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McDonald’s Shrinks U.S. Store Count While Rivals Expand

  • Technomic estimates net U.S. store numbers declined in 2019
  • Broader restaurant industry has seen customer traffic slow
A vehicle sits in the drive-thru of a McDonald's restaurant.
A vehicle sits in the drive-thru of a McDonald's restaurant.Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

McDonald’s Corp. is likely to post a fifth year of shrinking U.S. locations, a sign the chain is prioritizing profitable locations over market share.

The world’s biggest restaurant company saw its U.S. network shrink by more than 100 locations last year, after accounting for new openings, according to an estimate from researcher Technomic. Meanwhile, the top 500 largest chains in total, including rivals Chick-fil-A Inc. and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, added restaurants in 2019 in the U.S., the data show.