Updated December 7, 2023 at 11:44 a.m. ET
McDonald's plans to open 10,000 new stores worldwide by 2027, in what the world's largest fast food chain says is the brand's “fastest growth period” in its history, but it also plans to use artificial intelligence to automate its restaurants. It also announced a partnership with Google to
McDonald's said it expects systemwide sales from the new restaurants to increase by nearly 2%, according to a press release.
A McDonald's spokesperson told CBS that 900 new restaurants will open in the U.S. and the rest will open overseas.
The company also plans to roll out its “Best Burger Initiative,'' an initiative to revamp some of its menu and improve the quality of its burgers, to nearly all markets by 2026, and will further expand its “Best Burger Initiative,'' an initiative to improve the quality of its hamburgers. It plans to invest more in its chicken business. Deliver the McCree Chicken Sandwich to nearly every market by 2025.
The chain says it wants to use generative AI to accelerate its automation efforts in stores and help employees find faster solutions to problems.
50,000. If all goes according to plan, there will be this many McDonald's restaurants open by 2027.
The announcement was made during McDonald's Investor Day on Wednesday. Manu Stejjardt, McDonald's chief customer officer, said it took the company 33 years to open its first 10,000 restaurants, and 18 years to grow from 30,000 to 40,000 restaurants, according to the Associated Press. He said it took a while. Steijert also said the company's explosion in delivery requests is helping drive demand for new restaurants. McDonald's also plans to further expand its delivery capabilities through the app, with the company predicting that 30% of deliveries will come from the app by 2027. As for McDonald's new investment in AI, this is the latest sign of the company's growing interest in automation. In December, the company unveiled its first partially automated test store, where orders are placed at a kiosk and delivered via a conveyor belt. The project received mixed reactions on social media, with some people expressing concerns about whether the technology would affect people's jobs. McDonald's, on the other hand, claimed that the car service would help human kitchen staff serve customers more efficiently. Other fast-food restaurants are investing in artificial intelligence as well, with Wendy's testing an AI chatbot to help customers place drive-thru orders earlier this year.
Late Wednesday, McDonald's announced new details about its new beverage-focused CosMc's restaurant concept, which could compete with chains like Starbucks. As part of a limited test, the company opened its first CosMc location in Illinois this month and plans to roll out the concept in 10 pilot locations by the end of next year.
Correction (12/7): This article was changed to clarify that McCrispie sandwiches will be available in nearly all markets by 2025 and that the company's new automated test store will employ several human staff. Updated.
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