Big Mac plans big push this year

May 25, 2007 at 9:33 AM

CHICAGO, May 25 (UPI) -- McDonald's said it plans to speed up worldwide restaurant openings this year after a four-year slowdown to improve quality.

The world's largest restaurant chain expects to spend about $1.9 billion this year to open 800 restaurants and remodel another 2,000 in markets with "growth opportunities," Chief Executive Officers Jim Skinner told shareholders at their suburban Chicago meeting.

Some 200 of those openings are ticketed for the United States, Chief Financial Officer Matthew Paull said. Other countries include Russia, China, Australia and England.

Skinner said McDonald's plans to boost new restaurants by 1.2 to 1.3 percent annually from its current levels during the next few years, Crain's reported, up from 0.9 to 1 percent in recent years.

McDonald's had 31,667 restaurants operating globally at the end of last year, including nearly 13,800 in the United States.

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