The iconic golden arches are still standing strong, even more so after McDonald’s announced positive results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2017. And while it might seem like there isn’t a McDonald’s-less place left on earth, with sales and customer traffic on the up-and-up from 2017, the fast-food chain plans to keep the ball rolling and add over 1,000 stores in 2018.
"2017 was a strong year for McDonald's as customers responded to the many ways we are making their experience more convenient and enjoyable," said President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook in a press release. "We served more customers more often, achieved our best comparable sales performance in six years, gained share in markets around the world, and made tremendous progress with growth platforms such as delivery, mobile order and pay, and Experience of the Future."
In the U.S., fourth quarter comparable sales increased 4.5 percent, which the company attributed to the strong performance of core menu items featured under the McPick 2 platform, as well as strong consumer response to the new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders and delivery. Operating income for the quarter increased 4%, reflecting higher franchised margin dollars and G&A savings, partly offset by lower company-operated margin dollars.
Other fourth quarter highlights included:
Along with the McPick 2 platform, McDonald’s also honed in on low-cost promotions, launched a $1, $2, and $3 menu, and began targeting customers in a different price-tier with items like premium coffee and kale and Sriracha burgers, as reported by AOL.
Other 2017 full year highlights included:
With this year-end success, McDonald is planning big expansion plans for 2018 in order to revamp existing locations and increase its global location-count.
"For 2018, we plan to invest about $2.4 billion of capital, the majority of which will be dedicated to reinvesting in our existing locations through accelerated deployment of Experience of the Future in the U.S.," said Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ozan. "Our development plans also include the opening of about 1,000 new McDonald's restaurants, 75% of which will be funded by our expanded network of developmental licensees and affiliates around the world. At the same time, we plan to continue making meaningful investments in technology to modernize the customer experience and redefine convenience. I'm confident that now is the opportune time to strategically invest in our business and our restaurants to drive profitable growth and become an even better McDonald's."
With convenience in demand more than ever, will McDonald’s aggressive growth strategy continue to yield success for the company? Deli Market News will continue to report with the latest.