Page 6: The three-legged stool - the suppliers
A third group of stakeholders, critical to the success of the franchise operation, is the suppliers. As McDonald's considers the quality of its products to be of absolute importance, it sets standards for suppliers that are amongst the highest in the food industry. McDonald's believes in developing close relationships with suppliers - everything is done on an open accounting, handshake trust basis.
The supplier's work closely with McDonald's to develop and improve products and production techniques. This close interdependency is described as a three-legged stool principle, and involves McDonald's, the franchisees and the suppliers. Suppliers that are able to meet the quality standards set down by McDonald's have been able to share in the growth and success of McDonald's.
McDonald's views the relationship between franchisor, franchisee and supplier to be of paramount importance to the success of the business. Ray Kroc recognised the need very early on for franchisees that would dedicate themselves to their restaurants. He wanted people who had to give up another job to take on the franchise venture, relying on their franchise as their sole source of income and would therefore be highly motivated and dedicated.
Consequently, McDonald's will not offer franchises to partnerships, consortia or absentee investors. The initial capital has to come from the franchisee as a guarantee of their commitment. The selection process is rigorous to ensure that McDonald's only recruits the right people.