mbafwi - you may want to check out sites like http://franchisepundit.com/
I don't think McDonalds and other 'non-glamorous' franchises net all that much money, and often the financial projections assume the franchisee is also the manager.
I'm not sure if the adjusted net includes an adjustment for managers. However, let's just say conservatively, worst case scenario, that you need 1 manager at each. They'd get paid $35,000 * 9 = $315,000. $1 million net.
This is an interesting one, as they have a package deal of 9 of them. They are commanding a 5.7x EBITDA multiple. Generally, businesses in this range go for 4-5x cash flow.
Ex: https://www.businessbroker.net/Business ... 51161.aspx
Obviously, this is a lot easier said than done. The financial modeling is the easy part -- actually operating them effectively is the challenge. You need a certain personality type to succeed at this -- that's why McDonalds requires their people to start at the bottom. I couldn't do food service personally, but congrats to those who can.
Truthfully, I think the reason that MBA's dont bother with ownership of these businesses/franchises is because they tend to own/create bigger things. If you have an MBA from a top 7 school and a solid general management track record, you could conceivably lead an investor-backed leveraged buyout of a much larger business and still hold a sizable equity stake.
The kind of people that buy a McDonald's franchise are generally not smart enough (or connected enough) to lead a PE-backed buyout of a $100M or $500M business and grow it -- this requires a lot of the financial and management expertise that they teach you in business school.