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America's Biggest Coffee Chain Plans to Open 22,000 New Locations

This would make it the world's largest fast-food chain by footprint.

During its virtual biennial investor day, Starbucks made an impressive announcement that sent its stock skyrocketing. America's biggest coffee chain said it is planning to add more than 20,000 new locations to its footprint by the year 2030. This would make Starbucks an unmatched giant in the fast-food chain industry.

According to QSR Magazine, the ambitious growth plan was was unveiled by CFO Patrick Grismer, who said the company plans to reach a global unit count of 55,000 in the next decade, up from their current 33,000 stores. (Related: McDonald's Is Making These 8 Major Upgrades.)

World's current largest fast-food chain in terms of unit count is Subway, which boasts 40,000 restaurants worldwide. But the company has seen the number of their U.S. locations decrease in the last year. There were 41,600 worldwide Subways in 2019, down from 42,431 the previous year. For comparison, McDonald's clocks in at 38,695, up from 37,855 in 2018, according to statistics quoted by QSR Magazine.

While Starbucks closed 800 locations across the Americas this year, the move was explained as a strategic repositioning. In the U.S., that accounted to 500 locations closed, mostly in urban areas where foot traffic has decreased significantly during the pandemic. However, the chain also opened just as many new locations, which ended up not affecting its overall net number of stores significantly.

Besides opening more locations, Starbucks recently announced that it will be pivoting to smaller-sized stores designed only for takeout transactions, which will start taking shape next year. It has also announced a move to more suburban areas, where the need for a coffee chain hasn't been met by other competitors.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is a senior news editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more
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