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McDonald’s Fast Food Empire Expanding Rapidly Worldwide

McDonald’s, the world’s largest burger chain, is planning a massive expansion with a goal to open almost 10,000 new restaurants over the next four years. This unprecedented growth will bring the total number of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide to 50,000 by the end of 2027, up from the current 40,275. The company aims to achieve this feat by opening 900 new stores in the US and 1,900 in international markets, including Canada, Germany, the UK, and Australia. Additionally, it plans to open another 7,000 stores in international markets operated by licensees, with more than half of those locations in China.

The rapid expansion is driven by the explosive growth of delivery demand, which has grown from $1 billion to over $16 billion globally. To keep up with this demand, McDonald’s plans to open new restaurants with dedicated pickup areas for delivery drivers to ease congestion and provide faster and hotter food delivery. However, Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski emphasized the importance of opening actual restaurants, rather than just delivery-only kitchens, citing the need for customers to have a physical dining experience.

Kempczinski also dismissed concerns about cannibalizing sales from existing McDonald’s locations, stating that the company is filling gaps in underserved areas and preventing competitors from snatching up good property. He noted that it took 33 years for McDonald’s to open its first 10,000 restaurants and only 18 years to grow from 30,000 to 40,000.

The company is under pressure to keep up with its fast-growing peers, such as Starbucks, which plans to open 55,000 stores globally by 2030. To stay ahead, McDonald’s announced a multi-year partnership with Google Cloud, which will enable the company to move restaurant computations to the cloud, speeding up menu recommendations and staffing optimization.


McDonald’s strong performance has given the company the confidence to invest in new stores and technology. The company’s same-store sales rose nearly 9% worldwide in the third quarter, despite a slight decline in US traffic. McDonald’s is focused on core menu items, which make up 65% of sales systemwide, and is introducing new items such as burgers with softer, freshly toasted buns, meltier cheese, and more Big Mac sauce.

The company is also prioritizing its chicken sales, which have reached $25 billion annually and are growing fast. McDonald’s plans to bring its McCrispy sandwich to nearly all global markets by 2025 and sees significant opportunity to grow coffee sales. The company already sells eight million cups of coffee daily, but plans to promote one brand, McCafe, and streamline its equipment suppliers to create a more consistent global coffee experience.

McDonald’s is poised for a rapid expansion, driven by the growth of delivery demand and a focus on core menu items. The company’s partnership with Google Cloud and plans to invest in new technology will help it stay ahead of its competitors and achieve its ambitious growth targets.

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