May 15, 2019 / 11:26 AM / 9 days ago

Restaurant Brands to boost outlets by 54% in 8-10 years

(Reuters) - Restaurant Brands International Inc said on Wednesday it plans to expand all three of its brands to more than 40,000 restaurants globally, a 54% jump, over the next decade.

Big fast food chains, including McDonald’s Corp and Kentucky Fried Chicken(KFC)-owner Yum Brands Inc, have been aggressively expanding their international operations to counter slowing growth in the United States.

Toronto-based Restaurant Brands, the owner of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, has been looking to boost its businesses by deploying various initiatives that range from app-based ordering to loyalty programs for its customers.

The company, which held its first ever investor day on Wednesday, did not immediately respond to a request for investment details of its expansion program.

Restaurant Brands, which has been hit by a slowdown at its three iconic brands, hopes to grow its coffee, burger and chicken markets by 5% to 6% annually over the next five years.

Last month, the company reported a 0.6 percent drop in comparable sales at Tim Hortons for the quarter ended March 31, while same-store sales at Burger King grew 2.2 percent, less than 3.8 percent a year earlier.

The announcement of the ambitious expansion plan comes just months after Jose Cil took the helm at the company, after having headed its Burger King unit.

Rival Yum Brands opened 372 new KFC outlets in 46 countries in the first quarter ended March, while McDonald’s plans on opening roughly 1,200 restaurants worldwide this year

Tim Hortons, Restaurant Brands’ coffee chain, also said it would introduce three new sandwiches using the vegan burger maker Beyond Meat Inc’s plant-based sausages as demand for vegan alternatives grows in the country.

Shares of Restaurant Brands, which have risen nearly 26% this year, were up marginally at C$89.91 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in afternoon trade.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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