For the first time in nearly 40 years, McDonald’s, arguably America’s most famous fast food restaurant, plans to shrink the number of US restaurants it will have. It has plans to close more restaurants than it will open this upcoming year, the first time since 1970 according to the Associated Press. A McDonald’s spokesperson stated the reduction would be small compared to its 14,300 stores nationwide. For the most part, McDonald’s has only seen positive growth in its history, but new chains like Chipotle, who are known for serving better food and ingredients, have taken some business away from McDonald’s, along with better burger places opening up such as Burger-Fi and Five Guys.
This April, McDonald’s said it will close around 700 stores that are not meeting expectations. New CEO Steve Easterbrook also said the structure of McDonald's will be changing as well to help perform better. Specific locations haven’t been listed yet, but it is expected to be a mix of Franchises and also company-owned stores. While this reduction seems to have a negative tone, McDonald's rapid expansion and unparalleled success in the fast food industry it was only a matter of time until they had to shrink the amount of stores.
Shrinking the amount of stores they have nationwide could actually help the company become more prosperous, as sales should return to a more healthy level. Even with closing 700+ locations, McDonald's will still remain the nations largest fast food chain. McDonald's believes that closing these stores is their way of strengthening its base of stores.