McDonald’s boss isn’t lovin’ UK planning rules

19th June 2023 | Jack Oliver

The UK boss of McDonald’s has said that “bloated planning rules” are wrecking the fast food chain’s expansion plans.

Chief executive Alistair Macrow told The Telegraph that the chain was facing waits of up to three years to open new restaurants because of delays and beauracracy.

This comes as McDonald’s plans to invest around £280m in its UK estate as it looks to improve efficiency in its restaurants. Potential improvements include features such as waiting rooms for delivery drivers and scales in kitchens which can measure whether all items are included in a bagged order.

“The planning timeline in this country for us has on average increased by 55 weeks since COVID. Today it takes us pretty much three years from the moment that we approve a new site to open. Of those three years, only 43 weeks are within our control”, Macrow told The Telegraph.

The chain, like many others, is also continuing to struggle with inflation. For the first time in 14 years, the price of a McDonald’s cheeseburger was increased from 99p, up to £1.19. It is hoped that the investments will help bring costs down to keep price rises minimal.

“Inflation is inflation – we can’t change that”, Macrow added, but argued that the chain was providing good value compared to its rivals.


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