Few people know it, but the idea for the Big Mac came from a McDonald's franchisee. Same with the Egg McMuffin. Ronald McDonald? The brainchild of an eager and innovative owner-operator of a McDonald's store. Perhaps the fact that McDonald's management listens so carefully to its franchisees has something to do with the burger empire being named Entrepreneur's number-one franchise for 1997. Maybe it's the structure of the McDonald's franchise system. Or could it be the special sauce?
Whatever the combination of ingredients that has made McDonald's a legend, the company has reason to be proud. "We have set the stage for modern franchising," says Jack M. Greenberg, chairman of McDonald's USA. And with nearly 20,000 stores worldwide, McDonald's is poised for continued growth.