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McDonald's Corp. to open 1,300 new restaurants, remodel 2,400 and expand menu

McDonald's Corp.'s "Plan to Win" is stacked with heavy expansion and remodeling efforts, as well as a slew of new menu items, executives told investors last week.

The fast-food giant said it intends to spend $2.9 billion to open more than 1,300 new restaurants next year and remodel 2,400 others.

Even as it projects commodity costs to rise up to 5.5 percent in the United States next year, McDonald's says it's drawing more customers — up 3.3 percent so far this year and 10 percent in the past two years to 64 million visitors per day.

"This is a testament to our ability to grow our share and to stay relevant at a time when consumers are keeping a tighter grip on their pocketbooks and their expectations of leading global brands like ours continue to rise," chief operating officer Don Thompson told investors.

The chain, based in Oak Brook, Ill., which recently re-released its cult favorite McRib pork sandwich, also said it would start building out its technological capabilities with mobile ordering systems, "McDelivery" options and even in-store kiosks for customers to use to choose meals and pay.

The menu could see more additions soon, with an English-style "Pub Burger" under development and a retro-inspired "1955 Burger" spreading across Europe.

Executives also said they're considering expanding on ideas such as large chicken wraps and popcorn chicken.

Last week, the chain unveiled two limited-time seasonal beverages — the McCafe Peppermint Mocha and the Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Thompson also discussed test items such as the slushie-like Cherry Berry Chiller and the Magnum McFlurry dessert.

McDonald's Corp. to open 1,300 new restaurants, remodel 2,400 and expand menu 11/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 12, 2011 3:31am]
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