McDonald's has finally agreed to trial allowing franchisees to operate other restaurant concepts, including brands acquired by the fastfood giant and even some that belong to competitors. Those campaigning for an opportunity to increase the products offered to consumers have long been concerned about growth opportunities in what is undeniably a saturated market.

A veteran franchisee from Dayton, Ohio, will soon also be operating up to three Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants, in which McDonald's gained a majority stake last year. Similarly, two other brands to have been recently acquired by the golden arches, Boston Market and Donatos Pizza are expected to be run by other McDonald's franchisees.

In addition, a spokesman for McDonald's, Brad Trask, revealed that: "Hundreds of operators expressed interest to be considered to work with other brands."

Looking for increased revenue growth is a sensitive topic for McDonald's franchisees and industry cynics do not believe that new units and different brands will help. Former franchisee Dick Adams pointed out that, "with the number of McDonald's restaurants in the US, no matter where they build these new brands, they're going to encroach and cannibalise a[nother] McDonald's."