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In the next eight to ten years, Restaurant Brands International plans to surpass 40,000 locations globally, increasing its store count by 55% in a move to become one of the world’s largest restaurant companies.
The parent company of Burger King, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Tim Hortons had 25,809 locations open as of March 31. McDonald’s is nearly at 40,000 stores already, with 37,971 open at the end of the first quarter. Yum Brands is nearing 50,000 locations with the global expansion of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut.
The Toronto-based company opened 1,300 locations last year, the equivalent of opening a new store every seven hours.
“RBI is fundamentally a growth company, with three amazing, iconic brands that we believe have a very long runway for growth — both at home and around the world,” CEO Jose Cil said in a statement Wednesday.
Restaurant Brands made the announcement ahead of its first investor day Wednesday. The company was formed five years ago by the Brazilian investment group 3G Capital, also known for creating Kraft Heinz and Anheuser-Busch InBev. 3G is know for a focus on cost-cutting, but Restaurant Brands has the additional benefit of being able to franchise its stores, enabling it to expand its global footprint quickly while being cost effective.
Since the start of the year, the company’s stock has gained nearly 27%, pushing its market value to more than $30 billion. At that level, the company’s value is about even with that of Yum Brands, but it is still a fraction of McDonald’s $152.6 billion market capitalization.
It is unclear if the roughly 14,200 additional stores will be spread equally across its three brands. With 17,823 stores at the end of March, Burger King has more than triple the number of stores as Tim Hortons, the company’s second largest chain. Popeyes, which RBI acquired two years ago, has the least amount of stores at 3,120 as of the end of its first quarter.
Restaurant Brands had previously announced plans for Tim Hortons’ expansion in China. The Canadian coffee chain accounted for nearly 60% of its first-quarter revenue, but growth in its home market is slowing. It will join Starbucks and the soon-to-public Chinese chain Luckin Coffee in the battle to win over customers in the rapidly expanding coffee market. Tim Hortons plans to open 1,500 locations across the country in the next decade.