How Many McDonalds Locations Are There in the World?

A McDonald's location in Chengdu, China. Editorial credit: testing /
A McDonald's location in Chengdu, China. Editorial credit: testing /

McDonald's was founded in 1940 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald. It was originally intended to be a barbecue restaurant. At present, McDonald's is the second largest chain of fast food restaurants in the world, only after the casual sandwich chain Subway. It has an estimated 36,889 outlets across 120 countries. Around 68 million consumers are served a daily basis. The global headquarters of McDonald's are based in Oak Brook, Illinois, but there is a confirmation that it will be moved to Chicago in early 2018.

Countries With Most McD Restaruants

McDonald's predominantly sells hamburgers, although its menu varies widely depending on location. In many places, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, fruits, wraps, fish, and smoothies. A McDonald's fast food chain can be run either by an affiliate, the McDonald's Corporation or a franchise. According to a 2012 report published by BBC, McDonald's is the second largest private employer after Walmart accounting for 1.5 million employees.

The History Of McDonald's

McDonald's started as a business in 1940 when the McDonald brothers open a small burger joint in San Bernardino, California. At the time, the concept of fast-food was not widespread in American society, although elements had been introduced by early chains such as White Castle. In 1953, the iconic McDonald's golden arches made their debut at a restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1965 a new clown-like mascot known as Ronald McDonald was introduced in an early example of advertising aimed directly at children.

In 1955 Ray Kroc joined the McDonald's company as a franchise agent, subsequently purchasing the restaurant chain from the two brothers. As Kroc was known for his aggressive business politics, he purchased the McDonald equity from brothers, eventually compelling them to retire from the fast-food business. The company was listed on the public stock market promoting its expansion worldwide. Decades later, it has become a true representation of globalization.

The Top Three Countries

Since opening in California in the 1950s, McDonald's has expanded considerably throughout the world. At present, McDonald's operates 36,899 restaurants, 5,669 of which are company-owned and 31,230 of which are franchised. Its total property owned is said to have a value between 16 and 18 billion dollars.

  • United States: The United States is the leading country with the most McDonald's restaurants at 14,15. Approximately 31.5% of revenue collected from the McDonald's Corporation comes from the United States. Most of the McDonald's outlets are concentrated in states that have highest number of people such as California, New York, and Texas. However, the states with the highest number of McDonald's restaurants include Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Maryland, and Michigan.
  • Japan: Japan was the first marketplace for McDonald's in Asia. Japan has about 2,975 outlets although the numbers are said to be reducing considerably.
  • China: China has the third most McDonald's locations with 2,200 outlets. Despite the franchise having reached Japan and Hong Kong in the 1970s it was not until 1990 when China finally opened the doors to McDonald's. Other leading countries by number of McDonald's restaurants include Germany, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom all of whom have more than 1,000 outlets.

Countries With No McDonald's Restaurant

Bermuda does not have any McDonald's due to a government ban on foreign restaurants. Bolivia currently has no McDonald's restaurant, after low sales forced its departure. McDonald's is absent from many countries across Africa, as well as Central Asia.

A Symbol Of Globalization

McDonald's has become an emblem of globalization, so much that the term "McDonaldization" has emerged. The Economist magazine uses the Big Mac Index, which compares the Big Mac’s cost in different world currencies, which can be used to establish the purchasing power parity (PPP) of currencies. As of July 2015, Switzerland had the world’s most expensive Big Mac, while the least expensive is in India followed by Hong Kong.

Countries With the Most McDonald's Restaurant

RankLocation Number of McDonald's
1United States14,146
7United Kingdom1,274
13South Korea450
23Hong Kong237
25South Africa225

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