McD’s Sells Off One Partner

Dec 16, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

McDonald’s announced yesterday it was selling the 182 unit Donatos Pizzeria chain back to the chain’s founder, James Grote, less than five years after it acquired the business.

The fast food giant has made clear its intention to reduce its involvement in its “partner brands” to focus on its core burger business.

Many had expected McDonald’s to announce the sale of its Boston Market business yesterday, as well. Instead the company has decided to keep Boston Market and its Chipotle Mexican
Grill units for now. McDonald’s chairman and chief executive officer, James Cantalupo, said the two are “sizable companies that can operate autonomously.”

Moderator’s Comment: Will McDonald’s remaining partner brands flourish or fall with more autonomy?

Boston Market, from our vantage point, is a business with a name in search of an identity. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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