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Starbucks Casually Lays Out a Plan to Dethrone McDonald's

By Jon Quast - Dec 10, 2020 at 10:30AM

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No restaurant chain has ever grown to the size Starbucks is envisioning.

Every two years, Starbucks ( SBUX -0.61% ) gives a presentation for investors, communicating its long-term vision for the company. It's latest biennial meeting was held on Wednesday, and the company casually laid out a plan to dethrone McDonald's ( MCD -0.41% ) as the largest publicly traded restaurant chain in the world. The plan would also propel Starbucks past Subway as the top overall restaurant chain.

Starbucks plans to have 55,000 locations around the world by the end of 2030. It currently has over 32,000.

A Starbucks employee wears a facemask while serving coffee contained in holiday cups.

Image source: Starbucks.

Subway currently claims the crown for the world's largest restaurant chain with over 40,000 locations. McDonald's is close behind with about 38,000 locations. But neither is the world's largest restaurant operator. That title goes to Yum! Brands ( YUM 0.28% ), the company that owns KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and The Habit Burger Grill. Across its portfolio of restaurants, Yum! Brands has over 50,000 locations.

Starbucks' plan would even steal Yum! Brands' title. While the company's press release didn't give country-specific targets, it's clear China will play a large role in its expansion plans. Currently, the U.S. and China account for 61% of Starbucks' locations. But starting in fiscal 2022 (which starts around October 2021), China will be growing locations at a double-digit pace. By contrast, its U.S. business is expected to expand at a 3% pace.

Investors appear to love the plan from this consumer-discretionary company, sending Starbucks stock to all-time highs today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Starbucks Corporation Stock Quote
Starbucks Corporation
$115.54 (-0.61%) $0.71
McDonald's Corporation Stock Quote
McDonald's Corporation
$258.52 (-0.41%) $-1.05
Yum! Brands, Inc. Stock Quote
Yum! Brands, Inc.
$132.11 (0.28%) $0.37

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