Fast-food titan McDonald's announced quarterly profits that beat Wall Street's estimates and proved, arguably, that the business of cheap fast food done well sometimes thrives in a down economy. Franchisees own a majority of the burger behemoth's stores worldwide.
The company states that global sales increased 6.9 percent in December, helping it distribute an average $2 annual dividend to shareholders. McDonald's plans to open 1,000 new locations in 2009. Only Subway restaurants plans to open more stores.
"Two-thousand-eight was a strong year for McDonald's," CEO Jim Skinner states. "Through our strategic focus on menu choice, food quality and value, the average number of customers served per day increased to more than 58 million in 2008 ... The company delivered double-digit growth in operating income for the fourth quarter and the year. These accomplishments validate the strength and resilience of McDonald's."
Are there still McDonald's franchises to be had in the U.S.? Yes you can.