This isn’t another article about how fast food is on the leading edge of an obesity and health epidemic in the US and worldwide. Instead, we pose the simple question: why is fast food expanding so fast (all puns intended)?
- Fast-food restaurant sales are expected to rise 4.9% from last year to $188.1 billion in 2013, according to National Restaurant Association forecasts.
- Of all restaurant visits in the United States, fast-food outlets account for 78% of the total [emphasis added].
- Maybe that’s because they’re everywhere. According to data from market researcher NPD, the U.S. is home to more than 313,000 fast-food and fast-casual (for instance, Chipotle) restaurants.
- Among big markets, Denver has the most coverage, based on population, with 118 such locations per 100,000 people.
- How big is McDonald’s? Systemwide sales were $88.3 billion last year, $18.6 billion of which came from company-owned restaurants and $69.7 billion from franchised restaurants. That averages to almost $2.6 million of sales per location [emphasis added]. (Read those numbers again and pull your hair out if you own a CrossFit box!)
- In 2010, an average fast-food restaurant location collected $753,000 in sales. As noted above, a single McDonald’s outlet does more than three times that.
- Overall sales recorded by the McDonald’s chain — again, owned and franchised stores — was more than the top line at airplane maker Boeing (BA), which had $81.7 billion in revenue in 2012.
- Fast-food restaurant sales are expected to rise 4.9% from last year to $188.1 billion in 2013, according to National Restaurant Association forecasts.It’s not just burgers and fries - nearly 72,000 pizzerias in the U.S. recorded $36.8 billion in sales between September 2011 and September 2012
- McDonald’s is everywhere in the world. At the end of 2012, McDonald’s had 34,480 restaurants in its system. The U.S. accounted for 14,157 of those. The country with the second-most McDonald’s locations was Japan, with 3,279. Germany is third, with 1,440 McDonald’s. Cuba has one House of Ronald, at Guantanamo Bay.
- Franchising is not a grassroots enterprise anymore. If you want to open a McDonald’s, you’ll need at least three-quarters of a million dollars to be viewed as a good candidate for the Golden Arches. From the company’s website: “Generally, we require a minimum of $750,000 of non-borrowed personal resources to consider you for a franchise.”
For the rest of the facts – on the sheer amount of beef, chicken, potatoes and onions (yes, onions!) – that the fast food industry consumes to satiate our ever-expanding appetite for burgers, fries and chicken nuggets, read the rest of “Fast Food Facts That Will Blow Your Mind.”