hand over the remaining operations to new licensed partners by the end of the year. We believe that, as in the Czech Republic, 100% of McDonald’s restaurants in Slovakia will be in the hands of successful and enthusiastic franchisees.
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