Oak Brook, Illinois-McDonald's Corp. is expected to cut the number of its franchisees in the coming months, Dow Jones Newswires reports. The company previously announced plans to improve customer experience, cut corporate overhead and eliminate financially weak franchisees in the United States while strengthening its bottom line.

Franchisees and Wall Street sources say company officials have outlined the proposed downsizing in recent days. The size of the anticipated reduction is uncertain, but some sources say as many as one-fourth of the company's U.S. franchisees might be vulnerable. A McDonald's spokesman strongly denied that hundreds of franchisees may be asked or forced to leave the system, according to Dow. -Crain's Chicago Business