In an internal document released this week, McDonald's said a new restaurant owner term was to be "earned, not given," toughening its franchise ownership rules.
The burger giant has been gradually increasing restauranteur costs and requirements for years, and these latest adjustments are causing more upheaval.
Restaurant Business reported that the National Black McDonald's Operators Association (NBMOA) voted no confidence in CEO Chris
Kempczinski in late June. The article also suggested that the McDonald's Women Operators Network and the larger National Owners Association (NOA)
Rising resentment led to an unusual referendum, which McDonald's employees had never experienced.
Black franchisee owners have been doubting Kempczinski, who they allege has been drifting away from the group. Forbes said that
franchisees and ex-executives protested the CEO's "racist" text to Chicago's mayor regarding Jaslyn Adams and Adam Toledo's deaths last year.
McDonald's strict new franchise standards include more annual inspections and new evaluations for new locations.
Many franchisee operators are unhappy that McDonald's would no longer provide children or spouses of existing operators preferred ownership privileges.