^I would doubt that is true, a lot of franchise head office send out quality control people. I think it was Quiznos that actually has secret shoppers that actually dissect the sandwich even going as far as weighing the quantity of meat on the sandwich, etc to ensure the franchisee isn't cutting corners
McDonalds was always true for one thing a Big Mac tasted the same in Vancouver as in New York as in Tokyo. I don't believe that a McDonald's franchisee can purchase lettuce, etc outside of corporate. Have you ever seen a Sysco truck at McDonald's? Why would it be different with the coffee?
They also spent a lot of money rolling out the McCafe line to grab a share from Timmy's, Starbucks, etc. I can't see them cutting corners