McDonald's to expand franchise trial

09:21, May 07, 2010      

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McDonald's Corp, the world's biggest fast-food chain operator, is looking for new franchise partners in China, expanding a six-year-old trial program in its fastest growing market, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

McDonald's relies heavily on franchises in more mature markets such as the United States, but has almost exclusively opened self-operated stores in China since entering the market two decades ago.

The company launched a pilot franchise program in China, but has so far limited it to three franchisees and six restaurants.

It moved to expand the process in April, posting information on its China website inviting new franchise applicants as it accelerates a plan to double its China network to more than 2,000 outlets by 2013.

McDonald's had asked interested parties to prepare at least 2 million yuan ($293,000) to cover equipment purchases, joining fees and other expenses, a spokeswoman said. She added that the company would initially experiment with new franchisees in East China's Jiangsu Province.

"The whole franchising process is still on a trial run," she said in a telephone interview, declining to say how long the trial expansion would be confined to Jiangsu Province.

McDonald's is aiming for 1,300 China outlets this year.

Source: Global Times
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