Westpac Directory of Franchising


The world’s market leader in the quick service restaurant industry. We are seeking highly qualified applicants to apply for our 12 month franchisee training programme. Resilience, strong business acumen and a willingness to relocate anywhere in New Zealand are key criteria.

The opportunity

McDonald’s New Zealand is currently looking for expressions of interest from people who want to find out more about joining the world’s most famous franchised business.

Globally McDonald’s serves around 70 million people a day, with 38,000 restaurants in over 120 countries on six continents, employing 1.7 million people.  

McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in New Zealand in 1976 in Porirua.  Today there are 170 McDonald’s restaurants across New Zealand, with 10,000 staff serving 1.6 million people every week.

Around 90% of McDonald’s restaurants are franchised by local business men and women who own and operate their restaurants as independent businesses. Currently McDonald’s has just over 50 franchisees, and with the normal cycle of franchisee tenure, there are opportunities to enter the Franchisee Training Programme.

McDonald’s New Zealand managing director, David Howse, explains some of the key attributes required of a franchisee.

“We are looking to recruit highly motivated individuals with a proven ability to build an organisation and demonstrate a pioneering spirit and leading edge attitude. Honesty and integrity are fundamental attributes of individuals that choose to learn and grow with McDonald’s. The ability to motivate, coach and develop others to provide outstanding customer satisfaction is essential.

McDonald’s success is built on a foundation of integrity.  Hundreds of millions of people around the world trust our brand and we earn that trust every day by respecting our customers and employees, and delivering outstanding quality, service, cleanliness and value.”

Together with the company’s suppliers, the franchisees form independent partnerships in a system designed to ensure success for all involved. A McDonald’s franchisee runs a business with the rewards that come from entrepreneurial ownership, while being supported by world-famous systems in the areas of real estate, construction, operations, training, human resources, marketing and purchasing.

The McDonald’s franchise system is unique, and to be considered for the Franchisee Training Programme, there are several key requirements and considerations:

  • A McDonald’s franchisee signs a 20 year term, so this is a long term commitment
  • Franchisees must have $1.5 million in unencumbered equity to invest into the business
  • The Franchisee Training Programme is unpaid and takes around 12 months to complete
  • In order to secure a restaurant, franchisees must be willing to consider moving around the country

McDonald’s considers a number of factors when assessing an application to become a franchisee. Key priorities include:

  • A track record in recruiting and training successful high performance teams, including planning for succession.
  • Creating and implementing business plans with long term and short term objectives.
  • Delivering financial results in a commercial environment.
  • Strong management skills, including managing teams in a high pressure, dynamic workplace.
  • Experience in a high paced customer environment, working in a high-volume, high-turnover industry, whilst putting the customer first.
  • Experience in a highly standardised operational/production oriented environment.
  • Managing capital expenditure for a business that requires ongoing investment.
  • An ability to step up and take accountability for the success of a business and you can operate independently.

McDonald’s franchisees work closely together, and in consultation with head office on key decision making. This includes groups of franchisees elected by their peers to endorse planning and investment in areas such as marketing, IT, people practices, profitability, and operations.

Skills and training

On your quest to become a McDonald’s franchisee you’ll experience personal growth and gain management skills that you’ll find invaluable. And along the way you’ll have the guidance of  McDonald’s proven franchisee training model, plus all the support and nuggets of knowledge that can be offered on a local and national level.

Successful applicants will participate in a 12 month full-time training programme. Ninety five percent of the training is completed in a McDonald’s restaurant.  McDonald’s makes no payment to the candidate during this training period. In addition, the candidate will be required to complete six core management training courses. Five of the six courses are held regionally, within New Zealand, with the sixth course is held in Australia. All costs associated with attendance at the courses (travel and accommodation) will be the sole responsibility of the candidate.

On completing the training the registered applicant is then able to put themselves forward to purchase a restaurant, as and when they become available.

Areas available

McDonald’s is looking for applicants who are willing to relocate anywhere across the North or South Islands.

On average McDonald’s opens 3-5 restaurants each year. In addition, there are a number of sale and purchases that take place between franchisees as they either take on new restaurants themselves, or they exit the McDonald’s system.

To find out more, visit mcdonalds.co.nz/franchise-opportunities or email franchising@nz.mcd.com.

Franchisee comments

“Hospitality is a demanding business and you need to choose your partner carefully. The McDonald’s franchise is a big stakes business. It needs significant capital, has large staff numbers and is an open all hours business. However, with risk there is reward, and partnering with a world wide franchisor, with leading edge support across all aspects of the business is a significant factor to consider.

I have owned McDonald’s restaurants since 1991 and I am still lovin’ it."

Trevor Campbell, Franchisee and NZ Franchisee Leadership Group Chair 


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