NEW YORK – The burger chain that put “supersize” into the American vernacular is slimming down. For the first time in more than 40 years, and perhaps ever, McDonald’s says its number of restaurants in the U.S. is shrinking.
McDonald’s plans to close more restaurants in the U.S. than it opens this year, according to the world’s biggest hamburger chain. That hasn’t happened since at least 1970, according to an Associated Press review of McDonald’s regulatory filings.
McDonald’s spokeswoman Becca Hary declined to provide a specific figure but said the reduction would be minimal compared with its 14,300 U.S. locations.
The company declined to say the last time it reduced its U.S. store base. But given the rapid expansion that characterized its early years, it’s likely McDonald’s hasn’t pulled back since Ray Kroc founded the company in 1955.