After revealing its expansion plans in a recent earnings call, Starbucks has emerged as a serious contender for the title of the world’s largest fast food chain. The Seattle-based coffee brand currently operates 34,317 locations and is growing at a faster rate than McDonald’s and Subway, its two biggest rivals for footprint dominance.
Since the start of 2020, Starbucks has added 3,061 stores to its footprint, heating up global competition with McDonald’s. The coffee chain opened 1,173 net new locations in 2021 and 484 locations in the first quarter of 2022 alone, with plans to open 2,000 net new stores by the end of this year. McDonald’s, which has more than 38,000 locations worldwide, has opened 1,650 net new restaurants since 2020 and aims to add 1,800 locations to its fast food empire in 2022.
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The metro, on the other hand, seems to go in the opposite direction. Despite being the largest chain with nearly 40,000 locations worldwide, the sandwich company has steadily closed restaurants in recent years due to declining sales. In fact, in 2020, Subway reportedly closed more restaurants than any other chain in the company’s history (though the exact number of closures, which some say was over 2,000, is disputed by the company. .)
Thanks to this negative trend, Starbucks is expected to overtake the sandwich chain‘s global footprint in the near future. However, that doesn’t mean Starbucks is without its challenges. Staffing shortages have led to shorter opening hours, inconsistent availability of mobile orders and dining room closures. Additionally, the company cited inflation and supply chain issues as the cause of price hikes and ingredient shortages, and customers expressed frustration.
Brianna is the editorial assistant for Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she earned a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. Read more