McDonald’s to Add 1,500 Locations in China, Hong Kong and South Korea

On Thursday, McDonalds announced that it is planning to open 1,500 new locations in China, Hong Kong and South Korea as the burger giant looks to markets that are faster growing to help drive its global turnaround.

McDonald’s announced that it was looking for new partners to help with the financing of its expansion. The company also said it would give local managers more power in decision making to respond to Asian clientele.

McDonald’s is overhauling its business under Steve Easterbrook its CEO after acknowledging it had failed to stay up with the changing tastes of consumers.

Last year, the total number of diners globally visiting the company’s restaurants dropped.

Asia represents a substantial area of great opportunity for McDonalds to blend global quality standards with expertise locally from partners who have the same vision as well as values as we do, said Easterbrook in a prepared statement.

McDonald’s presently has 2,800 locations in China, Hong Kong and South Korea, of which most are owned by them, rather than by franchisees.

The company calls those areas markets of high growth, which it says have a stronger franchising and expansion potential.

The company announced previously that it has plans to identify its strategic partners in two other markets in Asia – Japan and Taiwan.

McDonald’s said it is planning to turn over more outlets that are company owned to local owners and has a goal over the long term of making 95% of its locations franchisee owned in the region.

The company earlier reported sales worldwide that were up 5% at its established locations for the last quarter of 2015.

In the markets of high-growth, sales were up by 3%. In the U.S., sales were up 5.7% and in Canada and Britain rose by over 4.2%.

McDonald’s has been helped by offering its breakfast menu all day since October of 2015. The move has increased sales and attracted much more traffic to its U.S. stores.

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