McDonald’s hires new franchise relations executive

McDonald’s Corp. has hired a new U.S. vice president of franchise relations, Karen Garcia. In an attempt to align themselves closer to franchisees, Garcia will be working with the company’s internal franchise leadership organisation as well as diversity groups.

Franchisees are critical to McDonald’s success as they operate most of its restaurants. President of the McDonald’s U.S. market, Chris Kempczinkski, said that Garcia would play an instrumental part in working with our franchisees. “Karen is a proven leader with a deep background in operations, which McDonald’s has benefitted from for more than 40 years. In her new role, Karen will play an instrumental part in working with our franchisees, so they continue to have the support they need to run great restaurants.”

Tensions between McDonald’s and franchisees peaked last year when the National Owners Association was formed, an organisation independently comprised of franchise owners. There were disputes over some of McDonald’s proposed remodelling requirements as well as rules around cash flow and delivery. As Garcia joins McDonald’s, the relationship between McDonald’s and its franchisees—who own 95 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. locations—are easing.