McDonald's focuses on recession-weary Italy for growth

Jan. 10, 2013

McDonald's plans to open more than 100 new units in Italy throughout the next 10 years. According to Reuters, the market is a priority for the Golden Arches because it has been stuck in a recession and the expansion will help spur job growth.

McDonald's plans to invest about $457 million for its Italy footprint and hire about 3,000 new employees by 2015.

McDonald's made its debut in Italy in 1986. There are currently 450 units in the country.

McDonald's Italia CEO Roberto Masi told Reuters that the company will localize its fare as it grows in the market, including offering sandwiches with Parmesan cheese-stuffed bread and sliced ham.

"McDonald's considers the euro zone debt crisis as something temporary," Masi said. "The company lumps Italy together with the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, China and India), the ones where it will grow more in the next 10 years."

The company has launched an ad campaign to warm Italians up to its expansion plans. Still, critics of the plan have expressed concern about compromising the region's traditional cuisine.

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