7th December 2023 – (New York) McDonald’s, the global fast-food giant, announced its ambitious plan to open approximately 10,000 new stores worldwide by 2027, marking what the company expects to be the “fastest period of growth” in its 60-year history. In a news statement issued on Wednesday, McDonald’s expressed confidence in its future prospects and emphasized its commitment to expanding its global footprint.
While inflation has driven up prices at fast-food restaurants and limited-service establishments by 6.2% over the past year, McDonald’s has managed to thrive in this challenging environment. The company reported an impressive 8.1% increase in same-store sales and generated $6.69 billion in revenue for the third quarter. This surge in demand has prompted McDonald’s to accelerate its pace of restaurant openings, with the goal of growing from its current count of 40,000 locations in over 100 countries to a staggering 50,000 stores worldwide.
A spokesperson from McDonald’s confirmed the company’s plans to open 900 new restaurants in the United States, with the remaining establishments set to be located internationally. Alongside this expansion, McDonald’s has set ambitious targets to enhance its loyalty program, aiming to increase its user base from 150 million to 250 million by 2027.
To further improve its restaurant operations, McDonald’s plans to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technology. The company announced a partnership with Google Cloud to explore automation innovations that will lead to “hotter, fresher food.” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, expressed excitement about McDonald’s utilization of generative AI, cloud computing, and edge computing tools.
McDonald’s has been experimenting with AI to streamline its operations for several years. In 2019, the company acquired Israeli technology firm Dynamic Yield for $300 million, enabling the customization of digital menu boards based on individual customer preferences.
In December of the same year, McDonald’s unveiled its first automated test restaurant in Texas, aiming to discover “new ways to serve customers faster and easier than ever before.” This innovative establishment relies heavily on automation, where customers can place orders through the mobile app or self-service kiosks, and their food is delivered via an automatic conveyor system. As the labor market faces challenges with shortages, experts predict an increasing reliance on automation, particularly in low-wage positions within the fast-food and service industries.
Starting in 2024, McDonald’s plans to roll out new software, empowered by AI, to benefit both customers and restaurants. This technological advancement will further enhance the overall dining experience, ensuring efficiency and customer satisfaction.