McDonald's ( MCD) named developmental licensee franchises for its Bulgarian operation.McDonald's said it has used the developmental licensee arrangement for about 20 years in efforts to encourage local ownership and brand development. "It has been a long and careful process to identify those people we wish to entrust with the future of our brand in Bulgaria," McDonald's said. "We have every confidence in the commitment and entrepreneurial skills of the DL franchisees we have chosen for Bulgaria. Our new DL franchisees are a reflection of our key European strategy of preserving local relevance as they understand the market, the people and the opportunities." McDonald's named three new franchisees: Ivan Lissikov, a former McDonald's Bulgaria employee with more than 10 years of employment; and Svetozar Janevski and Zoran Matlievski, longstanding franchisees of McDonald's Macedonia. Bulgaria has 21 McDonald's restaurants that employ over 1,000 Bulgarians and serve over 6million customers a year. The first McDonald's restaurant opened in Plovdiv in 1994.