McDonald’s has invested a colossal £4.3 billion in its restaurants since it launched in the UK 45 years ago this year, it has been revealed.
The astonishing figure underscores the level of investment it has taken to become the largest and most well-known fast food chain in the UK market. It currently operates more than 1,280 restaurants, serving just under four million customers every day.
The last four years, in particular, have brought some of the heaviest investment, especially in terms of new kitchen equipment and design.
Since 2015, McDonald’s and its franchisees have invested over £500m in revamped kitchens and new technology such as self-order kiosks and delivery apps.
The business and franchisees also invest in excess of £40m per year on training and developing staff.
Additionally, McDonald’s has created more than 2.1 million jobs either directly or indirectly as a result of investment in its supply chain.
The brand’s 45-year anniversary coincides with its recent move to trial a new ‘grab-and-go’ store in London.
‘McDonald’s to Go’ is the latest phase in a strategy to evolve its restaurant experience in the UK.
The first test store – in Fleet Street – went live two months ago and is focused on speed of service to cater for customers on the move.
It offers a reduced menu of freshly prepared McDonald’s products which are available for take away only.
Alongside menu favourites like McNuggets, Big Flavour Wraps and the Big Mac, the restaurant is preparing to trial a selection of new prepared salads later this year.
The McDonald’s to Go concept will allow the business to trial different and flexible formats depending on the local needs of customers in the surrounding areas.
The Fleet Street branch is a smaller format with no seating area and smaller self-order screens, designed for customers on the go in the capital looking to grab something to eat on the move.
Henry Trickey, SVP development & IT at McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “It’s an exciting, but challenging time to be in the restaurant sector. Changing tastes, new technology and more competition mean we need to continue to focus on investing in what matters most to our customers. We know that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and that’s exactly why we are launching McDonald’s to Go – to allow us to trial different formats in different locations, depending on customer needs.”
Mr Trickey said the Fleet Street set-up won’t necessarily be replicated like-for-like elsewhere, as future ‘McDonald’s to Go’ branches could look very different.
“This is all about testing and learning – we’ll see what works and listen to the customer response. Of course, some things will still feel very familiar about Fleet Street; great tasting food, served quickly at a competitive price by our brilliant people. We absolutely remain committed to our existing formats on the high street and with drive thru, and the convenience offered through McDelivery and My McDonald’s App.”