"Every quarter we sell a smaller percentage of our menu at full (and profitable) price," one respondent to the survey said in a comment.
Another wrote the company was "couponing like there is no tomorrow."
Other respondents said the McWrap sandwich was helping margins, but was, on the other hand, "an operational nightmare," that was slowing down service.
The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that the survey of 25 franchise operators was released by research firm Janney Capital Markets.
The 25 operators represent 180 McDonald's outlets, the newspaper said.
The numbers may look small, but the group represents franchise owners who operate 90 percent of the company's 14,000 U.S. outlets.
The survey shows some franchise operators frustrated with headquarters. U.S. president Jeff Stratton has recently said an emphasis on the low-margin Dollar Menu has kept restaurant traffic steady, even though franchise operators have said it could diminish profits.
McDonald's headquarters would not comment on the survey, citing a media "quiet period," in advance of a quarterly performance report, which is set for release on Friday.