What would be McDonald's franchisee weakness in Afghanistan?
By considering Afghanistan's market situation, please give me an appropriate answer related to its weaknesses.
Some excellent answers already offered, and Patrick is spot on about supply chain security.
My initial concern would be whether McDonald's can source a highly sophisticated and capitalized master franchise partner, which will be very important to franchisees. It's common practice for franchise companies to partner with a master franchise company that has a wealth of business experience in a particular country, and the capital to manage growth.
The positive development is that many American franchise brands are either in Afghanistan, or are considering franchise development, which makes it easier for other franchise companies to follow. This is also important for franchisees.
So, I suspect that McDonald's has already considered Afghanistan as a target country, and have conducted significant research on whether the brand would work and thrive.
Perhaps being an American chain in Afghanistan would be a disadvantage in itself. So I guess the franchisee has to find a way to reduce that image and reflect itself as 'we are one of you' image.
What is the average salary of the people in the region you'd be looking at building in.
What are their eating habits (do they eat out do they eat in do they eat in groups etc).
Where are the high traffic areas in town?
Are there any areas that are of higher traffic and lower real estate price?
What is the shipping and delivery infrastructure there?
What is the building and maintenance costs of a facility in that part of town?
What could go wrong (do you have the cash to cover those failures)?
Hope this helps.
Disclaimer: I haven't conducted any research on this specifically, all of the following information is just off the top of my head (the cost of free, right? :) ) Also note, I'm flagging risks - not weaknesses. I'm not qualified to state what risks are valid weaknesses and which are just issues I haven't read up on enough yet. A question like this is usually a lot of work to get through thoroughly.
1) Stability - a lot of insideous politics are still at play in a lot of regions. In leiu of a stable infrastructure, you'll have to budget for things like bribes and safe passage tolls
2) Supply - there are no current McDonalds' in Afganistan. A big part of the value offered from a franchise like this is it's logicstics and supply network. How will they supply you with their branded goods? Beyond food, you still have to think about cups, wrapers, napkins, even McDonalds cleaning solvents.
3) Security - I suspect that owning and operating a McDonalds in Afganistant is tetamount to planting a comerce flag in the ground. The area needs to be safe, secure, and death-free. If there are any risks at all accociated with going to a McDonalds (even if the association is unfounded) it'll really cost you in sales volume. This is an especially sketchy area for me, as I'm not at all versed in Afganistan's opinion on brands and recognition thereof.
Most importantly though, is appeal. Are McDonald hamburgers something that the Afgani people really demanding right now? I suspect it would be expensive for the average person, and I have no idea what the percieved quality would be (would people see the food as being enticing enough to spend the money to buy vs. local competitors). You'll also have to contend with McDonalds branding issues, which normally prevent you from making it a "local" thing - so will the perception of the "faceless corporation restaurant" be a deterrant for potential buyers?
While I am not familiar with the franchise market specifically in Afghanistan, I used to do a fair amount of international business. The answer depends on a lot of specific facts. For example, is McDonald's currently in Afghanistan? If so, how is the brand perceived. If not, has any research been done on the local market and people's interest in such a restaurant. Also, you will need to become familiar with local business requirements. Are their permits and licenses needed? Are their local fees associated with operating such a business. I know this doesn't really answer your question, but I hope it provides some food for thought...pun intended. Best of luck!