Acquiring a McDonald’s Franchise

What it takes

Most new franchisees enter the McDonald’s system through the purchase of an existing restaurant from either one of our franchisees or McDonald’s USA, LLC. The purchase price of an existing restaurant varies and is dependent upon several factors, including, but not limited to, sales volume, profitability, occupancy costs, reinvestment or improvement needs, and location.

The opportunity to enter the Franchisee Training Program is based on your ability to:

  • Invest a minimum of $500,000 in non-borrowed personal funds, as McDonald’s does not allow partnerships or investors.
  • Divest of all existing business interests.
  • Devote full-time and best efforts to the business, including exhibiting personal management and leadership in the restaurant business.
  • Commit to an extensive training program that includes your ability to work a number of different day-parts and days a week depending on restaurant operating hours.
  • Relocate based on availability of restaurants.
  • Embrace our values and future vision.

Upon your successful completion of our world-class Franchisee Training Program, the Franchising team will connect you to restaurant opportunities and you will negotiate directly with the selling franchisee. Prior to any transfer, McDonald’s USA, LLC must approve the transfer of the franchise from the buyer to the seller.

What you bring to the table

If you’re ready to bring your passion and commitment to our system, McDonald’s provides an amazing opportunity to realize substantial personal rewards.

You’ll bring your talent and enthusiasm for building a team that focuses on the best possible customer experience.

We’ll help you start, sustain, and grow a successful business.

Our most successful Owner/Operators share these key traits. Do you share the traits ingrained in our most successful franchisees?

  • Have impeccable interpersonal skills.
  • Run all operational aspects of a business.
  • Recruit, train, and manage teams in a high-volume, fast-paced setting.
  • Desire to learn and follow a proven operating system.
  • Focus on making the customer experience the best it can be.
  • Apply keen business sense in creating short- and long-term business plans.
  • Produce financial results.
  • Aspire to give back to your community.
  • Adapt to various cultures and values.

Money Matters

The following indicative costs and estimates are subject to change without notice. Actual costs will only be determined when a specific restaurant(s) is offered to a potential franchisee who is qualified to buy.

We require that the buyer pay a minimum of 25% cash as a down payment toward the purchase of a restaurant. The remaining balance of the purchase price may be financed for a period of no more than seven years. While McDonald’s does not offer financing, McDonald’s Franchisees enjoy the benefits of our established relationships with many national lending institutions. We believe our franchisees enjoy the lowest lending rates in the industry.


Terms of Franchise


A traditional term is generally 20 years (except where described in the Franchise Disclosure Document)


Ongoing fees

  • A monthly service/royalty fee based on a percentage of the restaurant’s gross sales (currently 4%).
  • Monthly rent is typically a fixed base rent and a percentage of the restaurant’s gross sales. For properties where we lease the land and/or building, we will pass thru any rent escalations which occur throughout the lease term as pass thru rent.
  • Monthly advertising and promotion contributions of not less than 4% of gross sales.
  • All outgoing fees including technology, learning, software, utilities, etc.

Estimated initial costs for a new traditional restaurant

Initial Costs are listed in more detail in the McDonald’s Franchise Disclosure Document, which will be given to prospective franchisees when entering the training program and also when a suitable location has been identified.
  • Opening Inventory: $20,000–$35,000
  • Miscellaneous Opening Expenses $45,000–$55,000
  • Additional Funds – 3 months: $250,000–$355,000
  • Signs, seating, equipment, and décor $900,000–$1,500,000


Our selection process

Stage 1: Application

Stage 2: Phone Interview, Background/Credit Check

Stage 3: Panel Interview

Stage 4: Financial/Asset Verification

Stage 5: Review of Legal Documents to Enter Training Program

After you successfully complete the training program, McDonald’s, in its sole and absolute discretion, will grant a qualified candidate a McDonald’s franchise opportunity. There may be a time delay between completion of training and the offer of a franchise, depending on availability of a suitable restaurant(s). Your flexibility for relocation opens the door for more opportunities.


At any time during our selection process, including the applicant training program, McDonald’s has the right to terminate your participation in the process at its sole discretion and without being required to provide you with any reasons.

Of course, you are also able to terminate your participation at any time. If you participate in the above selection process, you may incur the following costs:

  • Travel to McDonald’s Headquarters for a panel interview
  • Travel during the training program
  • Asset verification with a CPA

There is also the cost of your time as you will need to bear in mind that McDonald’s will not pay you for the time you spend participating in the selection and training process.