McDonald’s plans to open nearly 9,000 restaurants and gain 100 million loyalty members by 2027

A McDonald’s store sign in Austin, Texas, October 30, 2023.

Brandon Bell |Getty Images

McDonald’s plans to open more than 8,800 locations and add 100 million members to its loyalty program by 2027.

The goals are part of the fast food giant’s long-term plans to increase sales across its already sprawling restaurant footprint.

McDonald’s announced its new targets ahead of its investor day on Wednesday, trying to reassure shareholders that diners’ appetite for its Big Macs and McNuggets is still growing even as Wall Street worries about the economy and the threat of drug-related threats weight loss makes. The burger chain is expected to provide more details about how it plans to continue attracting customers, including by phasing out an improved version of its burger and doubling its chicken offerings.

For 2024, McDonald’s forecast system-wide sales growth of 2% at constant exchange rates and net new restaurant growth of 4%.

After 2024, the company is targeting system-wide revenue growth of 2.5% on a constant currency basis. It plans to increase the number of its restaurants by 4 to 5% annually.

McDonald’s major development plans will mean higher capital expenditure. For 2024, the company expects capital expenditures of $2.5 billion, increasing from $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion in 2023. And for each year beginning in 2025 By 2027, McDonald’s expects to increase its capital expenditures sequentially by $300 million to $500 million.

By 2027, McDonald’s aims to have a global presence of 50,000 locations. As of September 30, the chain had 41,198 restaurants worldwide. For comparison, Starbucks announced in November that it plans to open 55,000 cafes worldwide by 2030, compared to the current number of more than 38,000.

Most of the new McDonald’s locations will be in the U.S. and the international market segment, which includes France, Canada and Australia. Executives said the current footprint is outdated and does not reflect where consumers currently live, including the shift to the South and Southeast U.S

In January, in a broader corporate restructuring announcement, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said the company would accelerate the development of new restaurants. This is the first time the company has announced its new development goals.

In addition to its ambitious plans to expand its footprint, McDonald’s aims to reach a quarter of a billion active members for its loyalty program by 2027. At its last investor day of 2020, the company was still testing the loyalty program in the U.S. Since then, it has grown into a behemoth, driving mobile sales and encouraging customers to come back more often.

McDonald’s also announced a partnership with Alphabet’s Google Cloud and is using artificial intelligence in its restaurants to improve operations.

“We are excited to see how McDonald’s will use our generative AI, cloud and edge computing tools to enhance the iconic dining experience for its employees and customers around the world,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement.