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David Wynne started as a McDonald’s employee 28 years ago, but today he has become the owner and operator of the largest number of McDonald’s restaurants in Devon and Cornwall.
In 2002 he picked the opportunity to become the franchise owner of a restaurant that was not performing to its full potential and, since then, the 45-year-old hasn’t looked back.
“The chance to work for yourself rather than anyone else is a great incentive,” states David. “It can be a great opportunity if a restaurant is on a low. You’ve got to look first at why it’s not doing well, but if it’s within your control to make it a better place then you should take that opportunity.”
Since he began his career with McDonald’s, David has gone from strength to strength with the expansion of his restaurants, progressing from owning six to 11 in the space of a year. As a result of this recent expansion, he now trades six of the eight McDonald’s in Cornwall including all of the five outlets in Plymouth.
David’s involvement with raising funds for charity dates back to his time as a McDonald’s Restaurant Manager. It has significantly increased since he became a franchise owner and now views it as his way of giving back to society. He has helped raise more than £100,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), which organises places to stay for families who have ill children in hospital.
“We don’t get into the charity side of things for economic reasons,” he says. “We just do it because it’s the right thing to do and it makes us feel good about life.
“I have responsibilities to my customers, my staff, the local community, the environment, the McDonald’s system and, of course, my family.”
David works in the same office as his partner Melissa, who was once also a Restaurant Manager for McDonald’s and, therefore, knows the business.
“Working together works really well for us,” says David. “Plus she is better with figures, in terms of an accounting perspective, than I am!”
Like many businesses, owning and operating a franchise isn’t altogether easy, but David knows this and to him it’s no obstacle.
“The pressure of being at the head of any business, small or large, is ever present,” says David. “How that pressure is dealt with is the key. I treat each day as a challenge, and I enjoy that challenge.”
David is very happy with his career with McDonald’s and admits that it has been a success both for him and the franchisor.
“It’s a great organisation and one that I’m proud to work alongside,” he adds. “Business results have been strong for the past four years and I see no immediate reason why this would change in the future.”
David explains that McDonald’s is a great opportunity for anyone looking to get involved with a hands-on retail franchise that offers exceptional turnover and expansion prospects.
“It’s been a great success and I would recommend it,” says David. “I would however, stress the need for any prospective franchise owner to do their homework before committing to franchising. It obviously takes a degree of capital to get started, but it’s also a great commitment of your time. A franchise demands a hands-on approach so back-seat investors need not apply.”
The McDonald’s franchise owners system is based on a standard contract of at least 20 years. This long-term commitment is essential if the franchise owner is to be in a good enough position to strengthen and expand their business.
The effort required should not be underestimated and each franchise owner has to have a hands-on approach to ensure that each business is successful.
Written by Julian Badger