John is ‘Driving Thru’ toward success!


John O’Dwyer of McDonald’s, Franchisee and current owner of 7 McDonald’s Franchises in the Sussex area says that “There has been more menu changes in the last five years than in the previous 30 years of our UK history ….Of course, this is also down to the strength of the brand” says John. “did you know McDonald’s are the biggest coffee, ice cream and toy seller in the UK!”

John has worked for McDonald’s for over 34 years and being a Franchisee of the Company for the last 17 years. John was born and bought up in Crawley, he went to St Wilfred’s School in Crawley and then on to train to be a Surveyor at Crawley College. John started working for McDonald’s when he was 21 as a Trainee Manager in Victoria and worked his way up within the Corporation and became the Regional Manager for the South East in 1993 and was in charge of 235 McDonald Restaurants. A franchise opportunity came up when he was 38 in his home town of Crawley and decided to embrace the challenges and risks of becoming a Franchisee. At the start, John took on two Restaurants and a further one six months later.

John was able to give local input and was heavily involved in the construction of five of his seven restaurants himself and was involved in all design aspects from ground break to completion. John now employs 425 staff in total. “I feel my greatest achievement so far is growing the market locally by opening my five further restaurants and creating employment of approximately a further 320 employees to staff these restaurants – 250 of these are in Crawley alone!”

“I have no regrets on taking on the Franchise – I must admit it is a huge challenge and lots of hard work and my success is mainly due to the people that I have worked with over the years – some of my staff have only ever worked for me and McDonald’s – I think the key is communication and good people management”. The staff turnover for McDonalds Nationally is approximately 28% – “Full time staff seem to stay a long time, one of my long standing employees, my right hand man has been with McDonalds for over 30 years (Joseph Yaghmoorali) – my advice is to source the best people and to be dedicated to continuously training, challenging and motivating them”.

To become a McDonald’s franchisee for the allotted time of 20 years is not as easy as you might think – they make sure they have the right people who are dedicated and hard working.

Before a potential Franchisee is considered and before they pay out any money they have to go through a rigorous process. Firstly, you send in an application form after which, and if successful you may get invited for an interview. If they like you the potential Franchisee applicant will then be asked to do an OJE (On the Job Evaluation) for five days in a restaurant where the potential Franchisee has to have a go at all the jobs in the restaurant.

If both parties decide they would like to proceed further a second interview by a panel of Senior Management People – a potential Franchisee is encouraged to bring along their spouse. If at this stage the Franchisee applicant is accepted, they must then train on the job for a period of 9 to 12 months – this period is all self funding there are still no fees paid to the Company (McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd.) The Franchisee Fees are levied when a suitable Franchise is agreed and completed. The Franchisee will be offered a maximum of three suitable restaurant locations – once they accept a franchise fee of £30k is paid out to become a licensed Franchisee of McDonalds. Approximately a further £300k – £350k is then needed to purchase the restaurant. A Franchisee must have at least 25% of total funding in liquid assets.

“McDonald’s is progressive and visionary in its approach – constantly reviewing and re-imaging”.

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