How Many McDonald's Restaurants Are There In The World?

It's hard to find a person who doesn't know the iconic McDonald's jingle or recognize its signature Golden Arches. Unless you're in one of the countries where you won't find McDonald's, there's no fast food more readily available than Mickey D's. In fact, it's the largest global fast food chain out there, with over 40,000 restaurant locations spanning more than 100 countries.

Thanks to Ray Kroc's influence, McDonald's opened as a burger joint in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955 and quickly expanded to become a globalized restaurant corporation. The most stores (and the most profits generated) are in its home country, with more than 13,000 U.S. locations. Still, McDonald's in other countries across Asia, Latin America, and Europe also garner impressive numbers.

France is the largest European McDonald's hub with over 1,500 locations, closely followed by Germany. China's nearly 5,000 locations unsurprisingly take the top spot for Pacific Asia and the Middle East, and Brazil leads South and Central America with just over 1,000 restaurants. There's a significant lack of McDonald's in many Central Asian countries, and African countries are practically void of the chain aside from four: South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Mauritania. Interestingly, California has almost the same number of locations as France, making it the U.S. state with the most McDonald's (followed by Texas and Florida). In 2023 alone, McDonald's raked in $8.47 billion worldwide.

Why global McDonald's are successful

McDonald's performs well across regions because of its consistency and adaptability. In the U.S., McDonald's is often praised for its unchanging menu. Aside from celebrity collaborations that rebrand mostly pre-existing meals (often with limited-edition sauces), the menu has been relatively the same since chicken nuggets were introduced in the 1980s, followed by McFlurries in the '90s. The same is true around the world, just in different fonts. McDonald's menus differ in other countries depending on the region's common culture and culinary traditions.

The corporation is so focused on globalization that it even hosts a worldwide convention every year featuring samples from its global menu. This event is a tradition dating back to the '60s when Ray Kroc and international McDonald's operators gathered to learn from one another. The convention has historically been held in North America, but in 2024, for the first time, it will take place in a European country. In April, McDonald's suppliers and employees will meet in Barcelona, Spain to explore further endeavors for the brand and celebrate its global accomplishments.

In a December 2023 press release, McDonald's revealed that it plans to reach at least 50,000 global locations by 2027, so expansion will no doubt be a hot topic at the annual gathering. Clearly, the world won't see the end of McNugget meals anytime soon.