OAK BROOK, IL and BEIJING, CHINA--(Marketwired - Mar 31, 2016) - McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) today announced its intent to identify strategic partners who will add value and unlock growth potential in key markets throughout Asia to advance the company's future growth plans. The company is seeking partners who would enhance its competitive advantages and resources to enable localized decisions on growth initiatives and increase capital resources to further invest in restaurant expansion and modernization.
"Asia represents a significant area of opportunity for McDonald's to blend our global quality standards with local insights and expertise from partners who share our vision and values," said Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's President and CEO. "This will allow McDonald's to accelerate our growth and scale faster across diverse markets placing us closer to our customers and the communities we serve. We're in the midst of transforming our business and taking a strategic and thoughtful approach to enhance our ability to grow around the world. These actions build on our turnaround efforts and will advance local ownership, enable faster decision-making and achieve restaurant growth."
China, Hong Kong and Korea collectively represent more than 2,800 restaurant locations, the majority of which are currently company-owned. Those countries are included within the company's High-Growth Markets, a segment which includes countries with relatively higher restaurant expansion and franchising potential. The company intends to add more than 1,500 restaurants in China, Hong Kong and Korea over the next five years.
As part of a way to advance growth in Asia, the company also recently announced its intent to identify strategic partners in Taiwan and Japan. Last year, McDonald's committed to strategically evaluate ownership structures in markets around the world with the overall goal of reducing the number of restaurants that the company owns and operates. The result of this will be to place more restaurants under local ownership, in the hands of local franchisees, with a long-term goal of being 95% franchised. The identification of strategic partners in Asia is consistent with this strategy.
McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 36,000 locations in more than 100 countries. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.