More than 400 of the new restaurants opening this year will be split between the U.S., Australia and a handful of European countries that include Germany, Italy, Spain and France. About 900 will be in China, and the remaining locations will be in other global markets.
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McDonald's hasn't grown its restaurant count in the U.S. since 2014, CEO Chris Kempczinski told analysts this morning.
“We haven't added new units in the U.S. in eight years,” he said. “We have been focused largely on our remodeling program, and in that same period of time, I think everybody would agree our U.S. business is in significantly better shape today than it was back then.”
The new growth strategy builds on McDonald's 2020 “Accelerating the Arches” plan, which will also create new leadership roles, push out more innovation and stop or reprioritize certain initiatives, which could result in job cuts. McDonald's said in early January that those decisions will be finalized by April 3.
The company expects about 4% unit growth from the 1,500 net new restaurants set to open this year, said Chief Financial Officer Ian Borden. Along with the more than 700 restaurants that opened in 2022, the new locations are expected to contribute 1.5% to systemwide sales growth. McDonald's plans to spend between $2.3 billion and $2.4 billion on capital expenditures, about half of which will go toward new openings, Borden said.
For comparison, the company opened 1,494 restaurants and closed 661 in 2021, up from 977 openings and 643 closings in 2020. At the end of 2021, the chain operated more than 40,000 restaurants worldwide, more than 13,400 of which were in the U.S.