McDonald's Aims for Unprecedented Growth

The burger chain anticipates opening nearly 10,000 restaurants.

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McDonald's expects to open nearly 10,000 restaurants over the next four years, a pace of growth that would be unprecedented even for the world's largest burger chain.

Ahead of a day-long event for investors, the Chicago burger giant said Wednesday that it aims to have 50,000 restaurants in operation worldwide by the end of 2027. McDonald's had 40,275 restaurants at the start of this year.

Other national chains are expanding at a rapid clip as well. Starbucks said last month it expects to have 55,000 stores globally by 2030, up from 38,000 today.

More details are expected Wednesday during McDonald's investor event, including where store growth will be concentrated.

The company also announced a partnership with Google Cloud, which it said Wednesday will help it accelerate automated services and reduce complexity for its employees.

McDonald's same-store sales rose nearly 9% worldwide in the third quarter, even as U.S. traffic fell slightly.

The company is focused on core menu items like Quarter Pounders and fries which, according to McDonald's, make up 65% of sales systemwide.

Burgers with softer, freshly toasted buns, meltier cheese and more Big Mac sauce are coming to U.S. restaurants by the end of 2024 and most other markets by the end of 2025. McDonald's said chicken sales are now on par with beef, and it plans to bring its McCrispy sandwich to nearly all global markets by 2025.

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