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eMac Gives McDonald's Franchisees An E-Break <b></b>

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Chicago-In a move that could profoundly alter themultibillion-dollar fast-food industry, a new Internet procurementsite designed for McDonald's Corp.'s 27,000 franchises isalmost ready to serve.

The site will be launched by eMac Digital, a company founded inJune 2000 and jointly owned by McDonald's and Accel-KKRInternet Co. The as-yet-unnamed procurement hub is the first totarget the fast-food restaurant industry, which is amongAmerica's largest and most profitable.

According to Crain Communications' BtoB, the fast-foodindustry as a whole has been very slow to embrace the Internet, andB2B e-commerce in particular. But the most ambitious part of eMacDigital's hub is its plan to include franchises from otherfast-food companies.

BtoB reports that the procurement hub, set to go live inmid-2001, will allow all of McDonald's franchises across theglobe to buy everything needed to run their restaurants-fromuniforms and spatulas to hamburger buns-all on one site.

Aside from being faster and more convenient for franchisees, theprocurement site will allow business owners to buy supplies andmaterials at a discounted price, ultimately reducing costs forMcDonald's. -Business Wire

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