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McDonald's Renews Effort to Upgrade Kitchens in Food-Quality Bid

  • Company asking franchisees to spend thousands on equipment
  • Development of better chicken underway to challenge rivals
Photographer: Noriyuki Aida/Bloomberg

McDonald’s Corp. is making a new push to get franchisees to upgrade their kitchen equipment, aiming to win back customers with improved fried chicken and higher-end desserts. It won’t be cheap.

The company’s independent operators, who own about 92 percent of the more than 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S., may have to shell out about $100,000 per store for new equipment, along with other upgrades like LED lighting, according to internal company documents provided to Bloomberg News. The documents were part of a presentation package sent from corporate headquarters to franchisees this month.