McDonald's Will Open Thousands More Restaurants This Year

Your region may soon have McDonald's on every corner.On Feb. 5, the fast-food chain stated it would open over 2,100 outlets worldwide in 2024.

About 500 of those openings will be in the US and McDonald's International Operated Markets (IOM), which include France, Canada, and Australia. McDonald's sees "strong returns" in the US and IOM, executive vice president and CFO Ian Borden said on a Feb. 5 earnings call.

McDonald's may expand in the south and southeast this year. In a July 2023 earnings call, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said the business saw possibilities for expanding in places where restaurant development has lagged behind population growth.

"Our footprint reflects what the population looked like probably 20 or 30 years ago," he remarked then. "So you end up finding there's a number of places around the U.S. 

 where we are significantly underdeveloped relative to where the population exists today, [and] that opens up for us a whole bunch of development opportunities for us to go after."

The company's 2024 opening push will be expensive. Borden said McDonald's will spend $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion on capital expenditures this year, more than half of which will go toward new restaurants in America and its IOM nations.

McDonald's aims to open over 1,600 outlets in its International Developmental Licensed Markets (IDL), which comprise all markets except the US and IOM.

 Of the IDL openings, around 1,000 are slated to debut in China alone, Borden added. Overall, the business predicts 4% restaurant growth in 2024.

This big expansion is part of McDonald's ambitious growth plan for the next few years. The firm stated its goal of 50,000 outlets by 2027 in December 2023.

There are more than 40,000 McDonald's restaurants worldwide, so 10,000 could open in the next few years. McDonald's said this would be its "fastest period of growth," in December

It will likely cement McDonald's status as one of the world's leading fast food chains and a major contributor to the U.S. economy.

"We have a clear trajectory for future growth as we continue to build on the brand strength, global footprint, and digital ecosystem that have resulted in unparalleled competitive advantages and cemented McDonald's as one of the world's leading consumer-facing brands," Kempczinski said in a Dec.