Bristol, England – December 7, 2023
In a strategic move to further solidify its global presence, McDonald’s has set forth ambitious goals, aiming to open nearly 9,000 new restaurants and add a staggering 100 million members to its loyalty program by 2027. As of September 30, the iconic fast-food chain operated 41,198 restaurants worldwide, a number it plans to catapult to 50,000 locations within the next four years.
These groundbreaking objectives were disclosed by McDonald’s ahead of its investor day, signaling a commitment to sustained growth and an eagerness to reassure shareholders of the enduring popularity of its flagship offerings, such as the Big Mac and McNuggets. Despite concerns about economic conditions and potential competition from weight-loss drugs, McDonald’s remains confident in its ability to captivate consumer interest.
For the year 2024, McDonald’s projects a net new restaurant growth of 4%, with almost 2% of the systemwide sales growth in constant currency attributed to expanding its restaurant footprint. Post-2024, the company envisions an annual growth rate of 4% to 5%, with new locations contributing approximately 2.5% of systemwide sales growth in constant currency.
The extensive expansion plans come with a significant financial commitment. In the year 2024, McDonald’s foresees capital expenditures amounting to $2.5 billion, reflecting a rise from the projected range of “$2.2 billion to $2.4 billion” for the year 2023. The company plans to further elevate capital expenditures from 2025 through 2027 by an incremental $300 million to $500 million annually.
McDonald’s aims to realize its ambitious growth objectives by unveiling 900 additional establishments in the United States, 1,900 restaurants within its globally operated markets sector, and around 7,000 units in its international developmental licensed markets division. The latter includes key markets like France, Canada, Australia, and notably, China, where McDonald’s recently reclaimed a minority stake in its business.
Acknowledging the shift in consumer demographics, McDonald’s executives assert that the current restaurant footprint is outdated, and the expansion aligns with demographic trends, particularly in the South and Southeast regions of the United States.
In addition to its physical expansion, McDonald’s aims to substantially grow its loyalty program, targeting a quarter of a billion active members by 2027. This goal is part of McDonald’s broader strategy to leverage data as a significant competitive advantage. The loyalty program, once in testing in the U.S., has now become a powerhouse, driving mobile sales and fostering customer retention.
McDonald’s also announced a strategic partnership with Alphabet’s Google Cloud, deploying artificial intelligence to enhance restaurant operations. The collaboration aims to improve the overall customer and crew experience, streamlining processes and ensuring accurate orders.
As the company gears up for the most accelerated growth phase in its 68-year history, McDonald’s remains committed to its core menu items. The introduction of the “Best Burger” and the expansion of its chicken offerings, including the McCrispy sandwich, reflect the company’s dedication to innovation and meeting evolving consumer preferences.
With a focus on digital, delivery, and drive-throughs, McDonald’s aims not only to expand its physical footprint but also to enhance the overall customer journey, making the iconic golden arches an even more ubiquitous presence in the global fast-food landscape.