For casual-dining chains, refranchising is a mixed bag

May 30, 2017

This post is part of the On the Margin blog.

Refranchising has been de rigueur in the restaurant industry for roughly forever. Numerous chains, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Applebee’s and others, have opted to sell company-owned restaurants to franchisees as part of turnaround strategies.

Yet refranchising is neither a panacea for whatever ails a restaurant chain, nor is it a necessity for a chain to turn around sagging fortunes.

We say this because of the current proxy fight involving Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. and Marcato Capital Management. The investor has been pushing for changes at the chain since last year, and wants