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The history of McDonald’s in Canada dates all the way back to 1967 when their first outlet outside the US opened at No.3 Road in Richmond, British Columbia.
51 years later, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited has become a major part of the country’s fast food industry and serves about three million guests every day. The Richmond outlet reopened last year with a major face-lift, a special one day $0.67 hamburger special, vintage cars, and nostalgic images.
The reason for this celebration is definitely the bond that McDonald’s has formed with Canada’s economic weave. Of the one billion that the chain spends on food, beverages, and packaging, over 85% is sourced from suppliers within Canada. Over 90 percent of Canada’s McDonald’s outlets are locally owned and operated by Independent entrepreneurs and they employ about 100,000 people.
As far as the chain is concerned, Canada is one of their top performing locations worldwide. McDonald’s Canada has shown a comp annual growth of 4.8% and a 65% increase in franchisee per store cash flow to $500,000 over the past few years. The chain is now adapting techniques similar to those in the Canadian market to the US sales, to bring about similar results.
Did you know?
- McBarge (Friendship 500), was a McDonald’s restaurant built on a 187-foot-long (57 m) barge for Expo ’86 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is the second abandoned floating McDonald’s restaurant in the world (the first being in St Louis, Missouri), intended to showcase future technology and architecture
- In 2003, Marvel Entertainment and New Line Cinema rented the McBarge as a filming location for the 2004 film Blade: Trinity as the lair of the Nightstalkers
How many McDonald’s stores are there in Canada?
- Canada currently has 1,396 McDonald’s stores.
- Ontario leads the list with a total of 504 stores, which constitutes 36% of the total number of outlets.
- There are 197 outlets in British Columbia.
McDonald’s has covered all major tourist attractions in Canada as well. For example, they have placed 5 stores around 5 miles of Niagara Falls. The next store is around 11 miles away.
In British Columbia, where Vancouver is the biggest city with west coast seaport, McDonald’s has 26 outlets in total, which is one of the highest numbers for individual cities in Canada. The graphics below shows displacement of McDonald’s stores from Niagara Falls.
Vancouver city also houses the British Columbia University which is one of the top 3 Canadian Universities and is 47th in global ranking. The McDonald’s outlet 1.18 miles away from the university is one of the most popular among students in the area.
In Ontario with the most number of stores, most of them are clustered around Toronto, the state capital. There are 13 stores in just a one-mile radius around Toronto, while almost 214 stores (almost half of the total count) is placed within 50 miles of Toronto.
Return on Investment
McDonald’s is definitely a brand that knows how to play its odds. Since its beginning in 1967, it has seen investments from major names like Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffett’s investment firm) and has managed to exponentially increase its stock value. In the mid-90s, Berkshire’s McDonald’s value was around $22 per share, which is now at $157 per share. The wealth creation that the chain has managed to do over a span of 5 decades is huge.
What is McDonald’s doing right?
From the eye catching and familiar yellow-striped clown mascot to happy meals, McDonald’s is a brand that can read its consumers. As of October 2018, the company has delivered 13 straight quarters of store sales growth and a 4.2% gain in the third quarter.
One of the most rated TV shows of this millennium, Rick and Morty did a whole episode on McSchezwan sauce that McDonald’s introduced in 1988 and later discontinued, a golden marketing opportunity that the brand really gave into. Adult Swim fans made sharp remarks all over Twitter in 2017 about the ‘sauce shortage situation’, to which the restaurant chain responded gracefully. McDonald’s apologized very soon and announced 20 million packets of much-longed-for dipping sauce to be made available at all US restaurants as of February this year. The restaurant also produced a three-episode podcast about the bizarre events surrounding this unexpected fame.
In Canada, McDonald’s is also having a comeback of its Monopoly competitions which was on hold for a while following a fraud in 2000. The games are in full swing, for prices including instant food cards. The grand reopening of its flagship restaurant that leveraged the local nostalgia was yet another commendable move.
In Vancouver, Uber and McDonald’s announced their food delivery service at the beginning of this year at 11 locations. For a city that houses tourists as well as students, this seems like quite the viable way forward.
Despite unexpected revenue dips here and there, it does seem like McDonald’s is only improving its services, stores, and brand position. Through 2018, McDonald’s is opening 1000 new outlets, while also bringing in touch-screen ordering and delivery partnerships at the existing ones.
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