Retail

McDonald’s Will Open 200 Restaurants In Nordic Region

McDonald’s will open 200 restaurants in the Nordic region over the next 10 years, as well as begin home deliveries this year in an attempt to take on rivals, such as Taco Bell and Yum! Brands.

According to Reuters, the plan is part of a turnaround drive led by McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook.

While the fast-food chain reported its highest sales growth in six years in January, U.S. same-store sales were down 1.3 percent year on year. In fact, the number of customers McDonald’s draws has reportedly been dropping every year for the past four, falling just over 2 percent in 2016. This comes to a 10.4 percent fall in foot traffic.

McDonald’s currently serves 150 million customers each year in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland from its estimated 430 restaurants in the region. And starting in May, it will begin home delivery in Sweden and Finland, followed by Denmark and Norway in the second half of 2018. McDonald’s already offers home delivery in the United States, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, among other countries.

McDonald’s Nordic Group CEO Christer Aberg said, “I think it’s about being where consumers want to meet us.”

The expansion will create 5,000 jobs in the region. Last year, McDonald’s sales in the Nordic region grew 5 percent to 1.2 billion ($1.5 billion).

The expansion into the Nordic region is just one part of the fast-food chain’s plans to boost sales and build brand loyalty. In addition to adding ordering features onto its mobile app and experimenting with delivery, McDonald’s has started adding self-service kiosk-ordering, digital smart-menu boards, custom-order options and even table service.

The company has also tried some interesting promotions, such as last year’s “Big Mac ATM” in Boston, which dispensed two new sizes of burger — the Mac Jr. and the Grand Mac — free of charge between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. In lieu of payment, hungry customers “paid” with their Twitter handles and got a free lunch.

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