Almost everyone knows the iconic Big Mac. And it’s just one of the many products McDonald’s launched over the years that helped them propel to success. This article will discuss how big McDonald’s has become in North America in 2018.
The country with the highest number of McDonald’s not just in North America, but worldwide, as expected, is the United States. As of 2018, McDonald’s is the leading quick service restaurant chain in the United States in terms of systemwide sales, accounting for approximately 38 billion US dollar.
If you go to the United States, it seems like there’s a McDonald’s on every corner. So it’s normal to assume that whichever state you go to in the US, you’ll find a McDonald’s. It’s true for the most part. Forty nine out of the fifty states in the US have McDonald’s. The odd city out? Montpelier, Vermont.
To be fair, Montpelier is the smallest capital in terms of population size, with only about 7,500 people. Furthermore, Montpelier tends to favor local businesses over large chains. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t have Burger King as well.
As of the fiscal year 2018, McDonald’s reported a total of US$5.9 billion, with an annual revenue of US$21 billion, a 7,9% decrease from the previous fiscal year. McDonald’s shares traded at roughly $145 per share while its market capitalization was valued at over US$134.5 billion in September 2018.
Revenue of McDonald's Corporation worldwide from 2005 to 2019 (in billion US dollars)
McDonald’s might definitely not confirm the exact number of how many big macs have been sold worldwide since the iconic sandwich launched, but the restaurant reports that they serve roughly 550 million Big Macs every year in the US alone.
This equates to more than 1.5 million Big Macs sold in the US every single day of the year. A website named Every Second, is a dedicated counter that shows the number of Big Mac and other signature McDonald’s items sold every second.
The Big Mac Index is regarded as an indicator for the purchasing power of an economy. It’s been published by The Economist since 1986 and is rated as a simplified gauge of a country’s individual’s purchasing power. For context, the Big Mac debuted at just $0.45 back in 1967 in Uniontown, PA.
The first McDonald’s restaurant was started in 1948 in San Bernardino, California by brothers Maurice (Mac) and Richard McDonald. They bought appliances for their small burger place from salesman Ray Kroc, who got curious as to why the brothers needed eighth malt and shake mixers.
When Kroc visited the brothers in 1954, he discovered a simple, efficient format that allowed the brothers to produce huge quantities of food at low prices. Kroc saw great potential in their restaurant concept so he offered to start a franchise program for the McDonald brothers. On April 15, 1955, he opened the first McDonald’s franchise in Des Plaines, Illinois, and eventually launched the McDonald’s corporation the same year, then buying out the McDonald’s brothers in 1961.
The Clever reported the top 20 most sold McDonald’s items in North America. And as expected, their french fries is still the most popular item on their menu. It’s been so since they first opened their doors in the 1940s. Their french fries have a distinctive flavor which comes from the addition of beef flavor.
A Zagat survey conducted in 2007, ranked McDonald’s fries as the best tasting one according to 63% of those surveyed. Burger King and Wendy’s were tied in second place at measly 10% each.
|3||Mac snack wrap|
|6||Baked apple pie and apple slices|
|10||Mcgriddles breakfast sandwich|
|12||Quarter pounder with cheese|
|19||Mcflurry with brownie pieces or oreo cookies|
|20||Fruit n’ yogurt parfait|
Globally known brand McDonald’s recorded a net income of over $6 billion in 2019. The net income saw an increase from the previous year’s figure of around $5.92 billion. In the same year, McDonald’s generated $21.08 billion in revenue.
Currently, the median pay rate for McDonald’s food preparers and cashiers is at $8.13 per hour. By 2016, the company anticipated that the average hourly rate for McDonald’s employees at company-owned restaurants will exceed $10.
The chain only operates 10% of the McDonald’s restaurants in the US. Franchisees operate the remaining 3,100 restaurants, which means 640,000 McDonald’s crew members are wishing they worked at a corporate-owned restaurant.
This move caught some franchisees off-guard, and they may need to follow the McDonald’s corporate and increase their minimum wage.
During the first half of 2018, McDonald’s reported a decline in guest counts in the first six month of the year in the US, as rivals like Burger King grabbed market share from the Golden Arches as they’re able to offer more value for money.
Although the introduction of all-day breakfast helped drive the customer traffic by 1% in 2017, which is McDonald’s first uptick in four years. Then CEO Steve Easterbrook believed that the key for turning around the once-stumbling chain, with 14,000 restaurants across the US, included a generous dose of modernizing its outdated restaurants and adding healthy options on their menu.
The plan seemed to work — until it didn’t. McDonald’s was losing customers in the US compared to a year ago. Easterbrook explained this is partly because more people opt to have breakfast elsewhere.
McDonald’s feeds 68 million people per day, which is about 1% of the world’s population. That equates to more than 75 hamburgers every second. According to the company estimates, one in every eight American workers has been employed by McDonald’s. For the next three years, McDonald’s is going to open one restaurant every day in China.
McDonald’s is undeniably the world’s leading quick service restaurant with over 38,000 locations in over 119 markets. Apart from being widely popular, it’s also hailed as the most valuable fast food brand in the world in 2019, with an estimated brand value of approximately $130.37 billion.
During the first quarter of 2019, McDonald’s forked up $300 million on startup Dynamic Yield. The move is part of the chain’s plan to fast track its digital transformation. This enables the Golden Arches to provide more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital thrive-thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic, and trending menu items.
McDonald’s said the acquisition would allow it to become one of the first companies to integrate decision technology into the customer point-of-sale at a brick-and-mortar location. It began testing the technology in several units in 2018.
“Zoom boards” or small digital screens is also another thing that the company installed at the drive-thru, which provides real-time service times within the restaurant. It helps identify where the bottlenecks are – from cash-handling, payment, and as the case may be, if guests are being asked to park and wait because their food isn’t ready yet.
McDonald’s has made a series of tech-forward changes as part of its Velocity Growth Plan, which includes development of their mobile app, delivery via UberEATS, indoor and outdoor digital menu boards, mobile order and pay, and the self-order kiosks that define the Experience of the Future design.
The company rolled the Experience of the Future design to about 4,500 locations at a cost of around $1.5 billion in 2018, or more than 10 new restaurants each day throughout the year. They’re planning to invest close to $1 billion of capital to complete another 2,000 projects.
With all these technology-driven initiatives, it’s safe to stay that the infamous golden arches is here to stay and keep up with the demands of the ever-changing customer behavior. Although growth has been slow throughout the years, McDonald’s is banking on their modernization to continue their dominance in North America and the world.
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