McDonald’s plans on opening a new restaurant every day in China as it challenges dominant Yum! Brands’ chicken, pizza and money-making machine.
“We should be opening a restaurant every day in the next three to four years” in China, Peter Rodwell, company president for Asia excluding Japan, Australia and New Zealand, told Bloomberg in an interview in Singapore today. “We’re now opening a restaurant every other day.”
While I guess it makes sense that McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), the world’s largest restaurant chain, focus attention on the country with the world’s largest population, I can’t help but think a lot of Chinese kids are already amply super-sized. Recent data from Johns Hopkins shows that about 20 percent of Chinese kids and over a third of the boys are overweight or obese. A 2004 report from Peking University places the number of overweight kids at less than 2 percent back in 1985, according to a recent story in The Atlantic.
Chunky Chinglings aside, the hamburger chain aims to increase its stores from 1,300 to 2,000 by 2013, writes Bloomberg. For comparison, there are currently over 3,300 KFCs and 531 Pizza Huts in China, according to the Yum! China website. That said, it will take a great leap forward for McDonald’s to catch up with the Colonel.
In semi-related news, a beefed-up version of the Big Mac index suggests that the Chinese yuan is now close to its fair value against the dollar. (The Big Mac index is published by The Economist as an informal way of measuring the purchasing power parity (PPP) between two currencies, seeking “to make exchange-rate theory a bit more digestible.”)