It looks like the McDonald's is in the midst of the first major downsize in their fleet of obesity harbingers since the '70s, with plans to close more restaurants than they open this year, according to the AP. In April, news broke that the chain had already closed 350 outlets worldwide, with plans to close hundreds more in the coming months. Schadenfreude siren!
A McDonald's spokesperson called the closures "minimal" when held up against the chain's 14,300 locations in the United States and 36,000 worldwide. Still, amidst a 2.6% sales drop at same-store sales in the first quarter for this year, things appear to be in a downward trend. An industry analyst pointed to McDonald's "natural overconfidence" at their past accomplishments as a diversion that may have blinded executives to the changing landscape. Just who you calling out of touch, buddy???
That changing landscape includes places like Chipotle, who've become fast food darlings (by comparison) with their commitment to quality food—diet-minded concerns aside. McDonald's has employed new ideas like build your own burgers, delivery and—lord help us—kale to appeal to changes in consumers tastes. The closures appear to be a tactic of "pruning the tree" to strengthen the roots. Now you'll have to drive a mile or two farther to find a McDonald's in some parts of America. Happy, Millennials?