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McDonald’s Korea Hits Record Revenue Amid Localization and Digital Innovations

McDonald's opened eight new outlets in Korea last year, with ambitious plans to launch approximately 100 more by 2030.

Fast food behemoth McDonald's Corp. has reported unprecedented revenue figures in South Korea, announcing a record-breaking 1.29 trillion won ($815.9 million) in sales for the last fiscal year. This milestone, detailed in a recent regulatory filing, follows strategic price adjustments and a deepening commitment to local market idiosyncrasies.

Beamstart noted that the conglomerate's success story in South Korea is notably underpinned by the robust performance of franchise stores and outlets under direct management. The latter category exceeded a trillion won in revenue for the first time, a 12.4% increase year over year.

Strategic Moves Yield Success

An official from McDonald's Korea attributed the impressive double-digit sales growth to a series of customer-oriented initiatives and sustained investments across the local market. Among these strategic endeavors was the "Taste of Korea" project, a culinary initiative that leans heavily into local ingredients.

KED Global reported that additional strategies include transitioning to 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) cups, a record-setting recruitment drive for full-time positions within Korea's fast-food sector, and substantial enhancements to the digital ordering experience. These moves underscore McDonald's dedication to innovation and environmental stewardship while bolstering its workforce and technological infrastructure.

Expansion and Price Strategy

To cement its market presence, McDonald's opened eight new outlets in Korea last year, with ambitious plans to launch approximately 100 more by 2030, aiming for 500 stores. This expansion strategy coincided with two notable price hikes in February and November, a maneuver aimed at sustaining growth momentum and addressing operational costs.

Financial Challenges Remain

Despite these strategic victories and revenue milestones, McDonald's operations in South Korea are not without their financial hurdles. The company reported a 20.3 billion won operating loss for the year, marking a 27% improvement over the previous year but underscoring ongoing challenges.

The net loss was calculated at 31.9 billion won in 2023, showing a 12% reduction from 2022. These figures reflect the complex dynamics as McDonald's Korea strives to translate top-line growth into bottom-line profitability.

Photo: Visual Karsa/Unsplash

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