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Here's where McDonald's thinks it has whitespace and why


McDonald’s has spent the past several years retrenching, closing underperforming restaurants and getting its system in order. Ten years ago, for instance, there were over about 500 more domestic locations than there are now.

But toward the end of last year, McDonald’s U.S. started to grow again. CEO Chris Kempczinski noted during the company’s Q2 earnings call Thursday that it has “earned that right” because of strong cash flow and performance in recent quarters. Restaurant development is so important to the company now, it was added to the Accelerating the Arches 2.0 pillars in January.

Some of this development, however, may look different than it has throughout the company’s nearly-70-year history. To get a better idea of what that means exactly, take a look at the chain’s Fort Worth, Texas, restaurant that opened in 2022. The to-go-only location features a mobile-order-ahead lane, conveyor system that delivers food to customers, self-order kiosks, curbside and an in-restaurant pickup shelf. At nearly 3,200 square feet, it is 26% smaller than an average, traditional McDonald’s.  


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