The latest results weren't encouraging. Franchisees were asked to quantify the current relationship with the McDonald's corporation using a scale of 1 to 5 (1=poor and 5=excellent). The average response was 1.73, well below the average over the history of the survey.
Here's a sampling of the comments that franchisees sent in the survey:
"Giving away free coffee - what a brilliant, creative idea from the geniuses in Oak Brook."
"Upper management and supporting departments are out of touch. We're spending like crazy on new equipment. Very little return."
"Oak Brook management is out of ammo. Maybe we'll hear some new ideas at the convention."
According to Technomic, a fast food consultant, the average McDonald's menu has 124 items throughout the serving day. That compares to about 104 items on Burger King(BKW)'s menu.
"It has to simplify the menu," said Adams, who argues too many choices slows down prep time and service.
Last year, the average drive-thru service at McDonald's outlets nationwide recorded its slowest pace in at least 15 years, according to a recent report from fast food research firms QSR/Insula. The report blamed its complex menu for the delays.
Franchise owners are expected to pipe up this week and also at the McDonald's shareholder meeting later in May.
"When we come together for global meetings such as our convention, there is always open dialogue and feedback on how we can continue to evolve our business and best serve our customers," McDonald's said in a statement.