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Among the most valuable rules that any restaurant-chain executive can attest to is this one: If you’re looking for a good idea, ask your franchisees.
After all, it was McDonald’s franchisees who devised some of the chain’s most popular menu items, including the Egg McMuffin, the Filet-O-Fish and the Big Mac. Subway’s profitable decision to add conveyor toasters to its locations also originated from a franchisee suggestion. And the original bacon cheeseburger—yes, the very first one a chain put on the menu? You can thank an A&W franchisee named Dale Mulder for cooking up that idea in 1963.