China remains the holy grail for food franchises. KFC, for instance, has reinvented itself on the back of its dogged courting on the Chinese market. McDonald's, the world's leader in global franchising, is not a franchise force that would easily sit back and cede such a lucrative market, but there ambitious expansion plans for China may surprise many in their scale.
According to Bloomberg, McDonald's plans to open a restaurant a year over the next four years in China. They are currently opening a restaurant every other day. They aim to have 2,000 restaurants in China by 2013 and many more will follow. Excitingly for Chinese entrepreneurs, about 15 - 20% of these restaurants will be opened by franchisees.
“Franchising can be a very effective way to grow in China,” Ben Cavender, an analyst at China Market Research in Shanghai, told Bloomberg . “It will potentially allow them to accelerate their expansion on the mainland.”
This will create 10,000 jobs in China. They have a lot of work to do to compete with KFC, but it's fascinating to see how doggedly McDonald's is willing to pursue expansion in China.