What is the difference between these terms (in my OP title)? Some say there is no difference. However, I don’t buy it. A franchise gal/guy buys into some established chain, like McD’s. S/he pays a fortune for the rights to fry burgers and fries under their good name. In return, the owner (as I understand it) agrees to maintain the corporate image and corporate standards.
Now, when there are contests and special offers, it magically seems that there are these “independently owned” restaurants (of the same chain) that do not have to participate. Huh? What did they do…pay double the rate of a franchise to be “independent”? They use the same good name, but often don’t have to do squat. …What are they, just rebel franchisees, or something?
So, am I missing something here?