The world's largest fast food chain McDonald's Corp plans to open more than 125 stores in China this year to meet the surging market demand in one of its fastest growing markets.
Efforts to catch up quickly with its biggest rival Yum! Brand Inc's KFC in China also got ramped up as the chain plans another 150 outlets in China in 2009, Jeff Schwartz, the company's China chief executive, said yesterday.
The aggressive expansion plan tracks a 12.3-percent comparable sales growth and nine percent increase of its guest accounts for last year from a year earlier, Lisa Howard, general manager of cooperate communication in McDonald's China, told Shanghai Daily.
"Drive through stores will be a focus as Chinese customers are adapting quickly to the concept as well as the breakfast service and 24-hour stores," Howard said.
The development of China's fast food industry has been on a fast track thanks to China's robust economy.
KFC now boasts more than 2,000 stores across the country, nearly double the number of McDonald's. Competition also heats up with new arrivals like Burger King.
As the leading partner of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, McDonald's has been taking advantage of a massive marketing campaign to boost sales and promote brand.
It will open a new restaurant in the Olympic village and another two outlets in the Olympic Green Park and the media center.
The company yesterday inaugurated its Crew Rally Program to recruit 1,200 crews to serve at the Olympics.
(Shanghai Daily January 30, 2008)